4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby exxos » Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:12 pm

current2.jpg


Current test machine.. whos idea was it to add a blitter anyway ?? :lol:
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby qq1975b » Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:17 pm

exxos wrote:
263% for display, so the current graphics power matches the MSTE then... Your CPU results will be faster because you have cache. 25% CPU gain without cache is lower than my figures now, as CPU is 133%, so assume yours is 125% with 16mhz no cache ?


Yes, 125%
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby exxos » Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:18 am

Nice :)

I won't have any time to do any more testing until probably Monday when I get home from work now. Though I am still trying to track down the 17% speed drop when using the blitter. I can only think that the CPU is running at 8mhz to talk to the blitter, so this needs speeding up to 16mhz. A few cycles saved on blitter access, gives the CPU a few more 16mhz cycles. So its probably doing this will reduce that 17% figure. Only problem is, we are out of pins on the current GALs :roll: At the moment we have 3 GALs, and unless Rodolphe can see around this new problem, then we will need 4 GALs. Though at this point, it might be better to look into larger devices with a lot more IO power than the GALs we are using now. If this is the case, then we have to get to grips with programming other devices, and re-vamp the pcb. So this could take some time to complete.
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby exxos » Mon Nov 17, 2014 2:56 pm

I tried to fiddle the GALs to get the CPU <> Blitter working at 16mhz, but no luck. Only thing I could do is re-use a ROM decoding pin, but that just went horribly wrong :lol: I will try and solder a GAL ontop of another GAL and bend a few pins about to add the switching code correctly and see how that goes..

Current situation is, We would like to move to Altera devices, but we either have to port the current GAL code to a logic circuit to compile to Altera chips (lot of work). Or learn VHDL programming to port the current GAL code over to Altera (even more work).

The option I am trying to go for is the Atmel devices as they are 5V and we can pretty much copy paste the GAL code over which will save a whole lot of work. The only problem is, finding a Atmel programmer which will program the ATF series of devices. Myself and Rodolphe have made orders for them, but I am trying a UK company I never heard of, and Rodolphe is ordering from Newark where there is a 2 month back order.

Rodolphe is current working on the new 68000 card layout. This one will use a smaller single PLCC ROM. We should be able to program TOS104 and TOS206 in there and make it switchable. The current GAL's will be replaced by a small TQFP package which gives us a lot of IO ports so we won't run out again. Also we should be able to add fast-ram on there also , but programming for that will have to wait until probably after xmas now.

So other than new PCB design and me working on the blitter code, there isn't much else to be done until we can get the new PCBs to work with, and hopefully a programmer.
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby exxos » Mon Nov 17, 2014 4:48 pm

bltb2.jpg

Left side are results with CPU accessing blitter at 8mhz, on the right is CPU to blitter 16mhz access. I unticked the blitter reference box just to show the blitter results.
blitting has gone up 16%, overall it gave about 5% speed boost.
You can probably tell by the corruption my test board is having some issues somewhere, but not surprised going by how many hacks have been done to it :lol:
I can say that while the blitter gives a speed boost anyway to the graphics, even without using the blitter the tests clearly show a huge boost in speed. It may not look like lots being around 35-50% speed boost overall, but is seriously gives a speed injection believe me 8)
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby DarkLord » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:22 pm

Chris, this may have been mentioned earlier in the thread so apologies if I'm going
over old ground, but do you plan on having an ability to switch to stock 8mhz mode,
for total compatibility? (in your final release version).

Thanks.
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby exxos » Mon Nov 17, 2014 8:16 pm

DarkLord wrote:Chris, this may have been mentioned earlier in the thread so apologies if I'm going
over old ground, but do you plan on having an ability to switch to stock 8mhz mode,
for total compatibility? (in your final release version).

Thanks.



Yes Ron, It actually has the 8mhz jumper on the current board anyway :)

Though the only thing I know of that will mess up is timing critical stuff like raster demos etc. Other than that, everything else should remain fully compatible.
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby GadgetUK164 » Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:53 pm

Isn't that graphical corruption caused by Blitter running at 16Mhz when it shouldn't be perhaps?

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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby exxos » Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:01 pm

GadgetUK164 wrote:Isn't that graphical corruption caused by Blitter running at 16Mhz when it shouldn't be perhaps?


Its possible, Though I suspect as the decoding for the blitter has been routed via 3 GAL's that the switching speeds probably aren't the best to start with.
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby rpineau » Tue Nov 18, 2014 1:04 am

DarkLord wrote:Chris, this may have been mentioned earlier in the thread so apologies if I'm going
over old ground, but do you plan on having an ability to switch to stock 8mhz mode,
for total compatibility? (in your final release version).

Thanks.


As Chris said we already have a jumper to route 16 or 8 MHz into the gal. We could use 1 of the new pin we're going to get when switching to a bigger CPLD to do a clean switch with a pin tied to ground via a switch mounted on the back of the ST.
I wouldn't recommend running the 16MHz and 8MHz through a switch :) so adding a proper switch on pin to select the clock is most probably the route we will go.

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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby DarkLord » Tue Nov 18, 2014 2:27 am

Only reason I mentioned it is that, while only a few (and seemingly less each day
as new adaptations are made), there is still some software that doesn't work well
when accelerated.

Here, I tend to get less than perfect Spectrum and Photochrome pictures if I don't
drop down to 8mhz and no cache, this being on my Adspeed equipped Mega ST4
and 40mhz PAK 68/3 equipped STacy.

Thanks guys! :)
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby AtariZoll » Tue Nov 18, 2014 8:57 am

Spectrum 512 and Photochrome , + Cyg's HighSTE color need of course 8 MHz CPU clock. There are some very rare cases of other SW not liking 16 MHz.
Some games have very timing sensitive code, so can work only at 8 MHz properly. By some audio sample playback may be too fast and high pitch because not using MFP timer, but CPU NOPs for timing control.
Some utilities may be timing sensitive too - for instance my EPROM programmer. And don't forget Pasti :D
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby alanh » Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:21 am

rpineau wrote:
DarkLord wrote:Chris, this may have been mentioned earlier in the thread so apologies if I'm going
over old ground, but do you plan on having an ability to switch to stock 8mhz mode,
for total compatibility? (in your final release version).

Thanks.


As Chris said we already have a jumper to route 16 or 8 MHz into the gal. We could use 1 of the new pin we're going to get when switching to a bigger CPLD to do a clean switch with a pin tied to ground via a switch mounted on the back of the ST.
I wouldn't recommend running the 16MHz and 8MHz through a switch :) so adding a proper switch on pin to select the clock is most probably the route we will go.

Rodolphe


If you've got space with a new CPLD, then I'd mimick the MegaSTE's register for 16/8 switching. This way you could use the control panel accessory to do it.
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby joska » Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:50 am

exxos wrote:Rodolphe is current working on the new 68000 card layout. This one will use a smaller single PLCC ROM. We should be able to program TOS104 and TOS206 in there and make it switchable.


This sounds interesting. I could use something like this in my Mega. I have a couple of suggestions:

1. Use a flash EEPROM. Flashing TOS would be very useful, atleast to me :) (http://atari.8bitchip.info/flashest.php)
2. When you've made a PCB that sits in the CPU socket it would cost very litte to add an IDE port to it. So please do that :)
3. Please make sure that it doesn't conflict with the Mega ST expansion port.
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby AtariZoll » Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:53 am

alanh wrote:..
If you've got space with a new CPLD, then I'd mimick the MegaSTE's register for 16/8 switching. This way you could use the control panel accessory to do it.

Good idea. As I see, even MIST uses it.
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby alanh » Tue Nov 18, 2014 10:17 am

joska wrote:
exxos wrote:Rodolphe is current working on the new 68000 card layout. This one will use a smaller single PLCC ROM. We should be able to program TOS104 and TOS206 in there and make it switchable.


This sounds interesting. I could use something like this in my Mega. I have a couple of suggestions:

1. Use a flash EEPROM. Flashing TOS would be very useful, atleast to me :) (http://atari.8bitchip.info/flashest.php)
2. When you've made a PCB that sits in the CPU socket it would cost very litte to add an IDE port to it. So please do that :)
3. Please make sure that it doesn't conflict with the Mega ST expansion port.


At this point, we should look at the Zeus card and see if we can't help there. This way we'd get a 50MHz 68000, 8MB FastRAM and a realtime clock too.
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby joska » Tue Nov 18, 2014 11:10 am

alanh wrote:At this point, we should look at the Zeus card and see if we can't help there. This way we'd get a 50MHz 68000, 8MB FastRAM and a realtime clock too.


The Zeus will cost somewhere between €250 and €300...
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby alanh » Tue Nov 18, 2014 11:11 am

Ouch.
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby joska » Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:25 pm

Yes, ouch indeed :) For that price I'd rather buy a MIST.
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby jvas » Tue Nov 18, 2014 2:33 pm

joska wrote:
alanh wrote:At this point, we should look at the Zeus card and see if we can't help there. This way we'd get a 50MHz 68000, 8MB FastRAM and a realtime clock too.


The Zeus will cost somewhere between €250 and €300...


Would the price be so high even when it was both compatible with Amiga and Atari?

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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby alanh » Tue Nov 18, 2014 2:34 pm

Yes, I think so. A MiST is cheaper than this, and it will give you Atari & Amiga compatibility, and more.
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby exxos » Wed Nov 19, 2014 10:13 am

joska wrote:
exxos wrote:Rodolphe is current working on the new 68000 card layout. This one will use a smaller single PLCC ROM. We should be able to program TOS104 and TOS206 in there and make it switchable.


This sounds interesting. I could use something like this in my Mega. I have a couple of suggestions:

1. Use a flash EEPROM. Flashing TOS would be very useful, atleast to me :) (http://atari.8bitchip.info/flashest.php)
2. When you've made a PCB that sits in the CPU socket it would cost very litte to add an IDE port to it. So please do that :)
3. Please make sure that it doesn't conflict with the Mega ST expansion port.


IDE ports is interesting, but there are already kits for that, this project would need new software and hardware to work with fast-ram. So the "cost" of doing this would actually be pretty high. Flash ROM is possible, but also have to remember each time something is "added" cost will be going up. The ROM is in a PLCC, so anyone can program a new chip with what ever they want anyway. As for MEGA ST etc, unfortunately this isn't going to fit everything under the sun. We are making it as small as possible, though with so many machines and board revisions its a impossible goal without producing separate pcbs for each machine. If there is demand for it then why not. I only have a STE and STFM here. But anyone is free to design their own PCB if they want to.
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby exxos » Wed Nov 19, 2014 10:15 am

alanh wrote:
If you've got space with a new CPLD, then I'd mimick the MegaSTE's register for 16/8 switching. This way you could use the control panel accessory to do it.


We did consider that a while ago, but I never thought about the software side of things much. We can use the register for the switch, software I do not think will take much anyway.
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby exxos » Wed Nov 19, 2014 10:18 am

alanh wrote:
At this point, we should look at the Zeus card and see if we can't help there. This way we'd get a 50MHz 68000, 8MB FastRAM and a realtime clock too.


So because this project is new and isn't as good (yet) we are unlikely to get people to give support for our project ? Might as well bin the whole thing then.
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby alanh » Wed Nov 19, 2014 10:20 am

No. I was saying that once you get to asking for all that joska was asking for then you end up with a Zeus.
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