Gunnar von Boehn
(Apollo Team Member)
25 Oct 2016 06:07
Roadmap Standalone for AMIGA and ATARI
As many of you will know already, we are working right now on our new card layout - which is optimized for mass production.
Based on the same features we will do both cards for all AMIGA models as also new Standalones.
We expect the first bigger batch of these Standalone to receive this year, and plan to be able to start normal sales beginning of next year.
These standalones can be made both AMIGA and ATARI compatible.
In regards of AMIGA/ATARI chipset one could either instantiate already existing and tested chipsets - or we could work together on merging our SAGA chipset with an ATARI chipset.
As already announced some time ago - we will open source SAGA when its done.
In regards of ATARI Testing and TOS hacking, and also Chipset development - we would need some help - as none of us if experienced here.
So if you are an ATARI expert and want to help to make this happen then please contact us on IRC.
We hope that our standalone from its feature set can give a new live to both retro platforms.
While we have no final price yet - our plan is to offer you the highest possible value, most memory, and best performance for the money.
Currently Vampire is a turbo card for Amiga 500/600/2000 and soon 1200. It's based on an FPGA which integrates the Apollo "68080" core at 80-100 Mhz, including 68040 compatible FPU (some instructions which are not used on Amiga missing), MCU (a kind of memory protection unit, not a full MMU and not compatible to 680x0 PMMU and 64 bit "AMMX" instructions for Multimedia. Full PMUU is planned in the far future. The FPGA also in the AMIGA version also contains a SAGA graphics (Super AGA, AGA is the graphics chipset from Amiga 1200/4000, SAGA can have more colors and higher resolutions), it contains SD-Card interface and IDE. The SAGA graphcics is also open for developers to make VDI driver, or replace by some graphics core where VDI driver already exists. The Vampire also is prepared to be an advanced soundcard, the VHDL realisation of this function still misses, this could be for example something like Falcon-Sound...? The Apollo core also contains a kind of "dual bus interface", I think this is one "leg" into the original 68000 socket and one highspeed bus for new peripherials. They already runned EmuTOS on an Amiga 2000 with it, a screenshot shares impressive performance boost compared to a TT in CPU speed. They also did already mechanical test of Vampire 500 to fit in a few ST boards.
Impressive numbers for CPU!
No running test yet, due to lack of ST chipset integration. The Apollo Team needs help here by the ATARI community.
What they really need a re competent peoples who do the integration of ST special chipsets and enhancenemts. The most should be already there, for example SuperVidel, ET4000-VHDL-core, MiST-Viking-card, and so. The board layout already seems to be ready, as I understand unfortunatelly no PC standard formfactor like MiniITX, MicroATX, etc. But not public yet.
The discussion is open now and I hope this will attract developers to join their team and make it running as a Super-ST.