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AuthorTopic: General Apollo and Vampire info  (Read 904 times)

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General Apollo and Vampire info
« on: June 16, 2019, 09:06:51 AM »
So there are several old threads that deals with the questions and info about the Apollo and Vampire project.

Instead of tagging a outdated thread, I make my own.

Vampire/Apollo team update;


June’19 Activity Report
Last report didn’t reveal any explosive details but showed we were working quietly on some deep topics to make some more noise later on. This activity report should be a bit different, not as exciting as summer fireworks but more like a summer celebration band warming up under your bedroom window on Sunday morning. Like a fine-tuned orchestra, lots of instruments are coming together to make some wonderful music this summer.
Vampire V1200

Majsta finished the final Vampire 1200 V2 design (note the V2, we will detail it later) with some advice of Claude. Our previous and working prototype required quite some mechanical changes, since Majsta designed blindly without A1200 case for reference (seriously).
We thank Philippe Lang for providing one of his A1200.net case to Majsta to test check mechanical form and function in an actual Amiga 1200 case. In parallel, Majsta was also sent an original Commodore A1200 case for test fitting. Everything is fine now.
A working Vampire 1200 prototype was shown at OufParty booting to Workbench successfully and running applications. It still needs some work to fully communicate with all chips available on the A1200 motherboard but it runs already quite stable. Next step for Majsta will be to order and solder some V1200 test boards for team so we can polish core accordingly and get a release candidate ready.
As AGA is already present in A1200, Vampire 1200 V2 will be shipped with a GOLD2.xx core branch for initial release. This will satisfy most users that still want to have native Amiga output enabled.
Regarding the “V2” numbering, simply put it means that the Vampire 1200 V2 is part of the current V500/V600 family.
Specifications of the final V1200 card will be:
  - Cyclone 3 FPGA
  - 128MB SDRAM
  - 1x Digital Video Out port
  - 2x Expansion ports
  - 1x microSD port
  - 1x Fast IDE port
  - 1x JTAG port
  - 1x IDE/PWR/Reset pins (for tower users)
So yes, the fastest A1200 ever made will soon hit the market and we are aiming at a summer availability through your favorite resellers. I would just warn people about one thing: availability. We are totally aware that demand will be very high and our production speed won’t satisfy it. It won’t come as a surprise that this activity will impact V500 and V600 production for a while. I would advise people interested in purchasing V500 and V600 cards to act fast and declare interest with their resellers so they can forecast sales and receive a batch of V500 and V600’s for their orders.
Vampire V4
Vampire V4 and Apollo Team took a collection for Gunnar to fund the delivery of a large stash of energy drinks direct to his house. Well it looks like he drank a bunch of them since AGA has evolved *a lot* from the GOLD3 Alpha stage. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the folks who played games and sent us bug reports (big shout out to Prosonic who was main contributor outside the team).
AGA game compatibility is a paramount objective but keep in mind we are *not only* doing a 1:1 reimplementation of it, we are also improving it (as we are with every part of the chipset). As of today, we have most of AGA games working and only a small subset of them will require deeper attention.
Our SAGA development is going well and features:
  - DDR memory support
  - PIP (you could watch RiVA full color on a 4-color Workbench 1.3 screen) on both PAL and RTG
  - Copper can now also control RTG screens
  - PAMELA with 8 DMA channels, 8-16bit channels, 24Bit HiFi Mixing
  - Overscan support
We are also super happy to have *the* Reshoot-R game working perfectly on our AGA. For the small story, Reshoot R on V4 debugging was done live at the OufParty in Martigny on a piece of cardboard.

GOLD2.xx core branch is still under active development. It is pretty obvious that future GOLD2.12 releases will match the V1200 release due to their shared use of the Cyclone 3 platform, thus all our Cyclone 3 products will receive ongoing improvements.
A reminder of planned changes:
  - Mouse hotspot and editable hardware RTG sprite support (requires driver update)
  - Auto-turtle mode when game is running in ChipRAM (improves game compatibility)
  - 15-bit PC / 16-bit PC / 32-bit ARG and 32-bit BGR modes support (driver improvement)
  - morelibspace command not required anymore for AfAOS users (saves a reboot)
  - FastIDE also enabled on writes now
GOLD3 is also not forgotten as last year our GOLD3 Alpha for V2 accelerators brought proof of our ongoing work. GOLD3 development should be resumed as soon as we are happy enough with V4 progress and backport V4 changes to GOLD3. It actually makes no sense to backport things now since we are still improving AGA. Indeed, each day spent not developing V4 will delay all other topics.
Final words
Exciting moments are coming in the next weeks and we want to make sure we share every one of them with you. Regarding the price of the coming products, production cost of Vampire 1200 V2 will be a little higher (mainly due to acquiring the non-standard out of production A1200 connector) than the current V2 range. Due to this extra work anyone can understand the card could cost also a bit more too. But still, in V1200’s current development stage, any guess on price might still be wrong until we communicate recommended selling price to resellers.  Any comments read on forums and website are *all* speculative and thus unconfirmed information. Also, when we say summer, don’t distort it to “July”: on this planet, July is a month and not a season.

Offline Niding


Offline Niding

Re: General Apollo and Vampire info
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2019, 09:08:57 AM »

Vampire V4 (overclocked)
Running at x16 == 113 MHz