Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Amiga Kit Amiga Store Hollywood MAL AMIStore App Store A600 Memory

AuthorTopic: Individual Computers Announces Clone-A Project  (Read 8329 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline AJCopland

Re: Individual Computers Announces Clone-A Project
« Reply #90 on: October 16, 2006, 09:28:58 PM »
Ah so i guessed right it is for an investment / ASIC implementation point of view. Cool! It makes sense to have everything on a single FPGA including the CPU, in addition to the reasons you give, why bother going over an external bus to the CPU when it can be right there on chip. As well as needing less board space for two chips.

I think that for a commercial product you're obviously going in the right direction. Though i'm thinking that i'll probably buy one of your Clone-A's to have in my living room hooked upto the big TV and loaded with most of my games.

I'll then have the MiniMig for the tinkering, hacking and learning VHDL / Verilog stuff.

Thanks for replying Jens.

Offline cv643d

Re: Individual Computers Announces Clone-A Project
« Reply #91 on: October 16, 2006, 10:41:23 PM »
I think it is a bit sad to see so much bashing when a positive new product like this emerges.

I do not really understand what there is to critique, bash or why write technical comments the length of an essay finding faults, disucussing technical matters not important to general end users of the product or bashing the developers. Why cant some people just keep a more positive attitude.

IMHO the Clone-A is a fantastic announcement and I suggest the developers of it to not look here at the negative comments or do look here at the negative comments and try to convert them into something positive instead. :-)

Looking forward to the finished product!
Amiga articles
"New shell. It was finished a while back, but I still see bugs, haha" - SSolie
 

Offline redrumloa

  • Original Omega User
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Join Date: Feb 2002
  • Posts: 10126
  • Total likes: 0
Re: Individual Computers Announces Clone-A Project
« Reply #92 on: October 16, 2006, 10:45:04 PM »
@Jens

How about building the Clone-A into a Commodore 64/128 expansion cart? That way C= users would have a hardware Amiga emulator?  :-D
Someone has to state the obvious and that someone is me!
 

Offline jen-ss

Re: Individual Computers Announces Clone-A Project
« Reply #93 on: October 17, 2006, 02:37:34 AM »
Three...Two...One... Breathe.


@Schoenfeld (no trailing ' t', sorry about that..):

Quote

It's also funny to see how many people all of a sudden become hardware experts ... Saved 75% in this example, which is NOT representative.


Even though you seem to understand the physics of an intelligent design (hardware/software), you still argue that a 100% cycle exact re-implementation of the Amiga chip set will in fact aid in creating a smaller design. A smaller design is the direct result of an intelligent design process and NOT that of a 100% cycle exact re-implementation. I am completely flabbergasted about you even proposing such a thing when you your self give a perfect example of intelligent design & programming in action (your approach on the comparator issue). Especially as you are so bold as to utter harsh word about it being funny that people all of a sudden become hardware experts just because "hardware' can be produced by writing Verilog. That was a definite 'under the belt' blow. There is no reason to become all personal now Mr 'hardware expert', is there? ;-) Let's just stick to fact and leave fiction be.


Quote

I am all for your claim to have people make up their own mind about things. In turn, you should feed them with the correct information, and not just with your way to see the world.


I am glad that you are supportive of my quest to get people to evaluate the information they receive from others. I can assure you that I am trying my best to feed people with all the 'untainted' information that I can get my hands on. From your perspective it might look like I am enjoying a complete Jens Schoenfeld (look, not trailing 't' again, I am finally starting to get the hang of it!) bashing fest; which is not the case. I am not looking to start any personal vendetta or unnecessary problem with you or anyone for that matter. I am however looking to feed people raw facts to the best of my abilities and try and review every bit of information before I post. I am still only human, but then again; so are you! And if there is one lesson that time has taught us, then it's that ALL humans make mistakes. I find it shameful that people (generally that could be classified as loyal followers of which you have many) believe almost everything you say to be fact -period-, even though this isn't always the case. I wish that they all would carefully scrutinize all information perceived. There's no pain in that, is there?


Quote

The 68K in an FPGA is necessary to have an Amiga-on-a-chip. Buying the processor is not an option if you're making it a toy - that would be too expensive. Having the processor in the same chip will save a ton of money.


Yes, definitely. An FPGA implementation of the 68k would save something in the region of three euros per board. It amounts to considerable $avings!


Quote

Having the 68K CPU inside the chip has advantages that are geared towards getting risk capital:

- less hardware cost
- less problems in getting the hardware (only one manufacturer of silicon)
- less money to spend on patching games (that is: no money!)


You will find that I agree with you on the first two points. I don't quite understand #3 however. Am I correct in assuming that you mean to say that using an original 68k, be it a physical one or it's FPGA re-implementation, will save you on patching games all together in the sense of the games being 100% compatible, or am I overlooking something here?  


Quote

If you want somebody to spend a seven-digit amount on this project, you have to have something really convincing. The Amiga chip set itself, including memory, might be about as much as a 68000 CPU that you're buying from Freescale, and still, it would not be cycle-accurate: The 68HC000 has slightly different timings than the original 68000 processor on a few instructions. Some games don't like that, they require the exact amount of cycles.


I sometimes ask my self if you know what you are talking about, just like I did when I read the piece of text quoted above. As I recalled it, the 68HC000's functioning was identical to that of the 68000. I looked it up, just in case I was wrong, and was shocked, flabbergasted an quite frankly blown away at the same time, to find that you're telling STORIES again! Check it out: http://www.freescale.com/files/shared/doc/selector_guide/SG1001.pdf on page number 7, under MC68HC000. The 'additional information' field states; and I quote: "Complete pin and timing MC68000 compatibility with a tenth of the power dissipation".
Aside from the fact that the MC68HC000 listed in the brochure does not come as a DIP, the timing should still be identical (completely compatible) as the packaging has absolutely nothing to do with timings. How nasty is that? You should really get your facts straight Herr Schoenfeld.

Anyway... a more important matter; I am guessing that even if these timing discrepancy would exist, they wouldn't really matter because, and I quote you yet again:
 
Quote
Some people asked if re-implementing the 68K would violate any patents. It would not, because it's running in my own microcode engine. There's a software layer in between that emulates the 68K. The microcode engine is geared towards cycle-exact emulation - most instructions must be slowed down for the processor to be cycle-accurate.


... because of the magical 'microcode engine' and an original 68k emulating software layer. Am I right? Left? Right... patents? I won't even attempt to go there and presume you have all ready done your fair share of homework and lawyer consultations; more than I have done anyway. :-)

May I ask where you are 'sourcing' the 68k FPGA implementation code from? Would it be from opencores.org? I am assuming that you are not going to waste precious development time/money and resources on designing your own 68k implementation from scratch. Oh, and I definitely would like to hear more about your microcode engine if you care to share with me!. I can't quite envision what it is/does and how it works so I would fancy an all-over... I am guessing that more people might just be as interested as I am.


Herr Schoenfeld, I salute you and await you're reply. :-)



@AJCopland:

Quote

No wonder everyone gives up and leaves the Amiga if we flame everyone who does anything like this.


If WE flame? So we're flaming now? How sad is that...



@cv643d:

Quote

I think it is a bit sad to see so much bashing when a positive new product like this emerges.

I do not really understand what there is to critique, bash or why write technical comments the length of an essay finding faults, discussing technical matters not important to general end users of the product or bashing the developers. Why cant some people just keep a more positive attitude.


I find that it is good to scrutinize everything, and I mean EVERYTHING. Especially when it comes to new products because it generally ensures some form of quality. Even though not all the 'general end users' are interested in- or have the capability to follow up on the 'technical matters', they're still equally important and never cease to exist. And if I didn't have a positive attitude I would probably of never posted anything to begin with. I enjoy the technical tidbits oh so much! :-)



jen-ss (Sander) signing off. Thanks!
 

Offline Dr_Righteous

Re: Individual Computers Announces Clone-A Project
« Reply #94 on: October 17, 2006, 03:38:39 AM »
@Schoenfeld

Thunderous applause to you Jens, again I say you rock!

Obviously your focus is the eventual move to a Mini-ITX based system, which is totally killer (tho I hope a full ATX design is also in the plans)...

But have you considered possible improvements to the "drop in" chipset? An upgrade perhaps to the chips in existing OCS/ECS systems? I'm sure there are numerous improvements to performance that can be made.
- Doc

A4000D, A3640 OC-36.3MHz, custom tower, Mediator A4000D. Diamond Banshee 16M, Indivision AGA 4000, GVP HC+8.

Mac Mini 1.5GHz, that might run MorphOS someday, when the fools who own it come to the realization that 30 minutes just isn\'t enough time to play with it enough to decide whether or not you like it enough to cough up $200.

 - Someone please design SOME kind of DIY accelerator for the A4000. :D -
 

Offline Schoenfeld

Re: Individual Computers Announces Clone-A Project
« Reply #95 on: October 17, 2006, 09:48:12 AM »
Sander:

You demand to be polite to each other, yet you're claiming that I'm telling "stories" about the 68HC000 processor having different timing compared to the NMOS 68000.

I will *not* elaborate on the details, as this would give others valuable hints on where to debug their designs. You're free to get back to me with a request for a program that runs on a real Amiga and on Clone-A, but not on an Amiga that uses the 68HC000. Clone-A will be demonstrated at more shows, and you'll surely be at one of them, right?

The real world is different from what datasheets promise. If a datasheet is talking about "same timing", it probably talks about the same bus timing. I won't question that, but if you're talking about timing in computer terms, it's like you're talking screws in cars. A Mercedes will surely use the same screw as a Volkswagen in some spot, but it still does not make them the same. You have to specify *what* screw, which also applies to "timing" in computer terms: Bus timing? Instruction timing? IRQ timing? I was talking about the number of cycles that an instruction takes, and there's a difference on the HC000 that the datasheet does not cover. Hardly anyone will notice, and if one will and reports the error to Freescale, they will ignore it. I have written extensive eMails to Freescale because I found a bad error in the 68030 manual, but they're all unanswered as of today.

Patents: I did that research in 2002 before I started putting money into the C-One. Laws have not changed since then. The 68000 is a microcode engine, and it's known what's in there: Patented code is public as you may know. However, that microcode engine is totally different from mine, the patented code does not even run on my engine. This is nothing I can demonstrate yet, but again, you seem to be the kind of guy who does not forget, so please get back to me when I'm ready to prove what I'm claiming here.

You're saying that everyone should make up their own mind, yet, you're quoting a single source and claim that it's the truth. You're right that it's the vendor (or at least the company that came after), but this also shows that you have never worked with datasheets to an extent where you encounter errors in the documentation. At the risk of repeating myself: If you don't know all the details, you know nothing.
It's fairly common that chips don't exactly behave the way you'd expect them to behave if you read the datasheet. I started learning about that when I made my first commercial design (the Graffiti), and it continues through all my other designs.

Speaking of experience, I have no idea who I am talking to. Let us know what designs you have done so far, or if you're the Wildstar-kind-of-guy that likes to talk BS to keep others talking. So far, we've seen nice rhetoric and only technical half-truths from you.

The rhetorics remind me of a teacher from California who has too much spare time... No insult, I'm just trying to find out who you are because you claim we met in Maarssen.

Jens Schönfeld
 

Offline Schoenfeld

Re: Individual Computers Announces Clone-A Project
« Reply #96 on: October 17, 2006, 01:17:11 PM »
Dr_Righteous:

I will not make a drop-in chipset for old boards. The small boards are only for debugging the design. The fact that they're sitting in an A500 does not imply that I'll be making an A500-like machine. The chipset of the Amiga has been (almost) the same from A1000 to A3000, and like I said in the interview, the step to AGA is almost none.

Increasing performance would also mean to use faster memory chips. Most A500+ models have 60 to 70ns memory, so a double-CAS access seems possible, but that will not be enough to do AGA. You'd have to replace all chips and make a new data path towards the accelerator. That's actually more than a new mainboard, so we better forget about that.

Jens Schönfeld
 

Offline bonkers

Re: Individual Computers Announces Clone-A Project
« Reply #97 on: October 17, 2006, 02:06:42 PM »
Thanks a lot for this, most exciting news since ... well I guess since the a4k was released. For me this is much more interesting then Pegasos or A1. Owning quite a few Individual Computer products that all works brilliant so I'm sure this one would be of the same very high quality.

Ideally for me I would love to have a 060/AGA board (with a clockport for USB) that could simply replace my current setup for demo-dev.
Money is just paper but good demos last forever.
Choose Life , Choose Scene
 

Offline Dennis

Re: Individual Computers Announces Clone-A Project
« Reply #98 on: October 17, 2006, 08:12:06 PM »
Wow, this thread is certainly living up to what I have come to expect of a typical Amiga discussion. How I miss the days of c.s.a.a.  :-(
Anyway, I would like to add a little to the technical side of the disccussion:

@Hans_ / Jen-SS
Minimig is in fact internally split up in an Agnus,Denise,Paula,Gary and even an Amber module(for the scandoubler  :-D ). It was the easiest way to do it as you need to reconstruct the bus-timing in some way in order to be cyle-accurate enough for games/demos. In the Amiga chipset, Denise and Paula are relativily "dumb", that is, they behave just like a bunch of registers and do not have any DMA generators. They just sit and wait to be addressed and supplied with data by Agnus. Information is therefore one-way only; Agnus->Denise/Paula (or more precisely RAM->Denise/Paula). The exception to this is that Paula can reset some pointers in Agnus by asserting the dmal line which in fact also exists in Minimig. Agnus is the most complicated chip and generates all addresses and DMA transfers. Agnus is also the chip that contains the copper and blitter coprocessors.

@Jens
You say the 68HC000 has different execution timings for some instructions than the original 68000. If so, they are not documented anywhere by motorola/freescale. Why I believe you (why would you lie?), I do not believe it would break a lot of games. The Minimig uses an MC68SEC000 which doesn't even have an 'E' clock and still it runs *every* game I tried without patching, in any case enough for a joystick toy.
 

Offline mr_a500

Re: Individual Computers Announces Clone-A Project
« Reply #99 on: October 17, 2006, 09:26:26 PM »
Quote
jen-ss wrote:
I find that it is good to scrutinize everything, and I mean EVERYTHING.


I have scrutinized your posts and have come to the conclusion (how shall I put this to avoid violating the posting guideline regarding personal attack... oh yes attack the post, not the person) your posts are the posts of an obnoxious twit.

You need to learn some manners. You can easily disagree with someone without being rude and insulting. When you were a baby and your mother offered you a candy, did you say "You obviously know nothing about candy. Can you explain to me why you gave me a green candy when orange is obviously the best??"

@Jens

Please don't let the ramblings of a few rude people put you off your valuable Amiga work. I'm sure there are hundreds (thousands?) who are very grateful for your (and Oliver and Dennis') efforts. :-)

Offline jen-ss

Re: Individual Computers Announces Clone-A Project
« Reply #100 on: October 17, 2006, 09:52:04 PM »
First of all, let me state that I have absolutely no interest on revealing any personal and/or professional details on my self that could possibly indiscriminate my person (be used against me). I am however professionally involved in the field of engineering (electrical/mechanical) and currently specialize in the development of advanced autonomous control systems. This is as far as I can go because of the serious repercussions I would face if I would reveal any information considered classified. Don't worry, I don't expect you to understand.

No, as a matter of fact. I don't think I would be attending any of your (recent) Clone-A demonstrations. I have no reason to believe that what you want to achieve is impossible and will await the finished product patiently. :-)


Quote

The real world is different from what datasheets promise. If a datasheet is talking about "same timing", it probably talks about the same bus timing. I won't question that, but if you're talking about timing in computer terms, it's like you're talking screws in cars. A Mercedes will surely use the same screw as a Volkswagen in some spot, but it still does not make them the same. You have to specify *what* screw, which also applies to "timing" in computer terms: Bus timing? Instruction timing? IRQ timing? I was talking about the number of cycles that an instruction takes, and there's a difference on the HC000 that the datasheet does not cover. Hardly anyone will notice, and if one will and reports the error to Freescale, they will ignore it. I have written extensive eMails to Freescale because I found a bad error in the 68030 manual, but they're all unanswered as of today.


Jens, calm down. Every respectable engineer knows that data sheets should not be taken for granted. Actually the 68000 vs 68HC000 compatibility issue has just as little to do with data sheets as it has to do with screws in cars. Fact is that even if there was an obvious timing discrepancy, Freescale would be compelled to denote it's existence as their processors are used in many application critical applications, both commercially as well as government operated. Fact is that if there really is any actual timing discrepancy (I have reason to doubt the validity of your accusations), they would be well with in normal 68000 operating limits so that the two processors can exist interchangeably. Face it.

Why is is that Dennis is using a  68SEC000, which is an embedded processor that has does actually differ to the original 68k, and doesn't seem to be experiencing any problems running OCS software? This, I am sorry to say, leads me to conclude that your claims are in fact flawed and probably no more than a part of an elaborate marketing technique that you employ to trap investors. I sure hope that the latter is not fact.


Do you know what is starting to annoy me more than having to argue about technical tidbits?

Quote

You're saying that everyone should make up their own mind, yet, you're quoting a single source and claim that it's the truth. You're right that it's the vendor (or at least the company that came after), but this also shows that you have never worked with datasheets to an extent where you encounter errors in the documentation. At the risk of repeating myself: If you don't know all the details, you know nothing.
It's fairly common that chips don't exactly behave the way you'd expect them to behave if you read the datasheet. I started learning about that when I made my first commercial design (the Graffiti), and it continues through all my other designs.

Speaking of experience, I have no idea who I am talking to. Let us know what designs you have done so far, or if you're the Wildstar-kind-of-guy that likes to talk BS to keep others talking. So far, we've seen nice rhetoric and only technical half-truths from you.

The rhetorics remind me of a teacher from California who has too much spare time... No insult, I'm just trying to find out who you are because you claim we met in Maarssen.


The fact that you are bestowing extremely blatant remarks upon me is just plain childish. You are very bold indeed when it comes to telling people that you mean no insult after having spoken nothing else but insults and you seem to have an ego problem. I once thought more of you Jens Schoenfeld, but this is just plain outrageous. If this is the level you wish to proceed at, then you are wasting my time and I am done talking with you.


Have a nice evening.
 

Offline cv643d

Re: Individual Computers Announces Clone-A Project
« Reply #101 on: October 17, 2006, 10:47:05 PM »
The drama  :lol:

You know jen-ss I agree fully to the mr A500 poster. You could have posted your posts in a more gracefully way and not in such an agressive way, almost attacking a person. Not to say I am attacking you right now, I don't so please do not missunderstand me. But europeans sometime have a hard time understanding what is irony, what is serious, and what is a joke in an english text or forum post. I can somewhat relate to that sometimes since I am from europe. That is why it is so important to be very humble when writing posts in foreign languages. Like I write now.

I think that is maybe what has happened. You wrote you long detailed essay like post in a good mood and though that the readers would read your post in the same mood as you wrote it. Instad we felt a bad mood in your post and though you where negative towards this project and the developer. :angry:
Amiga articles
"New shell. It was finished a while back, but I still see bugs, haha" - SSolie
 

Offline B00tDisk

  • VIP / Donor - Lifetime Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Join Date: Dec 2002
  • Posts: 1670
  • Total likes: 1
    • http://www.thedelversdungeon.com
Re: Individual Computers Announces Clone-A Project
« Reply #102 on: October 18, 2006, 01:36:46 AM »
I just want to say something here regardless of any bruised feelings that some folks may or may not have and that is this: if or when this new project ever sees the light of day, providing it's an evolutionary step forward I *will* invest in one.
Back away from the EU-SSR!
 

Offline neon32

Re: Individual Computers Announces Clone-A Project
« Reply #103 on: October 18, 2006, 01:49:30 AM »
Man, you get some weird people in the Amiga community.  :-)
 

Offline CodeSmith

Re: Individual Computers Announces Clone-A Project
« Reply #104 on: October 22, 2006, 08:48:47 AM »
Quote
This is as far as I can go because of the serious repercussions I would face if I would reveal any information considered classified.

Remember kids, it's not paranoia if they really are out to get you...