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Idea of the day - FPGA Amiga on a PCI card (or even a USB stick)
Just popping in
Joined:
2020/11/17 12:08
From Slough
Posts: 180
Here's a thought. Back when AmigaOne computers were new, everyone said, quite rightly, 'they can't be true Amigas with hardware backwards compatibility because they don't have the custom chips'.

Also at that time UAE wasn't yet a thing, or at least, the high quality thing it is now.

The world has changed in 20 years. You can now get an 'Amiga on a chip' as per Minimig, Vampire etc.

But all these implementations either standalone, or plug into a classic Amiga.

Wouldn't it be nice if there was a FPGA on a PCI card version, that one could plug into your PowerPC Amiga, and turn it into a true Amiga that could run a sandbox UAE-type software, but run it at original speed accurately by virtue of using the hardware solution i.e. a kind of hardware UAE.

Thoughts?

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Re: Idea of the day - FPGA Amiga on a PCI card (or even a USB stick)
Just popping in
Joined:
2006/12/8 13:37
From Netherlands
Posts: 103
@NinjaCyborg

Great idea, looks like the never released inside out card. But that one had a cpu added.

You could also use your idea as an aga gfx-card instead of a RadeonHD.


Aren't there any standard fpga on pci card's available?

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Re: Idea of the day - FPGA Amiga on a PCI card (or even a USB stick)
Home away from home
Joined:
2006/11/20 16:26
From Norway
Posts: 2959
@benny

Yes Intel has FPGA that can be plugged into the PCIe slot,

the problem here is that AmigaOS4.1 does not respect CHIP RAM address space, when you allocate memory as CHIP you do not get the correct address space, so you need a change in ExecSG so that it does use correct address space, and then you can trap the custom chip address space, the problem however is that there is no safe way, to say you like to allocate address from X to Y as shared address space, and then trap it, so you can’t trap that range of memory in a safe way. There things hidden in AmigaOS4.1, you can’t always read directly from execbase anymore, you get strange results.

Chipset.library was attempt to make software API, so you peek and poke into a virtual chipset, it works by memory translation to overcome this problem, so if have old program and you have source code, you can peek and poke into chipset.library. note that blitter assembler code is easily changed into system friendly code by using graphic library blit functions.

So the problem you have running old software is mostly Paula, and ciaa and ciab timers/chips.
the cooper is interesting, you easily make interpreter for it, it’s not a complicated instruction set.

Another thing is causing problems, is old programs that open screens by asking for 640x480, but does not define mode id or a pixel format will get chunky screen on AmigaOS4, when it depends on Planar, a small patch can most likely fix that, all we need is true color black list.

Another problem is all fakes modes on AmigaOS4.1 is 640x480, that’s also bad because lot of old programs have hard coded bytes per row, instead checking the bitmap. These programs are not updated, or the maintainer ignores bug reports from AmigaOS4.1 users and developers.

I have gone bit more complicated version of that with BetterFakeMode patch, but It has to take over lot of OS, there is lot hidden structure, that I need, to a make it good, it’s hack, I’m not getting bug report and examples I need to figure out how to do it, in nice way, it will be wary hacky. It be better if OS developers looked into this.

I know AmigaOS4.x was never intended to be emulator, and only went for the minimal support, I think there is room for improvements, this is not criticism of people who made this happen in the first place.

_________________
(NutsAboutAmiga)

Basilisk II for AmigaOS4
AmigaInputAnywhere
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and other tools and apps.
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