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AuthorTopic: IndivisionECS will have dual video output!  (Read 16431 times)

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Offline amigadave

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Re: IndivisionECS will have dual video output!
« Reply #135 on: September 02, 2009, 07:55:33 AM »
Quote from: Schoenfeld;521797
AGA requires quadroupling the data rate, which is pretty much impossible on 2-layer boards without a wider data bus.

AGA reaches twice the data rate with a twice-as-wide data bus and another factor of two with double-CAS accesses (kind of a burst). This would have to be translated into a burst of 4 16-bit words in order to get the data across from the Agnug socket to the Denise socket.

Given the short data-valid-window and the extremely flaky rise/fall times of the chip data bus, such a transfer would be very flaky, if not impossible. It all comes down to making a new mainboard.

In my opinion, you don't really need AGA in everyday life. My A3000 was my favourite Amiga for quite a long time, mainly due to it's compactness and the built-in flickerfixer. I guess this place will be taken by an A500 or A600 now, as it can run without any moving parts (CF card instead of HD, fanless power supply).

Jens

I agree Jens, AGA is not really needed, but I understand the desire of many who always wanted to be able to get AGA working for their A500, A600, A2000 and A3000 Amigas.  Some would even want it for their CDTV and A1000's.  It all goes back to the old Amiga way of doing more with less and keeping old gear working for years and years past any reasonable time it should have been used.  I have plenty of AGA Amigas, so I don't have such a desire to make my ECS Amigas able to run AGA games and programs.  Your IndivisionECS is all the display enhancement I need or want for an A500 & A600 and my big box Amigas all have graphic cards in them.

Thanks again for creating all the great Amiga gear you have produced.  Keep on providing us Amiga fans with new ways to enjoy our hobby.

Any chance that you will complete an 030 accelerator for the A600 that will work with the A603 and IndivisionECS?  That would really get the A600 close to being a replacement for the A3000 you mentioned.  Specially if it could be fitted with a USB controller to connect an external CDRW drive.

Edit: NovaCoder, I think that NatAmi, or an add-on for Jens own C-One computer would be better suited for duplicating and hopefully improving upon the AGA chipset than trying to squeeze it into 2 IndivisionECS boards.  I think the dream of having AGA on any of the old ECS or OCS Amiga models is just that, a Dream or a Fantasy.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2009, 08:09:27 AM by amigadave »
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Offline Kronos

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Re: IndivisionECS will have dual video output!
« Reply #136 on: September 02, 2009, 08:53:24 AM »
Quote from: NovaCoder;521798
Jens,

Excuse my lack of understanding but would it not be possible to link these 2 FPGA addons together externally (an extra data-bus?)


That would work jst as one of those old framebuffer cards (read needs extra drivewr, not suitable for WB use). But you don't need 2 for this as the IndivisionECS allready has an Graffiti-Emulation built in.
1. Make an announcment.
2. Wait a while.
3. Check if it can actually be done.
4. Wait for someone else to do it.
5. Start working on it while giving out hillarious progress-reports.
6. Deny that you have ever announced it
7. Blame someone else
 

Offline Schoenfeld

Re: IndivisionECS will have dual video output!
« Reply #137 on: September 02, 2009, 09:12:55 AM »
Quote from: rebb;521334
Sadly Compact flash card from my cf-ide68k is going over Denise chip. So thinking about building adapter to "move" Denise socket elsewhere, any ideas where to get connectors for flatcable? (Like ones they used in kickstart switchers).


As I wrote before, ribbon cables are a no-go for highspeed designs. Whatever success one might have, it's not guaranteed. I'd like to discourage everyone from using ribbon cables, and encourage some smart mods - grinding down the plastic mounts is a good start, maybe the next steps would be giving the keyboard a slightly steeper angle in order to gain valuable millimeters.

I have attached two more pictures: One that shows how you can remove the additional socket from the bottom of Indivision to further reduce it in height, and the other that's taken from a very flat angle in an A500.

Note that you need to double-check the type of socket in your A500, as some might not have enough room for the chip that's underneath the socket. If all else fails, you could un-solder the old socket from the mainboard and solder in the bottom socket that comes with Indivision, this give the safest contact and the lowest possible profile, still maingaining the "easily removable" property of the product.

Note that with the "extreme low profile"-installation, you have to bend a few parts away. The EMI filters (3-pin disk-like thingies) are very sensitive to bending, the middle pin often breaks away, so you should be ready to drop a glob of solder on it to give it back it's original function.

Jens
 

Offline Schoenfeld

Re: IndivisionECS will have dual video output!
« Reply #138 on: September 02, 2009, 09:24:58 AM »
Quote from: NovaCoder;521798
would it not be possible to link these 2 FPGA addons together externally (an extra data-bus?)


That would be possible if I'd make two new designs: One for the Agnus-socket and another for the Denise socket. Re-using the existing Indivision ECS design would not be an option, as there's neither room, nor IO-pins left for an additional data bus.

Doing two new designs that go together anyway doesn't make sense either, especially with the fairly artificial separation of the Amiga chipset into three chips (granted, they couldn't get the amount of transistors on a single chip back then). So today you'd take a single FPGA, place it into the Agnus socket and do Alice *and* Lisa in there.

However, you still would be limited to a 16-bit data bus from the processor, so one important AGA property - the 7MB per second performance on chipmem - would not be there if you don't own an A3000. If you'd want to reach that, you need to put the CPU directly on that AGA-card as well, resulting in "almost an A1200" on that expansion board that's mounted in the flaky 84-pin socket. In other words: We're back to a new motherboard.

Jens
 

Offline Louis Dias

IndivisionECS will have dual video output!
« Reply #139 on: September 02, 2009, 01:50:38 PM »
Quote from: amigadave;521779
Sorry Red and everyone else.  I just get riled up sometimes and have to respond to some of the bullsh!+ that gets spouted around here from time to time.



I think a softcore AGA for FPGA is still a ways off from being completed, but maybe some day what you are asking for will be possible.

I don't doubt that some would want AGA for their A500/A1000/A2000/CDTV, but for me, I think I would just rather use my A1200 and/or CD32.


I'm pretty sure the Natami team have already done this  (AGA softcore)...
...
...
...
But remember, they have noooooooo idea what they are doing...and Jens should never collaborate with them...because, you know, their current jobs gives them ZERO credibility...
 

Offline jj

Re: IndivisionECS will have dual video output!
« Reply #140 on: September 02, 2009, 02:15:59 PM »
Think the difference is that Jens has produced many things.  Where as the natami team have actually produced just dreams and talk
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Offline cv643d

Re: IndivisionECS will have dual video output!
« Reply #141 on: September 02, 2009, 03:32:03 PM »
Quote from: CountRaven;521699
Do we really need this card to plug a classic machine on a TV? I do not think so.... Why not use an RGB 2 Scart cable or something similar?


I have been thinking about the RGB cable too since the RGB cable gives very crisp output, but as I understood the image on a 50" plasma which have VGA input is going to look better from an Indivision than from an A500 with an RGB cable connected to it?

I do not know how TV's work but LCD/Plasma scale the image to fit the resolution of the TV, and sometimes this scaling can look bad.
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Offline Schoenfeld

Re: IndivisionECS will have dual video output!
« Reply #142 on: September 02, 2009, 04:34:03 PM »
Quote from: cv643d;521847
I have been thinking about the RGB cable too since the RGB cable gives very crisp output, but as I understood the image on a 50" plasma which have VGA input is going to look better from an Indivision than from an A500 with an RGB cable connected to it?

I do not know how TV's work but LCD/Plasma scale the image to fit the resolution of the TV, and sometimes this scaling can look bad.

First of all, not all TVs support the 15khz horizontal/50Hz vertical frequency that an Amiga sends out. Although these are the frequencies that have been used for TV for decates, some "modern" TVs require PC frequencies at their RGB input. If your TV supports these low TV frequencies on the PC input, you're lucky and a basic display is possible without Indivision ECS.

You might still want to think about an Indivision, there is a number of advantages:

- scanline emulation
If you really plan on using your Amiga on a modern Plasma TV, you don't see the classic scanlines that a lot of games are designed for. Games mostly look better if you watch them on a CRT, but the flicker and radiation makes it a fairly unhealthy experience to your eyes. Modern displays are a lot better for your eyes, but you're trading the classic look. Indivision even gives you the classic look on a moden display.

- proper de-interlacing
Some TVs do de-interlace, which is mostly called "100Hz technology" in Europe. However, they often use comb-filters on top of that, which distorts certain pictures that are pretty normal on an Amiga workbench. Indivision AGA leaves the image unchanged and sends it to the display exactly the way it was sent from the computer.

- Graffiti built-in
Maybe not the killer-application, but it increases the number of colours on a lores screen. Programs that are written for the Graffiti will display the correct gfx instead of the broken-looking command&pixel data that would be displayed on a normal TV

- HighGFX support
HighGFX is a package that adds more screenmodes to your Amiga, but it does it at a price: Sync frequencies are extremely off the standard, and only a small amount of true multisync monitors can really display these modes. With Indivision ECS, the output frequency is always at VGA levels or higher, so the probability of a good display will be increased by magnitudes.

- PAL output at 62.5Hz
If your TV is an NTSC product, it may have a minimum vertical frequency of 60Hz, just like many PC monitors have. Unfortunately, many games and demos on the Amiga are switching to PAL, mostly un-noticed by the user if they used a 1084 monitor before. If you're trying to give a PAL signal to an NTSC TV, you will most probably see a "mode not supported" (or similar) warning, if you see a warning at all. Indivision ECS has a mode where the output frequency is not just twice as high (as it has been on other flickerfixers for the past 18 years), but 2.5 times higher. This results in 39kHz horizontal and 62.5Hz vertical frequency, which is well within the range of most monitors and TVs with PC input. Although this is asyncronous to the Amiga's vertical blank, tearing effects are fairly low due to the syncronisation between the pictures. If your TV supports 50Hz, you can even de-grade to the classic "x2" flickerfixer type and have no tearing at all (provided that your TV doesn't introduce tearing on it's own).

- ECS Denise built-in
Last but not least, you upgrade your computer if you don't already own a Hires Denise (the ECS Denise). Even if you only have an ECS Agnus, but an OCS Denise, the computer will find an ECS Denise and offer you the new screenmodes associated with ECS, such as productivity and S-Hires modes. Productivity may not be all that interesting, as it was an attempt to get around the flickerfixer problem (which is solved by Indivision anyway), but S-Hires gives you quite some resolution on the workbench - ever seen 1280 by 512 pixels flicker-free on an almost-unmodded Amiga? Note that the ECS modes will only be dispalyed correctly on the Indivision output. While the 23-pin RGB output remains active, it will display garbage in a setup where you use an ECS screenmode with an OCS Denise.

We even have more in the works, but that's nothing I can reveal at this point. It's not yet clear if we can really have these features in the product, but I'll keep you updated here. The hardware is final, and while Oliver keeps developing, I have launched production today: All parts have been confirmed and PCB production has been started. If all goes well, assembly will be done during the last week of this month.

Jens
« Last Edit: September 02, 2009, 04:37:36 PM by Schoenfeld »
 

Offline kolla

Re: IndivisionECS will have dual video output!
« Reply #143 on: September 02, 2009, 05:09:56 PM »
Supergreat!

So... now you have time for a CD32 clockport adapter? :)
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Offline Schoenfeld

Re: IndivisionECS will have dual video output!
« Reply #144 on: September 02, 2009, 05:44:23 PM »
Quote from: kolla;521860
Supergreat!

So... now you have time for a CD32 clockport adapter? :)


Unfortunately, that has never been on my todo-list. I have to finish Chameleon for the C64, and I also need to work on a huge non-retro project.

Jens
 

Offline bloodline

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Re: IndivisionECS will have dual video output!
« Reply #145 on: September 02, 2009, 08:07:52 PM »
Quote from: Schoenfeld;521856

We even have more in the works, but that's nothing I can reveal at this point. It's not yet clear if we can really have these features in the product, but I'll keep you updated here. The hardware is final, and while Oliver keeps developing, I have launched production today: All parts have been confirmed and PCB production has been started. If all goes well, assembly will be done during the last week of this month.

Jens

:D: good luck Jens, and well done for all your hard work!




p.s. I'm still waiting for the big one ;)

Offline cv643d

Re: IndivisionECS will have dual video output!
« Reply #146 on: September 02, 2009, 10:34:43 PM »
Great info, great product, service and feedback, as usual!

I am falling off my chair with excitement when I speculate what we might be able to do with Clone-A since a simple scandoubler has so many functions! :)
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Offline redrumloa

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Re: IndivisionECS will have dual video output!
« Reply #147 on: September 02, 2009, 11:23:31 PM »
Quote from: Schoenfeld;521865
Unfortunately, that has never been on my todo-list. I have to finish Chameleon for the C64, and I also need to work on a huge non-retro project.

Jens

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Offline alexh

Re: IndivisionECS will have dual video output!
« Reply #148 on: September 02, 2009, 11:35:35 PM »
What affect (if any) does the scan-rate conversion have on the smoothness of the scrolling?

Does the VGA cable provided reach the spot on the rear of an A500(+) below the floppy drive where it is suitable to drill a hole?

As the IndivisionECS is a re-creation of the Denise chip in an FPGA, what are the prizes for finding the first bugs? :)

(I'm sure it is upgradable, right?)
« Last Edit: September 03, 2009, 12:11:29 AM by alexh »
 

Offline NovaCoder

Re: IndivisionECS will have dual video output!
« Reply #149 on: September 03, 2009, 12:10:48 AM »
Quote from: Schoenfeld;521856

- Graffiti built-in
Maybe not the killer-application, but it increases the number of colours on a lores screen. Programs that are written for the Graffiti will display the correct gfx instead of the broken-looking command&pixel data that would be displayed on a normal TV


I'd missed this before, this is actually quite interesting.  A few PC conversions already exist that support Graffiti so it might be possible that you could run (for example) DOOM better on a little A600 that you could on a standard A1200 using the IndivisionECS.

Any chance you could also add Graffiti support to the IndivisionAGA with an FPGA update or would it require a new model?
« Last Edit: September 03, 2009, 12:13:41 AM by NovaCoder »
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