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AuthorTopic: Amiga in an FPGA : Minimig  (Read 118035 times)

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Offline Dennis

Amiga in an FPGA : Minimig
« on: December 05, 2005, 07:46:06 PM »
Hi all,

My name is Dennis and this is my first post to this forum, although I've been reading it for quite some time. :-)  
I am a long time Amiga user and I've owned an A500 and an A1200 with BPPC/Bvision. My current Amiga is an A3000 with Xsurf, Cybervision/3D and a recently diseased Cyberstorm MKIII. :-(

I am posting now because this forum inspired me to begin the biggest hobby project I have ever done.
Some time ago (january this year) there was a disccussion on this forum about implementing the Amiga custom chips in an FPGA. The more I though about this idea, the more it fascinated me.
So, I bought a Spartan-3 FGPA development board, learned Verilog (after finding out that VHDL was not my cup of tea) and started working on Minimig. Minimig stands for (very originally  :-) ) mini Amiga. My aim with Minimig is to built a complete OCS A500 (with some extra grunt and features like 4Mbyte ram and fast 68000 processor) on a circuit board about the size of a floppy drive. Loading of programs will be done by means of a MMC flash card, which holds the .ADF images of the floppies like a sort of hardware UAE!

I have been working on this for almost a year now and so far I have the OCS Agnus, Paula, OCS Denise and both the CIA's running in the FPGA. The only thing that is missing is sound and keyboard support. All other parts of the chipset are functioning.
It currently runs Worbench and some games like New Year Lemmings quite well although there are still some bugs in the copper and disk controller that prevent other programs to function correctly. I am building this thing mainly for my own challenge, but I was wondering if there would be interest in the community for this kind of machine?

I have uploaded some photo's and screenshots to the assorted hardware forum but they don't show up yet. As soon as they do, I will post some links to them.

Cheers,

Dennis

 

Offline _ThEcRoW

Re: Amiga in an FPGA : Minimig
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2005, 07:57:49 PM »
Cool!!!! I definitely will keep an eye on it.
Where are the photos??
Amiga 1200 desktop. Apollo 030/50 Mhz 8mb ram + ClassicWB + Wb 3.1
Amiga 500 + ACA500Plus + 16gb CF | ECS Power!!!
C64 DTV + Keyboard mod. Waiting for a 1541 disk ve...
Mac Mini G4 1.42Ghz 1gb OSX(tiger)/Morphos 3.7 Registered
C64mini + usb drive with loads of games...
 

Offline KThunder

Re: Amiga in an FPGA : Minimig
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2005, 08:00:46 PM »
sounds extreemly cool. i am very interested. i tried stuff with fpgas before but didnt get very far, i suck at hardware stuff. what fpga are you using?
Oh yeah?!?
Well your stupid bit is set,
and its read only!
(my best geek putdown)
 

Offline FluffyMcDeath

Re: Amiga in an FPGA : Minimig
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2005, 08:01:03 PM »
FPGAs are cool.
Miggy's on FPGAs are cool too.
This sounds veerrrry interesting.
Are you PAL or NTSC (or both, or either)?

And yes, I find the idea of such a machine quite interesting.

And since it's gonna get asked sooner or later ...
Would AGA be addable, or would that be a complete rework?
 

Offline Dennis

Re: Amiga in an FPGA : Minimig
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2005, 08:22:55 PM »
I use a Xilinx Spartan-3 400K gate FPGA. All in all the custom chips (even OCS) are quite complex and at the moment (without the sound) occupy about 60% of the FPGA. The system I am implementing is PAL, but it could easily be converted to NTSC.
AGA: well, to be honest I haven't really thought about that yet. My first goal is to get an OCS system going 99.9% correctly.

Dennis
 

Offline ChaosLord

Re: Amiga in an FPGA : Minimig
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2005, 08:26:46 PM »
YES!  I am interested!!!

However for me to actually want to use it,
it would have to:
1) Actually work
2) Have all AGA features


Yes I agree you should get ECS working first.  That is a good plan.  Its just that AGA came out 13 years ago so that is as retro as I am seriously interested in. :-)

p.s. Getting the sound to work should be ez.
I can explain to you the Amiga sound system in plain English if you like?
Wanna try a wonderfull strategy game with lots of handdrawn anims,
Magic Spells and Monsters, Incredible playability and lastability,
English speech, etc. Total Chaos AGA
 

Offline InTheSand

Re: Amiga in an FPGA : Minimig
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2005, 08:34:58 PM »
Quote

Dennis wrote:
I was wondering if there would be interest in the community for this kind of machine?


Is the Pope Catholic?
Do bears sh*t in the woods?

Of course there will be interest!  :-D  Put me down as another interested person!  :-)

 - Ali
 

Offline Dennis

Re: Amiga in an FPGA : Minimig
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2005, 08:35:07 PM »
@ Chaoslord,

Well, it works! It's a shame the pictures don't show up in the album so I can show it. (How long do they take to show up after uploading?)
As for the sound, I also think that would be relatively easy. I own the 3 Amiga hardware reference manuals which tell 90% of the stuff. The other 10% I will have to find out myself. (Just like with the Blitter, that thing took me 2 months to figure out completely  :crazy: )
 

Offline billt

Re: Amiga in an FPGA : Minimig
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2005, 08:38:32 PM »
Sounds like a fun project to tinker around with. Maybe it could be useful for those who want an Amiga on a PCI card.

Have you thought about possibly having a PCI bus for expansion cards or host computer interfacing? And with a video slot it might be possible to connect a Video Toaster but run the software in an AmigaOne's PPC chip, or have Scala work nicely... I look forward to seeing where this may go.
Bill T
All Glory to the Hypnotoad!
 

Offline xaccrocheur

Re: Amiga in an FPGA : Minimig
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2005, 08:39:59 PM »
Quote

Dennis wrote:
Well, it works! (...)


Man, here, when such a thing happens, we DRINK CHAMPAGNE !
 :pint:  :pint:  :pint:  :pint:
 

Offline amiga4001

Re: Amiga in an FPGA : Minimig
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2005, 08:41:29 PM »
Nice, at least some "new" amiga hardware.
 

Offline uncharted

Re: Amiga in an FPGA : Minimig
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2005, 09:05:00 PM »
Welcome!

Sounds like a great project.  Make sure you keep us all updated.
 

Offline humppa

Re: Amiga in an FPGA : Minimig
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2005, 09:14:40 PM »
Quote
Dennis wrote:
Loading of programs will be done by means of a MMC flash card, which holds the .ADF images of the floppies like a sort of hardware UAE!


That would be great! This is what people are currently missing from the C64DTV.
Flash memory is in fact a great idea - reminds me a bit of the MMC64 (this is how my C64 gets access to a 1GB MMC  :-) )
 

Offline motorollin

Re: Amiga in an FPGA : Minimig
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2005, 09:15:57 PM »
WOW, I hope you realise how pleased the Amiga community will be to hear about your project. Please keep us up to date with your progress!

If this could be redesigned as a PCI card and drivers written for OS4 on the AmigaOne, then I would just soil myself on the spot  :lol: Even so, the chance to own a brand new classic Amiga system is very very exciting!

How are you planning to maufacture and distribute this? (assuming it is more than just a personal project. I can assure people will pay good money for your product).

Great work Dennis!

--
moto

--EDIT
I have just done some quick research to find out what FPGAs are, and from what I understand you actually program the arrangement of the logic gates in the chip. So it's not like a PIC, where you could write code to emulate the Amiga's chips, and compile it to run on a PIC processor chip. You are actually recreating the logic arrangement of the custom chips, right? How is this possible?!?! I thought the plans for the chips were long gone?
Code: [Select]
10  IT\'S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN
20  FOR C = 1 TO 2
30     DA-NA-NAAAA-NAAAA DA-NA-NA-NA-NAAAA
40     DA-NA-NAAAA-NAAAA DA-NA-NA-NA-NA-NA-NAAAAA
50  NEXT C
60  NA-NA-NAAAA
70  NA-NA NA-NA-NA-NA-NAAAA NAAA-NAAAAAAAAAAA
80  GOTO 10
 

Offline Lozza

Re: Amiga in an FPGA : Minimig
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2005, 09:41:03 PM »
Finally!

It's almost a year that I have been planning to do the same but I am not very good at hardware development so I have tried to convince other people to do this kind of stuff, including Amiga Inc., the guys who make the GP2X and others but no answers...

So my idea was very similar: a small portable Amiga compatible device able to either just run all of the games available (there are some very great games for miggy out there so keep it as a retro console) or a bit more sophisticated like a PSP (maybe running workbench).

I would keep it simple and compact (no PCI expansions) nor being itself a PCI card but a battery powered (with also a charger) miggy that you can carry with you.

Qualities:
Small
100% compatible with Amiga software (in ADF format or other)
Running just games or able to boot up Workbench and then run games/software(different flavours i.e. 1.3, 2.0, 3.0)
AGA compatible
6 or 8 switch buttons
Possibility of attaching a keyboard
USB port maybe?
LCD screen integrated

Dream machine:
TV OUT
Integrated mouse pad
Integrated mini keyboard
Recognized on another computer as another drive to move things across (software)
Integrated 56k modem

Since I am a designer, check some of my Amiga stuff at www.loriano.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk
I can help you out with designing the case, let me know.

Great work :-D
Don't give up :-)