Apollo Team announces developing of Vampire standalone version to run as AMIGA and ATARI ST

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Re: Apollo Team announces developing of Vampire standalone version to run as AMIGA and ATARI ST

Postby 1st1 » Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:17 pm

alexh wrote:The open source license agreements for MiniMig and Suska (while different) are both of the kind which prevent their source being used in closed source projects. The Apollo team will have to "start again" or secure new license agreements. Or perhaps use two FPGA's on their stand alone versions.


Why? Have you ever compiled code for an FPGA? DId you see that you have to limk it with modules provided by Altera/Intel/... to make something working? Are these modules open source? No!

Coldfire is not open source. 68000-68060 are not open source. But you accept this with Firebee, you accept it by using ST/STE/TT/Falcon/Amiga/... Not even original TOS (or AMiga OS) is Open Source.

So what's the problem when Apollo core is closed, as long it is well documented that you can program it, or you can include it into your own FPGA design. The sourrounding SAGA-VHDL-Chipset is opensource, SuperVidel is opensource, so it's fine to marry them.

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Re: Apollo Team announces developing of Vampire standalone version to run as AMIGA and ATARI ST

Postby 1st1 » Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:29 pm

Sorgelig wrote:1) it will be closed source
2) rocket high price with relatively cheap components. (250EUR for low-cell Cyclone III with couple RAM chips and connectors???)
3) a lot of moaning and cry "oh, we don't want it factory assembled, so we will do this by hands 1pc per week. Please stand in line, and may be 1 year later you will get it."


1. It needs to stay closed source to protect investor's money. Investor doesn't want that other commercial projects copy Apollo. But community teams can get ready 68080 core if they want. Such peoples get support by Apollo team.
2. FPGA is expensive. But Investor gives money to develop ASIC. ASIC is cheap in production, maybe you will get 1 GHz Apollo for 10 Dollars in the future!?!? But developping the ASIC is something what hobbyists can not affored, several millions of dollareuros.
3. don't worry. Vampire turbo card is under redesign for mass production. And standalone board version also will be made for mass production. We'll get very affordable and fast Amiga and ST compatible machines. Don't worry, be happy.

The problem is, you judge it dead before it appears. It will happen, with or without you. And then you will love it.
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Re: Apollo Team announces developing of Vampire standalone version to run as AMIGA and ATARI ST

Postby mfro » Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:29 pm

1st1 wrote:... Or think about embedded computers using 68k for controlling machines, cars, airplanes, ... The Apollo could be a processor for all of this.


Nonsense.

Nobody will use an 150€ FPGA as microcontroller when you can achieve the same speed and functionality (with a much better toolset available, lots of additional functions on the chip and a huge developer community) with a 10€ ARM SoC.

This is really only for us crazy retro freaks...

Btw. I don't think I'd want to hop on a plane or drive a car that depends on the work quality of a bunch of leisure time Amiga retro hackers ;)

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Re: Apollo Team announces developing of Vampire standalone version to run as AMIGA and ATARI ST

Postby leech » Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:54 pm

Why not? people drive cars with embedded windows devices that crash. An Amiga hacked into one would probably be more stable. :lol:
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Re: Apollo Team announces developing of Vampire standalone version to run as AMIGA and ATARI ST

Postby Eero Tamminen » Thu Nov 03, 2016 9:28 pm

1st1 wrote:So what's the problem when Apollo core is closed, as long it is well documented that you can program it, or you can include it into your own FPGA design. The sourrounding SAGA-VHDL-Chipset is opensource, SuperVidel is opensource, so it's fine to marry them.


Alexh was commenting just on the license incompatibility. You cannot legally combine things which have incompatible licenses.

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Re: Apollo Team announces developing of Vampire standalone version to run as AMIGA and ATARI ST

Postby Faucon2001 » Thu Nov 03, 2016 9:47 pm

Remember that a lot of industrial automation equipments are still working with 68k. And the issue is that this material is not only obsolete but there is no replacement or way to upgrade them. Doing a complete change of automation system cost a hell of money, not only on equipment but also in development, without talking of the ramp up risk you take when you deal with complexe automation processes. If you propose a solution to upgrade these setups, recycling previous development you will find a good niche market, interesting enough for a company to invest. And believe me, at these level of investment, the cost of the proc is really a detail.
I believe that's what Gunnar investors are targeting, not cellphone nor car nor TV set nor other personal computer stuff, nor vintage computing.
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Re: Apollo Team announces developing of Vampire standalone version to run as AMIGA and ATARI ST

Postby mfro » Fri Nov 04, 2016 6:26 am

Faucon2001 wrote:Remember that a lot of industrial automation equipments are still working with 68k. And the issue is that this material is not only obsolete but there is no replacement or way to upgrade them. Doing a complete change of automation system cost a hell of money, not only on equipment but also in development, without talking of the ramp up risk you take when you deal with complexe automation processes. If you propose a solution to upgrade these setups, recycling previous development you will find a good niche market, interesting enough for a company to invest. And believe me, at these level of investment, the cost of the proc is really a detail.
I believe that's what Gunnar investors are targeting, not cellphone nor car nor TV set nor other personal computer stuff, nor vintage computing.


If we're talking about industrial automation, it's most likely not exactly m68k but CPU32 (the embedded m68k line). Very similar, but not the same. These chips are still available as spares from Freescale (NXP, Qualcomm, whatever they might call themselves right now). If anybody needs a replacement, they'd probably rather take the genuine part.

If this would be the target market, there would be no sense in an accelerated architecture (neither in AMMX support to watch videos on the machinery ;) ). I'm pretty sure nobody (besides us retro freaks) would take the risk to target the Apollo core for new development.

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Re: Apollo Team announces developing of Vampire standalone version to run as AMIGA and ATARI ST

Postby 1st1 » Fri Nov 04, 2016 6:31 am

Eero Tamminen wrote:
1st1 wrote:So what's the problem when Apollo core is closed, as long it is well documented that you can program it, or you can include it into your own FPGA design. The sourrounding SAGA-VHDL-Chipset is opensource, SuperVidel is opensource, so it's fine to marry them.


Alexh was commenting just on the license incompatibility. You cannot legally combine things which have incompatible licenses.


Then MiST is impossible and illegal as it has to use closed source Altera Library to be linked to put the Amiga/ST/C64/... core inside the Cyclone III chip. This "library" is part of Altera Quartus II suite https://github.com/mist-devel/mist-boar ... ileTheCore

Don't forget, Apollo is consisting of two parts: 68080 core (closed source) and SAGA (open source as soon it is 100% functional). As long as you don't want to put open source parts in 68080, there is no mix. If you want to implement ATARI then you have to touch or replace SAGA which is opensource. And everything has to be linked with Altera closed source libraries to make it work in the Cyclone III chip.
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Re: Apollo Team announces developing of Vampire standalone version to run as AMIGA and ATARI ST

Postby mfro » Fri Nov 04, 2016 7:22 am

1st1 wrote:Then MiST is impossible and illegal as it has to use closed source Altera Library to be linked to put the Amiga/ST/C64/... core inside the Cyclone III chip. This "library" is part of Altera Quartus II suite https://github.com/mist-devel/mist-boar ... ileTheCore


I guess you should better not talk about things you apparently don't know about and don't understand. Excuse the harsh words, but it's not nice to assault OpenSource projects and throw dirt at their good reputation just to support your weak arguments.

There is no such thing as an "Altera Library" (with "library" used as term for a binary distribution) and neither there is anything like "linking" in VHDL/Verilog.

It's correct that Altera distributes protected IP with Quartus (which are not libraries in general sense but encrypted source files), but to my knowledge, MiST doesn't use any of them (as the Suska or FireBee core doesn't as well). Even if they would, you would be free to use them, even in a free project. In a stricter (GNU) sense, such project wouldn't really be completely OpenSource anymore, but there is nothing wrong with that. My understanding, btw. is that it would probably be difficult for the Apollo team to distribute their core in a similar way because the encryption functionality is - at least to my knowledge - not available to customers). But this is something I don't really know about myself for sure, so take this with a grain of salt.

Would you call a project closed source just because an otherwise open source base would be compiled with a commercial compiler? If that would be the case, there wouldn't be any open source at all (since the initial compiler would have needed to be compiled with something ...).

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Re: Apollo Team announces developing of Vampire standalone version to run as AMIGA and ATARI ST

Postby 1st1 » Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:17 am

Ask Gunnar, he can explain better as I can. He explained me and that's enough for me. If you don't believe, this is your problem. Sorry for harsh words, too.
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Re: Apollo Team announces developing of Vampire standalone version to run as AMIGA and ATARI ST

Postby mfro » Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:21 am

1st1 wrote:Ask Gunnar, he can explain better as I can


I don't need to.

I guess I'm talking to the right one already. It's you that accused the MiST project "impossible and illegal", not Gunnar.

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Re: Apollo Team announces developing of Vampire standalone version to run as AMIGA and ATARI ST

Postby penguin » Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:51 am

Faucon2001 wrote:Remember that a lot of industrial automation equipments are still working with 68k. And the issue is that this material is not only obsolete but there is no replacement or way to upgrade them. Doing a complete change of automation system cost a hell of money, not only on equipment but also in development, without talking of the ramp up risk you take when you deal with complexe automation processes. If you propose a solution to upgrade these setups, recycling previous development you will find a good niche market, interesting enough for a company to invest. And believe me, at these level of investment, the cost of the proc is really a detail.
I believe that's what Gunnar investors are targeting, not cellphone nor car nor TV set nor other personal computer stuff, nor vintage computing.



I doubt that this is a market for Apollo. If manufacturers still use the 68k, they usually have a good reason to do so - maybe because of reliability (i.e. they know the 68k), availability of the embedded version or simply because it just works. Replacing it with a FPGA+Apollo Core wouldn't be that much different to switching to a different CPU - they would still have to test and certify this thing, no matter how much the Apollo people claim that their core is compatible to the original 68k CPU.

It's almost the same for consoles - who is going to upgrade their Mega Drive with a 68080 CPU? It won't magically fix framerate issues with titles like Thunder Blade. The only other niche market I see right now would be Sinclair QL users - while the QL wasn't very popular, QL fans were successful in creating accelerators, clones and emulators to extend the lifespan of their system.
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Re: Apollo Team announces developing of Vampire standalone version to run as AMIGA and ATARI ST

Postby 1st1 » Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:39 am

mfro wrote:
1st1 wrote:Ask Gunnar, he can explain better as I can


I don't need to.

I guess I'm talking to the right one already. It's you that accused the MiST project "impossible and illegal", not Gunnar.


I don't accuse it. It's only illegal according to your theory. As it's not, there is no problem to have closed source apollo core together with open source chipset or other components in one FPGA.
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Re: Apollo Team announces developing of Vampire standalone version to run as AMIGA and ATARI ST

Postby ijor » Fri Nov 04, 2016 12:54 pm

1st1 wrote:I don't accuse it. It's only illegal according to your theory.


A friendly advice ...

You started as an enthusiast supporter, turned into a fanboy, and now you are starting to degrade yourself to an annoying troll.

Trust me. You are not making your case a favor. You are achieving exactly the opposite than what you want.

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Re: Apollo Team announces developing of Vampire standalone version to run as AMIGA and ATARI ST

Postby alexh » Fri Nov 04, 2016 1:43 pm

1st1 wrote:
alexh wrote:The open source license agreements for MiniMig and Suska (while different) are both of the kind which prevent their source being used in closed source projects. The Apollo team will have to "start again" or secure new license agreements. Or perhaps use two FPGA's on their stand alone versions.

Why? Have you ever compiled code for an FPGA?

Every day for 19 years.

1st1 wrote:DId you see that you have to link it with modules provided by Altera/Intel/... to make something working? Are these modules open source? No!

But they have a license which allows them to be used in open source projects. The Minimig source has a license which means it cannot be used in project where one or more parts are closed source. i.e. you have to provide the full source code for any project which includes them. I didn't invent this. It's just the way it is. The Apollo team would have to negotiate another license with the original authors if they wanted to use them in a project where Apollo was closed source.

1st1 wrote:Coldfire is not open source. 68000-68060 are not open source.

Erm? Yeah right :roll:

1st1 wrote:So what's the problem when Apollo core is closed The sourrounding is opensource so it's fine to marry them.

Not according to the licenses for MiniMig and Suska. They cannot legally be distributed as part of a project which is not fully open source. It is my understanding that the licenses are specifically crafted so as to prevent companies integrating then distributing/selling into closed source projects.

There is a slim chance (probably no chance?) that as you say if the open source code (MiniMig plus any improvements/changes) were distributed with any standalone binaries that Apollo made it might be legally acceptable but I doubt it. The whole point of these licences are to prevent this

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Re: Apollo Team announces developing of Vampire standalone version to run as AMIGA and ATARI ST

Postby AnthonyJ » Fri Nov 04, 2016 2:34 pm

mfro wrote:Would you call a project closed source just because an otherwise open source base would be compiled with a commercial compiler? If that would be the case, there wouldn't be any open source at all (since the initial compiler would have needed to be compiled with something ...).

I don't do hardawre, so don't know how people are licening FPGAs, but from the software side, the GPL has an explicit clause for your scenario:

The “System Libraries” of an executable work include anything, other than the work as a whole, that (a) is included in the normal form of packaging a Major Component, but which is not part of that Major Component, and (b) serves only to enable use of the work with that Major Component, or to implement a Standard Interface for which an implementation is available to the public in source code form. A “Major Component”, in this context, means a major essential component (kernel, window system, and so on) of the specific operating system (if any) on which the executable work runs, or a compiler used to produce the work, or an object code interpreter used to run it.

The “Corresponding Source” for a work in object code form means all the source code needed to generate, install, and (for an executable work) run the object code and to modify the work, including scripts to control those activities. However, it does not include the work's System Libraries...


ie, there isn't any issue linking an open source C++ to the Microsoft Visual C++ runtime, or to the Windows API both of which are closed source, because they aren't considered part of the "corresponding source". If people are applying the GPL to FPGA's, I'm sure closed source vendor specific support routines are treated as "system libraries" in the context of that license. I don't see how that clause helps with someone wanting to keep half of their project closed source though.

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Re: Apollo Team announces developing of Vampire standalone version to run as AMIGA and ATARI ST

Postby lp » Fri Nov 04, 2016 4:51 pm

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Last edited by lp on Wed Nov 16, 2016 4:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Apollo Team announces developing of Vampire standalone version to run as AMIGA and ATARI ST

Postby vido » Fri Nov 04, 2016 5:07 pm

Hmmm ... maybe Apollo core could be installed to FireBee FPGA and Coldfire would be an coprocesor? :)
Somebody more tehnical should explain that!

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Re: Apollo Team announces developing of Vampire standalone version to run as AMIGA and ATARI ST

Postby soviet9922 » Fri Nov 04, 2016 5:09 pm

This is a lawyer discussion, I'm in the correct forum :P.

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Re: Apollo Team announces developing of Vampire standalone version to run as AMIGA and ATARI ST

Postby mfro » Fri Nov 04, 2016 5:50 pm

1st1 wrote:I don't accuse it.

Then you should probably try to express yourself a little less careless...

1st1 wrote:It's only illegal according to your theory


... and read a little more careful in exchange.
If you'd try to calm down a little and take your time to reread, you probably agree that I didn't express any "theory" whatsoever in this thread.

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Re: Apollo Team announces developing of Vampire standalone version to run as AMIGA and ATARI ST

Postby lp » Fri Nov 04, 2016 6:25 pm

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Last edited by lp on Wed Nov 16, 2016 4:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Apollo Team announces developing of Vampire standalone version to run as AMIGA and ATARI ST

Postby 1st1 » Fri Nov 04, 2016 6:27 pm

vido wrote:Hmmm ... maybe Apollo core could be installed to FireBee FPGA and Coldfire would be an coprocesor? :)
Somebody more tehnical should explain that!


I have checked the block diagram of Firebee...

Image
Source: http://firebee.org/fb-bin/about?lng=DE

The FPGA is the same as currently used on MiST, Vampire 2: Cyclone III

I don't know what is the actual status on Firebee, but there was the idea to put additionally a little 68000 core into the FPGA and let it run CF incompatibe code. So generally the idea of including 68080 in the FPGA males sense. But look the above block diagram. For me it looks like of the FPGA can not directly access the 512 MB RAM, not USB, not PCI, etc. as it is attached to CF. Maybe there is a direct access mode which bridges the FPGA through CF to these parts of the system? If yes, then it would make sense, if not, then it does not make much sense, a redesign of the board would be required, without the CF.
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Re: Apollo Team announces developing of Vampire standalone version to run as AMIGA and ATARI ST

Postby 1st1 » Fri Nov 04, 2016 6:32 pm

mfro wrote:
1st1 wrote:I don't accuse it.

Then you should probably try to express yourself a little less careless...

1st1 wrote:It's only illegal according to your theory


... and read a little more careful in exchange.
If you'd try to calm down a little and take your time to reread, you probably agree that I didn't express any "theory" whatsoever in this thread.


Does anybody here knows under which conditions, under which licence Apollo team will hand out 68080 core? SAGA is announced to be Open Source, like SuperVidel.

Ps: by the way, read c't magazine, Till Haarbaum's article series about MiST. There is something about the Altera "libraries" you merge to MiST cores every time you create something. That is exactly the same situation as described above with the compiler.
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Re: Apollo Team announces developing of Vampire standalone version to run as AMIGA and ATARI ST

Postby lp » Fri Nov 04, 2016 6:58 pm

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Last edited by lp on Wed Nov 16, 2016 4:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Apollo Team announces developing of Vampire standalone version to run as AMIGA and ATARI ST

Postby mfro » Fri Nov 04, 2016 7:11 pm

1st1 wrote:For me it looks like of the FPGA can not directly access the 512 MB RAM, not USB, not PCI, etc. as it is attached to CF. Maybe there is a direct access mode which bridges the FPGA through CF to these parts of the system? If yes, then it would make sense, if not, then it does not make much sense, a redesign of the board would be required, without the CF.


In the FireBee, the FPGA is techically a peripherial to the ColdFire chip, connected to its slave bus (the 33 MHz FlexBus).

The only memory it can directly access is the 128 MByte DDR RAM (which isn't dedicated to video RAM as the diagram might suggest, in fact part of it is used as ST RAM currently in EmuTOS).

All the other components can only be accessed with the help of the ColdFire MCU. The MCF5474 is not (only) a CPU, it's a microcontroller. It contains the PCI (with USB attached to it), timers (that form the MFP replacement together with the leftover GPIOs), the MMU (in use to make the memory map Falcon compatible), the interrupt controller (used to mimic the Falcon interrupts), the 16 channel DMA (which is needed for ethernet and useful for many other tasks), FEC (which is the ethernet controller itself), SPI (used for SD cards), i2c (EDID for DVI) and more that I probably forgot.

If you'd remove the ColdFire, you'd lose all that.

if not, then it does not make much sense, a redesign of the board would be required, without the CF

if you think that would be necessary, I'd suggest you start early because that would be a real lot of work...


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