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PiStorm - can PPC for classic Amiga make a come back?
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I am sure most Amigans are familiar with Emu68 and the PiStorm hardware for classic.

I have an idea I thought might be worth exploring. PPC cards for classic Amiga died with Phase 5 but I think that just like Emu68 emulates 68k on arm maybe the right developer in partnership with Hyperion could make EmuPPC if you will a reality leveraging the PiStorm hardware to revive PPC for classic hardware.

EmuPPC would emulate the PPC and boots AmigaOS 4.1 classic environment on a real Amiga and classic software is run on the real hardware.

Just an idea I had, would something like this even be possible and would the community support such a venture?

I have no coding skills or hardware designing abilities I just thought the idea would make a great discussion and might spark the right people to action.

Maybe the Friedens or Hyperion may take notice (Wishful thinking perhaps)

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Re: PiStorm - can PPC for classic Amiga make a come back?
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@Fairdinkem

Would something like this even be possible and would the community support such a venture?

it’s a good idea, because.

1# you need backwards compatible with PowerPC, if AmigaOS4.1 ported to ARM, writing a PowerPC to ARM jit can be useful venture to pursue that dream.

2# because PI is an open platform anyone with correct skills, can do it, they do not need to be part of development team. They just need to have the hardware. And time to do it. It’s not simple thing to do. CPU emulation happens below the OS.

Its Ratchy that’s responsible for Petunia, same person who wrote the UAE JIT for PowerPC, but it does not need to be him. There is at least 4 people in the community who has written JIT compiler and has experience with it.

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Re: PiStorm - can PPC for classic Amiga make a come back?
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Already some time ago, I was in contact with Claude, developer of the PiStorm, because I had overheard, that somebody had AmigaOS 4.1 running on a PiStorm, although very slow.

Unfortunately I have not managed it to get a direct contact to that guy, since I wanted to ask him to write a little review and maybe some kind of tutorial. So I started trying to compile QEMU for ARM for myself but did not have the time to pursuing the matter...

I only have a Pi 3B and I could imagine, that this is far too weak for such an emulation...

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Re: PiStorm - can PPC for classic Amiga make a come back?
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PiStorm32 & emu68 is just amazing with OS3.2 and if OS4.1 could run as well on PiStorm32 that would be a massive game changer for any new PPC hardware in the Amigaverse

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Re: PiStorm - can PPC for classic Amiga make a come back?
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@328gts

Quote:
game changer for any new PPC hardware in the Amigaverse.


Because there will be more users, and developers?

I did quick estimate, and end up at around 300mhz, based on benchmarks, someone posted, that’s not a lot, for a modern game, a modern game also needs a good gfx driver and lots of ram. You can perhaps run it but won’t be able to do a lot with it, without at least a good gfx driver.

Sure some tools and programs, but I think you get bord quick. If there some developers interested updating or porting over there software games/demos/tools/programs, that can perhaps help, with making the OS4.1 experience better on classic Amiga, and that can help everyone in PPC hardware. my personal option about that, is not great. A lot of classic developers prefers supporting OCS over RTG, I’m not saying everyone does. The more classic users with upgraded hardware that demand RTG and support modern displays, the better for the AmigaONE / OS4.1 community.

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Re: PiStorm - can PPC for classic Amiga make a come back?
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@LiveForIt

I am not interested in the new games, but I am interested in the benefits of a newer, more capable version of AmigaOS such as 4.1 can offer over 3.9 or 3.2. The fact that it would be running on a REAL Amiga offering true backward compatibility is its main attraction with the benefit of experiencing the late death throws of the Amiga as it died venturing into the PPC arena.

The RTG side of things could be better than you might think especially with Pi 4. I have an A1200 with Voodoo 3, another A1200 with a Radeon 9200, and a Pegasos2 with a Radeon 9250. My A1200 with a PiStorm32 lite RTG performance is by far smoother than my 9200 and Voodoo-equipped Amiga 1200s.

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Re: PiStorm - can PPC for classic Amiga make a come back?
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@328gts

I agree it would be a game changer in terms of accessibility to AmigaOS 4.1. People who have an Amiga that is upgraded with PiStorm could inexpensively buy a license and install AmigaOS 4.1, unlike the current situation they have to be very blessed to be able to afford an expensive new bit of hardware to experience AmigaOS 4.1 and then to be backwards compatible emulate a real Amiga with UAE. The price of entry is a real barrier to AmigaOS 4.1 and the experience for some can be quite lacklustre considering the investment that has to be made, something like an EmuPPC with PiStorm could really open up the user base to more people.

I could be wrong but I know it's something I and others I know in my Amiga friendship circles would support.

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Re: PiStorm - can PPC for classic Amiga make a come back?
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@Primax

This is interesting, I wonder if such a thing would resurface and if something could be made of it or continue to be developed.

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Re: PiStorm - can PPC for classic Amiga make a come back?
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Edited by tlosm on 2023/10/25 13:59:44
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Re: PiStorm - can PPC for classic Amiga make a come back?
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@LiveForIt

Quote:
Because there will be more users, and developers?

I did quick estimate, and end up at around 300mhz, based on benchmarks, someone posted, that’s not a lot, for a modern game, a modern game also needs a good gfx driver and lots of ram. You can perhaps run it but won’t be able to do a lot with it, without at least a good gfx driver.


I had a spare A1200, bought a Raspberry Pi3A+ and a PiStorm32 for the cost of a lunch for 2 and it blew my mind how my Amiga ran OS3.2 and all my programs and demos etc so from a users standpoint the cost of entry is just too good not to 'join in'.

The speed of new Pi's will dictate if running PPC stuff will be feasible but I do think it's only a matter of time.⁸

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Re: PiStorm - can PPC for classic Amiga make a come back?
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I would say this could be done as an independent project. Without Hyperion needing to have any involvement. Though given the effort put in the A1222 which needed an FPU emulator why not go all the way and emulate RISC PPC on another RISC like ARM?

Most sales for OS4 Classic were for emulation. So a project like this would also benefit sales. Last I checked Classic was also the only edition you could buy as digital.

It would make sense if it simulated a Blizzard PPC and associated powerpc library. Possibly a Cyber PPC. But what matters is a PPC library. Given it would take space and resources it may make sense to only emulate the PPC if possible. That would mean it would still need to run 68K code on the built in 68K. And there would be context switching. However, for running OS4, once it boot straps that would be a non issue.

OTOH, it would be good to have a mixed 68K and PPC without any context switching. In this case, a master emulator would detect a change from one CPU to the other, and switch emulator.

Using JIT or not would be a consideration. As it takes up RAM in the host CPU board. Given the focus is on PPC 68K emulation could be static and only PPC use JIT.

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Re: PiStorm - can PPC for classic Amiga make a come back?
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@LiveForIt

Quote:
I did quick estimate, and end up at around 300mhz, based on benchmarks, someone posted, that’s not a lot, for a modern game, a modern game also needs a good gfx driver and lots of ram. You can perhaps run it but won’t be able to do a lot with it, without at least a good gfx driver.


That would be fast enough I think. Since real cards back in the day only clocked up to 240Mhz or so. The only problem is the modern Sonnet cards that average 400 or 500Mhz with some clocking in at 1Ghz! But, those would surely be rare. And an Amiga system with one of those would be both rare and expensive.

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Re: PiStorm - can PPC for classic Amiga make a come back?
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@328gts

Quote:


The speed of new Pi's will dictate if running PPC stuff will be feasible but I do think it's only a matter of time.⁸


I think it would be feasible now. It might not be the difference a PiStorm makes against 68K where it easily beats an 060 and runs Doom on planar like it was native fast VGA. But this would be cheaper and more attainable than a BlizzardPPC.

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Re: PiStorm - can PPC for classic Amiga make a come back?
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As it stands now, new PI's aren't viable for projects such as Emu68 because the GPIO is now behind the RPI1 chip which adds too much latency to setup of reads and writes. It could change if the foundation takes a different approach with Pi 6, or even manages to open something up for Pi5 but as it stands now Pi5 (and it looks like CM5, although not confirmed at this point) isn't a viable option.

NB: I haven't paid attention for the last week or maybe two as I've been distracted with other projects so it's remotely possible someone has found a workaround in the last week or two, but that's how it was last I knew.

Whilst it wasn't me that asked on the PiStorm / Emu68 discord, I know the topic of PPC / OS4 was asked and the response was less than favourable, but I forget exactly the reasoning why. I might be wrong but I don't think it was simply just because they weren't interested, I think it was a case of not being feasible for some reason.

Even if it were viable now, I'm not sure it would be a great experience compared to a 1.something or 2.something Ghz PPC machine. But I guess it would at least have half decent graphics provided a driver was ported (again! - same old problem)


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Re: PiStorm - can PPC for classic Amiga make a come back?
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@MartinW

Quote:
Even if it were viable now, I'm not sure it would be a great experience compared to a 1.something or 2.something Ghz PPC machine. But I guess it would at least have half decent graphics provided a driver was ported (again! - same old problem)


That's the thing. A 1 or 2 Ghz machine is expensive. Checking the prices of the A1222 it looks about as much as I paid for my X1000 and doesn't offer much more.

And unlike those this would plug into a real Amiga. It's rare for a real Amiga to have a 1Ghz CPU though it is possible. So this would really be competing with unobtainium or brokenium that didn't go over 240Mhz.

If it ran on average to a 300Mhz level it wouldn't be much better. But it would open up a market previously locked to old expensive cards. And it would help the main criticism against OS4 not running on a real Amiga.

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Re: PiStorm - can PPC for classic Amiga make a come back?
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@Hypex

If the definition of "ppc for classic" is to run powerup or warpos then I do not see the point. The 68k emulation will probably run the 68k versions just as fast as a ppc emulation would run the warpos versions of an app.

If the reason is to run amigaos4.1 on a classic then the end result will probably be disappointing with a rpi4, compared to even a sam440, for running OS4 apps and games.
Nevertheless it's worth the effort IMHO. Owners of real Amiga hardware in combination with a PiStorm are probably more committed to the Amiga when compared to winuae users and alike. And therefore make better assets for the Amigaos4 community.

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Re: PiStorm - can PPC for classic Amiga make a come back?
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@Fairdinkem

for what i sow in wii/game cube emulation on PI5, with PIStorm you will have a better performances compared old Sam Mini ITX if the delphine Jit and Video accelleration will be used for emulating PPC hardware.
For sure you will be able to run AmigaOS4 Classic better than Classic amiga 4000 with PPC 640e 233 on amiga 500 with pistorm and ppc jit.

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Re: PiStorm - can PPC for classic Amiga make a come back?
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I’m not really sure if anyone paid attention when I said that pi5 is currently no good for this because the gpio access is managed by the RP1 chip and is therefore too slow. As of now, pistorm is stuck at Pi4 without much prospect of that changing. Pi 5 is a step forwards for general computing and a step backwards for hardware banging direct.


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Re: PiStorm - can PPC for classic Amiga make a come back?
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@geennaam

Quote:
If the definition of "ppc for classic" is to run powerup or warpos then I do not see the point. The 68k emulation will probably run the 68k versions just as fast as a ppc emulation would run the warpos versions of an app.


I would say yes to be compatible with both. So both would be supported. The only question would be is if original PPC libraries would be supported or need custom ones. To work like a PiStorm does original should be supported.

Why I would say to support this is because a PPC card, either real or a PiStorm virtual PPC, would be expected to support this when plugged into an Amiga. So the point isn't to be compatible with old WarpOS games or software. The point would be to implement the classic PPC standard so PPC software can work.

In doing so, it also means it would be compatible with OS4.1. While a PiStorm optimised OS4.1 would be nice I doubt that is going to happen. So a Classic OS4 would also run by extension by being compatible.

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Re: PiStorm - can PPC for classic Amiga make a come back?
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Can't we use a raspberry pi 5?

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