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new amigaos hw?
Home away from home
Joined:
2006/11/30 18:43
From Norway
Posts: 2470
Copying from aw just in case people haven't seen it?
I know its not os4.x hw but it might be so its interesting for us. Also vote on the blog. Link: http://www.codex.gr/index.php?pageID=&blogItem=60


Hi,

First some introductions. I'm Konstantinos Margaritis, a long time Amiga/BeOS/Linux user/developer and a PowerPC fan, former Debian Developer, also a SIMD/AltiVec fanatic and the author of libfreevec. I haven't posted before on this forum but I lurk on the #haiku channel as markos_. Anyway, I've posted this on the MorphOS/Haiku forums and I think it would be right to post it here as well. To anyone who is not a PowerPC user, it might seem like crazy, but here it goes:

I'm considering funding the design & production of a new PowerPC system (well, the motherboard, the rest are typical pc stuff and a case). No this is not a joke, I've been wanting to do this for a long time, and perhaps the chance will be given to me now. But before I spend any money on this, I want to do a little market research first. I know the market is literally "dying" for a new powerpc motherboard, but exactly how many are there that want to buy one?

Ok, let's give some rough specs first. I'm considering 3 choices -not in order of probability/importance:

1. MPC8640D-based. It will be dual core at 1Ghz -most likely, higher frequencies are much more expensive and the cost of the final board would be prohibitive.
2. MPC8610-based. Single core at 1Ghz, slightly less expensive, and includes a 2D DIU display unit -quite fast, but no 3D unfortunately.
3. QorIQ P1022-based. Again dual core at 1Ghz (1055Mhz to be precise). Apart from the much lower chip price, this one includes dual gigabit ethernet, dual SATA, USB 2.0 and a 2D DIU display unit (same as the MPC8610). So this one would lower the cost of the board quite much. Disadvantages: No AltiVec unit (it sucks I know), though it includes an SPE unit which is not that bad, and availability will be in Q3/Q4 2010, so that's a long wait.

Now, the end motherboard will probably be MicroATX (in the 8640D/8610 case) or PicoITX (in the P1022 case), and it will definitely include:

* SATA connectors
* USB (possibly 2 back and 2 front, but that's discussable)
* Dual gigabit (at least one will be there, in the case of the MPC8640D we might even have 4!!!)
* Sound (of course, SPDIF support will definitely be there)
* 1 PCI-e slot 1x
* 1 PCI-e slot (4x in the P1022 case, 8x in the MPC86xx cases)

Ok, what I want to know is if people would really really buy one of these. End price is estimated to be ~around~ 350EUR for the P1022 board or ~500EUR (definitely more in the case of 8640D) in the case of the other boards. Besides being more expensive, the MPC86xx chips, don't include SATA, USB and only one of ethernet/sound (quad-gige in MPC8640D case, or sound in the case of MPC8610). I know this sounds a lot, but it's the reality, there is not enough funding to build enormous amounts of units and bring the prices down substantially, we have to start low and build up from there. In case you are wondering, yes, the boards will be designed/produced by bPlan and funded by my company (Codex).

About AmigaOS support, well, I am not a user myself, but I would seriously consider funding it, if there was enough interest. If just a couple of users would be interested then the best thing I would do is send a working board to the AmigaOS developers. the same goes for other OSes. But I will definitely fund the Haiku porting, because I like it and I think it has a lot of future.

I would like to make a list of everyone that is really interested in such a system, so it would really help me make a decision sooner rather than later if you would send me a few personal details to markos@codex.gr with subject "PowerPC board":

* Name
* Country
* email (definitely, I'd have to reach you back!)
* Phone/Skype (optional, please include international prefix)
* Forum you saw this post (ok, Amigaworld in this case)
* OS of preference
* board you would be most interested in (MPC8610/MPC8640D/P1022)
* preferred price (please have in mind the estimated price quotes I mentioned, it might be lower but that's not very probable)
* Other notes/comments

I'm not filthy rich, and I'm not doing this out of a hobby, if I'm going to invest this money, I want to know that I will make a profit out of it).

Thanks a lot for your time and I hope this system becomes a reality.

Konstantinos Margaritis
Codex

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Re: new amigaos hw?
Quite a regular
Joined:
2008/3/11 8:29
From Dunedin, New Zealand
Posts: 868
@Antique

I saw that but I didn't think he was aiming high enough... I'm waiting on ACube's new HW model...

I'll buy one quicker than saying 'but that'll make 3 SAMs'

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Re: new amigaos hw?
Home away from home
Joined:
2006/11/30 18:43
From Norway
Posts: 2470
@Slayer

Dont think acube will aim any higher though! But about the same range.

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Re: new amigaos hw?
Just popping in
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2009/7/14 17:00
From Utah, USA
Posts: 238
@Antique
I've read that type of story a dozen times in the last 10 years and all of them were a joke. I'll patiently wait for Acube's next release.

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Re: new amigaos hw?
Just popping in
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2006/12/5 12:19
From Wolverhampton, England
Posts: 227
@thread

As ever, I'd buy one if it came out. course, it'd have to be faster than my A1XE...

Altivec would be a must, and I'd like 3D GFX too.

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Re: new amigaos hw?
Just popping in
Joined:
2009/10/2 15:52
From Greece
Posts: 70
Hi,

I am Konstantinos, the (utopian?) initiator of this research. I was told of this forum and saw this discussion, and realized that people think this is (yet another) vapourware. Perhaps it will remain one, that is mostly up to the users that send -or not- emails. What people do not understand is that investors *need* to see numbers. It does not matter if I say that "people will buy it". If I cannot back my claim, the investor will not spend even 1€ on a board like this.

I will be happy to answer any questions, even if I already have answered them in another forum. For the time being, you can find about the progress of the market research here:

http://www.codex.gr/index.php?pageID=&blogItem=64

I understand the people's lack of faith, I was told some historical facts, I didn't realize that so many things were promised to this community. What is of absolutely vital importance however is an estimate of the exact market. I hope you really understand why I'm so insistent.

Konstantinos Margaritis
http://www.codex.gr

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Re: new amigaos hw?
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@feanor

Welcome to the forum, I only found out about this project today, it looks VERY interesting and what you've posted so far seems do-able and appealing. I'll vote, I'd pay at least what i paid for the Sam for that.

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Re: new amigaos hw?
Home away from home
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2006/11/30 18:43
From Norway
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@feanor

Just took the time to send you a mail.

And welcome btw,enjoy the stay.

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Re: new amigaos hw?
Just can't stay away
Joined:
2006/12/6 21:18
From Michigan
Posts: 1027
@feanor

#6 I understand the people's lack of faith, I was told some historical facts, I didn't realize that so many things were promised to this community
Not faith; more like a lack of numbers which translates to $$$ dollar reality.

Ok, what I want to know is if people would really really buy one of these...
I can't say until I've heard enough rumors!

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Re: new amigaos hw?
Not too shy to talk
Joined:
2006/12/8 18:02
From Germany
Posts: 391
@feanor

Quote:

I understand the people's lack of faith, I was told some historical facts, I didn't realize that so many things were promised to this community. What is of absolutely vital importance however is an estimate of the exact market. I hope you really understand why I'm so insistent.

Your key to the AmigaOS users is Hyperion, get them to support your board and you will get much more OS4 users interrested for your board.

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Re: new amigaos hw?
Not too shy to talk
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2007/3/30 17:39
Posts: 273
@ZeroG

He can speak with Hyperion but as it is not sure that the board will be built, he needs to know who is interested to make investors trust the project.
But that's true : a commitment of Hyperion in the case the project is validated would bring much more answers and interest for us.

But once the board is here, anything is possible !

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Re: new amigaos hw?
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Joined:
2006/11/24 17:54
From Sanremo
Posts: 1811
@feanor

Welcome to Amigans.net hope you'll be fine here hope to see your hardware reach the production line too

I wish you all the best

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Re: new amigaos hw?
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2009/7/7 3:34
From Toronto, Canada
Posts: 2347
@feanor

hi & welcome to amigans.net

..as Hyperion and Acube are "trusted Amigan" companies, I strongly suggest you get them involved in your new project. If the new system is ALOT better than my Sam flex-800 running OS4.1 then I would consider buying one.

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Re: new amigaos hw?
Just popping in
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2009/10/2 15:52
From Greece
Posts: 70
Final results about the market research here:

http://www.codex.gr/index.php?pageID=&blogItem=100

Quote from the blog -the interesting part-:

Quote:

... Actually, I just thought of an idea, there is another way that we might build a nice ppc board, but I think it will find even less interest: open-source hardware, donation based. Say, we do a bounty -or what even its legal term is- and each of us, donates an amount, until we reach the desirable amount. If we could get 500 people to donate 100e each -or more in some cases- we might reach the goal to design the board. Since the board design would be open, anyone could then produce it. If the goal is not reached in a specific amount of time, everyone gets their money back -or we leave it open until the money is raised. So, what say you all? It's the last thing that can be done I think. So, if you are really interested in the idea, please say so, if enough people second this, I'm sure something could be arranged.


COMMENT: The nice thing with that approach, is that the end design will be open. If the amount of people does not reach critical mass for a mass production -eg. 500- there might still be a few (100 or even less) people that may go for a small production scale and get the board of their dreams, albeit a bit more expensive! And if I would decide to drop out of the project for whatever reason, the design would be open for anyone to continue development on it. Actually, I wonder why didn't I think of that scheme before...


Edited by feanor on 2009/11/11 10:18:18
Edited by feanor on 2009/11/11 10:42:18
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Re: new amigaos hw?
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2006/12/9 10:44
From Lyon, France
Posts: 1337
@feanor

You told me you would contact "someone". I'm still waiting for this contact to become reality :-/

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Re: new amigaos hw?
Just popping in
Joined:
2009/10/21 22:01
From B.C. Canada
Posts: 52
@feanor

I like this project and your efforts to move it forward. I think there is a market here for the right board and hitting 500 units is reasonable with the right price and hardware. I didn't sign up for your survey however.

The problem here is your putting the chicken before the egg on this project. Will the board have OS4 ported to it? Have the authors (hyperion) expressed interest? No Amigan will buy this board if there is no OS4 to go with it. I believe this is why your survey numbers are down. If you cannot get Hyperion to do the port (too busy, not interested, want money for port, conflicts with current partners projects, etc.) then you have just wasted your energy and money. None of us want that.

Just trying to clarify why you may have had a lack of interest from Amiga user the past month.

Regards
Gnu

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Re: new amigaos hw?
Home away from home
Joined:
2006/11/30 18:43
From Norway
Posts: 2470
@feanor

I must go with gnu on this one,if you get hyperion to port os4 to your planned hw. I believe you will get a lot of sales,because i think then amigaone users will finally replace their machines. And the open design i have little faith in,sorry.

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Re: new amigaos hw?
Just popping in
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2009/10/2 15:52
From Greece
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@Elwood

Could you please clarify? I received quite a number of emails, and it would help if you would be more specific. If you're referring to Hyperion, I intended to do so, IF the numbers were right. If they're not -which they weren't- then there's no point in bothering them about this.

@Gnu

I agree that this is a problem. I have stated my position many times. The powerpc desktop market -of which the Amiga market is just a small subset- is a very small niche market, and in order to have things happen, the users have to get more involved themselves. In this case a simple mail would do a great job. Waiting for a simple poll to end, only to say "I didn't send you an email, but I like the idea" just won't work.

Well, there is another last option to make this happen. Perhaps it will, perhaps it won't. Let's see.

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Re: new amigaos hw?
Quite a regular
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2006/12/2 0:35
From Sydney
Posts: 685
@feanor

Since none of your potential customers (including all OS4 developers here) is capable of porting or running OS4 on your hardware without Hyperion's support, it seems imperative to talk to them and gain their support first. They can help you gauge the market a lot more accurately than anyone here.

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Re: new amigaos hw?
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Hyperion may continue to only support hardware that actually exists and has active hardware support and developer information from the manufacturer. I support them 100% on that choice so far.

They have been approached before by plenty of people who didn't have any alpha or beta stage motherboard. The limited choices of motherboards has not been because Hyperion is not willing, but because most of the hardware products were just vaporware in the end.

Ideas are nice, but it is unwise or impossible to make promises or divert efforts with an operating system into something that most of the time will not be anything more than an idea.

It is also more resource efficient to limit the number of hardware partnerships, so it is possible that Hyperion will make exclusive hardware agreements for specific markets. For example, PDA, notebook, slim desktop, power desktop, server, etc.

If you create a motherboard that fits a market which has not been satisfied yet, and also provide active hardware support and developer information, I believe Hyperion would be happy to develop AmigaOS for it.

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