Nintendo 64 and other later Gen Cores

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straddle
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Nintendo 64 and other later Gen Cores

Postby straddle » Thu May 09, 2019 1:50 pm

Apologies if this has already been answered in the past - I only recently discovered the MiSTer project, and am yet to assemble my first build. I notice that Cores have been developed for an amazing range of 16-bit platforms, and a basic PC.

How feasible is it that we might see more advanced cores developed like the Nintendo 64, Playstation or any other later consoles? Is the DE10 Nano theoretically capable of recreating this kind of hardware? What other consoles might it be able to recreate?

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kitrinx
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Re: Nintendo 64 and other later Gen Cores

Postby kitrinx » Thu May 09, 2019 4:35 pm

straddle wrote:Apologies if this has already been answered in the past - I only recently discovered the MiSTer project, and am yet to assemble my first build. I notice that Cores have been developed for an amazing range of 16-bit platforms, and a basic PC.

How feasible is it that we might see more advanced cores developed like the Nintendo 64, Playstation or any other later consoles? Is the DE10 Nano theoretically capable of recreating this kind of hardware? What other consoles might it be able to recreate?


Unlikely. There are several hurtles to overcome, including the volume of FPGA space such systems would take, the rate they would run at, the memory requirements they would have, the floating point operations they require, and most importantly, the enormous amount of R&D that a developer (or team of developers) would have to do to make them work.

The best you will likely see on the current iteration of MiSTer hardware is GBA and *maybe* PS1, but even those are quite far from reality, despite whatever tweets and optimism you may have seen.

Even if you ignore the hardware questions, you also have to ask: What is the advantage of an FPGA implementation on a 3D system that uses a framebuffer already? These systems can leverage modern GPU's to great effect to process and enhance 3d graphics (which arguably need enhancement a lot more than 2d), and with equivalent latency to the original system, unlike older 2d platforms which had no framebuffer. With our current understanding of the systems, does an FPGA even have the capacity to be any more accurate than software, or even equally accurate? The benefits get a lot more fuzzy.

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Re: Nintendo 64 and other later Gen Cores

Postby Sorgelig » Thu May 09, 2019 7:38 pm

In theory N64 is possible, but probably FPGA size of MiSTer won't be enough.

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Re: Nintendo 64 and other later Gen Cores

Postby Dacide » Thu May 09, 2019 9:17 pm

In this video RTL Engineering says that a n64 core "could very tight fits"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QbRuhe7WMQ

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Newsdee
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Re: Nintendo 64 and other later Gen Cores

Postby Newsdee » Fri May 10, 2019 3:07 am

I'd rather see an X68K, PC98, PC-FX, and other big Japanese retro systems on MiSTer before a N64 and PS1 :mrgreen:

Now if only we could get the attention of the Japanese HDL developers...

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Re: Nintendo 64 and other later Gen Cores

Postby srg320 » Fri May 10, 2019 8:21 am

IMHO, the main problem is memory.

N64: one chip 9bit @ 500MHz (inside RSP 64+8bit @ 62MHz).
Saturn: many SDRAM chips >= 2Mbit each, max 28 MHz, but with separate buses (2 chips for CPUs, 5 for VDPs, 1 for sound, 1 for CD cpu).

So, can't do without another additional memory.

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Re: Nintendo 64 and other later Gen Cores

Postby high5 » Fri May 10, 2019 8:22 am

Dacide wrote:In this video RTL Engineering says that a n64 core "could very tight fits"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QbRuhe7WMQ
And in the end of the video he says it will take him at least 3-5 years to finish :?
I would stick to the more short-termed options.

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Re: Nintendo 64 and other later Gen Cores

Postby vanfanel » Fri May 10, 2019 8:45 am

kitrinx wrote:

What is the advantage of an FPGA implementation on a 3D system that uses a framebuffer already? These systems can leverage modern GPU's to great effect to process and enhance 3d graphics (which arguably need enhancement a lot more than 2d), and with equivalent latency to the original system, unlike older 2d platforms which had no framebuffer. With our current understanding of the systems, does an FPGA even have the capacity to be any more accurate than software, or even equally accurate? The benefits get a lot more fuzzy.


This is very, very interesting. I know for sure N64 uses a framebuffer, but does PSX also use one? I guess every 3d-oriented machine does, since the final rasterized frames have to be stored somewhere before being displayed (correct me if I am wrong here).
So, what about PSX and Saturn? If I understand you well, a PSX emulator with a true double buffer scheme (max_swapchain=2 in RetroArch, running on KMS/DRM with a MESA GLES implementation ensures such an scenario), we should get about the same inpug lag we get on a real PSX connected to the same screen, right?
As for the Saturn, would it be the same?
Looking at https://segaretro.org/VDP1_(Saturn), it seems that the Saturn relies on a double buffer scheme to blend the VDP1 and VDP2 graphics, etc, but I do not know how that translates into the video lag domain.

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Re: Nintendo 64 and other later Gen Cores

Postby jemismyname » Sat May 11, 2019 3:06 am

Newsdee wrote:I'd rather see an X68K, PC98, PC-FX, and other big Japanese retro systems on MiSTer before a N64 and PS1 :mrgreen:

Now if only we could get the attention of the Japanese HDL developers...


I keep hearing about a japanese computer called "FM Towns Marty" that looks quite interesting. i would like to see that.

also, i would love to see sega saturn before i would care as much about playstation or N64... mostly due to the fact that Saturn games are completely outrageously expensive on the retro games market

aristogeiton
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Re: Nintendo 64 and other later Gen Cores

Postby aristogeiton » Mon May 13, 2019 11:36 am

So install an ODE or buy a Satiator. Problem solved!

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Re: Nintendo 64 and other later Gen Cores

Postby aristogeiton » Mon May 13, 2019 11:37 am

Or PsuedoSaturn and a burner. Even cheaper!

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Re: Nintendo 64 and other later Gen Cores

Postby jemismyname » Tue May 14, 2019 5:36 am

pseudosaturn, eh? that's very interesting! thanks for that info. I am very likely to purchase a saturn now. i think the japanese consoles are still quite affordable.

I used a lot of pseudoephedrine to play saturn games all night when i was in high school. this will really take me back!

I'd still love to see a mister core, tho...
MiSTer all the things!!!

(although i'm sure saturn is the trickiest 90s console)


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