4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby exxos » Sat Nov 08, 2014 7:56 pm

qq1975b wrote:If you need to test anything else, just let me know.

It seems it will be compatible with blitter, right? Will the blitter work faster too? The Blitter in a MGSTE works at 8mhz, isn't it? I mean when you're running the mgste in 16mhz the blitter is not speeded up. Only Falcon has a 16 Mhz blitter?



GadgetUK has run the blitter at 16mhz (i do not have one in my STFM) Though I do not recall if it boosted any speed (I think not). Though It could be the blitter isn't running at 16mhz when its being accessed. Just like ROM was originally running at 8mhz, even tho the cpu was 16mhz, so maybe someone can chime in here with that one.... I don't know how the blitter is programmed or if it just uses some address ranges like ROM... Though it could be interesting to see if speeding up the blitter can be done also.. I would imagine as blitter gives a huge boost in speed, that access to the CPU at 16mhz would be a huge speed boost. It would defiantly be something worth trying out if I can get my hands on a blitter and socket.
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby rpineau » Sat Nov 08, 2014 9:40 pm

The Blitter is a bus master like the 68000 so we would need to make the same thing for it using its /AS pin and feeding it a clock via a GAL like we do with the 68000.

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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby exxos » Sat Nov 08, 2014 10:21 pm

rpineau wrote:The Blitter is a bus master like the 68000 so we would need to make the same thing for it using its /AS pin and feeding it a clock via a GAL like we do with the 68000.

Rodolphe


It looks like the address range is $FFFF8A00 to FFFF8A3D, so if we enable this to give CPU 16mhz then this should work if the blitter clock is linked to the CPU clock. This had to be done on gadgetuk's machine, but blitter gave no speed boost. Though if we add that address range to enable 16mhz mode then we can try to see if the blitter will overclock. I don't think we need to do anything more.
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby rpineau » Sat Nov 08, 2014 10:35 pm

exxos wrote:
rpineau wrote:The Blitter is a bus master like the 68000 so we would need to make the same thing for it using its /AS pin and feeding it a clock via a GAL like we do with the 68000.

Rodolphe


It looks like the address range is $FFFF8A00 to FFFF8A3D, so if we enable this to give CPU 16mhz then this should work if the blitter clock is linked to the CPU clock. This had to be done on gadgetuk's machine, but blitter gave no speed boost. Though if we add that address range to enable 16mhz mode then we can try to see if the blitter will overclock. I don't think we need to do anything more.


These are the Blitter register, but then the Blitter becomes a bus master to do the actual operation so it acts like a 68000 from the bus standpoint. So we can decode the register address space to access it at 16MHz but to clock the Blitter at 16MHz we need to same system as what we have for the 68000 but for the Blitter (using /AS to switch between 8 and 16MHz) when it access the RAM and the TOS which mean we need to remove the buffers on the current card to allow other bus master to access the TOS (or add the Blitter to the current card).

But in any case, clocking the Blitter at 16MHz is done the same way as clocking the 68000 at 16MHz

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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby GadgetUK164 » Sun Nov 09, 2014 1:12 am

Blitter works perfectly with 16Mhz mod, probably due to the fact that it's only ever running at 16Mhz for small periods of time - ie. when not asserting. I've played Wings of Death a fair bit using Blitter and it's really smooth with no issues even when using ST for prolonged periods of time. Of course this would be a problem going beyond 16Mhz.

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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby GadgetUK164 » Sun Nov 09, 2014 1:14 am

Also, Blitter did get a speed boost! Mine runs faster on benchmarks at 16Mhz - ie. on Blitter specific test.

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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby AtariZoll » Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:15 am

So, you expect that blitter chip can work stable at 16 MHz ? I guess that some may, like it is case with FDC (WD1772) chip, but likely most will be not able.
In case of 16 MHz mod, blitter works faster from simple reason: there is less time for wait that CPU finishes his "turn" :D
So, blitter can work 67% time instead 50%. In HOG mode there would be no speed boost.
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby GadgetUK164 » Sun Nov 09, 2014 10:28 am

AtariZoll wrote:So, you expect that blitter chip can work stable at 16 MHz ? I guess that some may, like it is case with FDC (WD1772) chip, but likely most will be not able.
In case of 16 MHz mod, blitter works faster from simple reason: there is less time for wait that CPU finishes his "turn" :D
So, blitter can work 67% time instead 50%. In HOG mode there would be no speed boost.


I've had 4 Blitters running in this at 16Mhz without issue! So I don't think there's a problem in general. I am feeding the 16Mhz CPU clock into the Blitter, in fact the Blitter just gets the same clock that the CPU does, so when the Blitter runs in parallel to the CPU it does run at 16Mhz and without issue. You can see the difference on the desktop and in benchmarks, it feels really nippy. I am guessing there are few circumstances where the Blitter is actually running at 16Mhz but without feeding the CPU clock into the Blitter you get crashes obviously due to timing issues and bus contention. If you look back at the Benchmarks taken on the other thread (the overclocking thread) you can see the difference.

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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby exxos » Sun Nov 09, 2014 10:29 am

hmm, I think Atarizoll could be right witht he blitter. You could have to benchmark a STFM with blitter with and without the 16mhz mod enabled, with and without blitter enabled to see if the blitter has got any speed boost. Though your blitter is running at 16mhz when the CPU is, the blitter itself isn't set to run at 16mhz as the address range isn't programmed into the GAL code. So I would tend to agree with Atarizoll that if there is a blitter speed boost, its probably down to CPU getting jobs done faster so the blitter gets its turn faster. If the blitter was running at 16mhz during blitter commands, then whatever speed boost you get from using the blitter, should be 50% faster at least.
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby GadgetUK164 » Sun Nov 09, 2014 10:32 am

exxos wrote:hmm, I think Atarizoll could be right witht he blitter. You could have to benchmark a STFM with blitter with and without the 16mhz mod enabled, with and without blitter enabled to see if the blitter has got any speed boost. Though your blitter is running at 16mhz when the CPU is, the blitter itself isn't set to run at 16mhz as the address range isn't programmed into the GAL code. So I would tend to agree with Atarizoll that if there is a blitter speed boost, its probably down to CPU getting jobs done faster so the blitter gets its turn faster. If the blitter was running at 16mhz during blitter commands, then whatever speed boost you get from using the blitter, should be 50% faster at least.


It is running faster! Check back on the old threads! It's very marginal though, like a few % at best. There will be few instances where the Blitter is forced at 16Mhz - That was my original point, and very likely why it is stable, because its like 4 or 8 cycles or something then back to 8Mhz for a period of time.

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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby exxos » Sun Nov 09, 2014 10:42 am

GadgetUK164 wrote:
It is running faster! Check back on the old threads! It's very marginal though, like a few % at best. There will be few instances where the Blitter is forced at 16Mhz - That was my original point, and very likely why it is stable, because its like 4 or 8 cycles or something then back to 8Mhz for a period of time.


A few % is good, though the blitter & CPU will actually be running at 8mhz still. If blitter will execute instructions at 16mhz, then you should get 50% speed boost on blitter related functions.
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby GadgetUK164 » Sun Nov 09, 2014 10:47 am

exxos wrote:
GadgetUK164 wrote:
It is running faster! Check back on the old threads! It's very marginal though, like a few % at best. There will be few instances where the Blitter is forced at 16Mhz - That was my original point, and very likely why it is stable, because its like 4 or 8 cycles or something then back to 8Mhz for a period of time.


A few % is good, though the blitter & CPU will actually be running at 8mhz still. If blitter will execute instructions at 16mhz, then you should get 50% speed boost on blitter related functions.


Yes, totally agreed! What I am saying is the small % in speed increase is not due to the CPU running at 16Mhz, it's due to the Blitter being clocked (not Blitting per se) but internally counting cycles probably at 16Mhz, and bus hand over commands probably processed at 16Mhz (there's the 1 or 2% as far as I can tell), then it drops to 8 as CPU allows bus access. At least that's what I think is happening.

EDIT: In summary I think the transition from Blitter to CPU and vice versa is quicker, not just because the CPU is running faster but the hand over is faster and that's the 1 / 2%.
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby GadgetUK164 » Sun Nov 09, 2014 10:49 am

I meant to ask, can the TOS 16Mhz option be disabled or enabled? Have you tested out any apps or games to see what compatibility is like with fast TOS access? 16Mhz in general is very compatible, in all the testing I've done I've only found Operation Wolf that won't run at 16Mhz, pretty much 300 games and apps I've tested all run fine at 16Mhz.

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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby exxos » Sun Nov 09, 2014 10:55 am

GadgetUK164 wrote:I meant to ask, can the TOS 16Mhz option be disabled or enabled? Have you tested out any apps or games to see what compatibility is like with fast TOS access? 16Mhz in general is very compatible, in all the testing I've done I've only found Operation Wolf that won't run at 16Mhz, pretty much 300 games and apps I've tested all run fine at 16Mhz.


There is a jumper on the board to enable or disable 8mhz 16mhz speeds for CPU and TOS :)

I have not tried any software, as simply been putting all my free time into getting the thing running. The only software I have run is GEMBENCH4 pretty much.

Though TOS206 isn't to great for games and compatibility, so this week I will try and get TOS104 working again. I doubt faster TOS would break anything. For the most part its GEM which will run faster. I would imagine some games will access some TOS functions, some games access ROM address directly to gain speed (which is one reason TOS206 does not work well with games) So speed boost in games probably won't show any speed boost. It is more GEM apps which will show the boost in speed as its all GEM windows and such which will run much faster.
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby GadgetUK164 » Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:04 am

exxos wrote:
GadgetUK164 wrote:I meant to ask, can the TOS 16Mhz option be disabled or enabled? Have you tested out any apps or games to see what compatibility is like with fast TOS access? 16Mhz in general is very compatible, in all the testing I've done I've only found Operation Wolf that won't run at 16Mhz, pretty much 300 games and apps I've tested all run fine at 16Mhz.


There is a jumper on the board to enable or disable 8mhz 16mhz speeds for CPU and TOS :)

I have not tried any software, as simply been putting all my free time into getting the thing running. The only software I have run is GEMBENCH4 pretty much.

Though TOS206 isn't to great for games and compatibility, so this week I will try and get TOS104 working again. I doubt faster TOS would break anything. For the most part its GEM which will run faster. I would imagine some games will access some TOS functions, some games access ROM address directly to gain speed (which is one reason TOS206 does not work well with games) So speed boost in games probably won't show any speed boost. It is more GEM apps which will show the boost in speed as its all GEM windows and such which will run much faster.


I am excited to find out in any case lol! I bet there are a fair few games that do make TOS calls, even if just for basic things like file access etc. Some of the Sierra games might benefit as they seem to be TOS based - in a window type games etc. I can't imagine how fast this is going to be just in terms of desktop use etc, because mine runs sooooo much faster now with 16Mhz and Blitter, I cannot imagine how it's going to feel to have another 20 - 40% increase in places lol.

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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby exxos » Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:11 am

GadgetUK164 wrote:I am excited to find out in any case lol! I bet there are a fair few games that do make TOS calls, even if just for basic things like file access etc. Some of the Sierra games might benefit as they seem to be TOS based - in a window type games etc. I can't imagine how fast this is going to be just in terms of desktop use etc, because mine runs sooooo much faster now with 16Mhz and Blitter, I cannot imagine how it's going to feel to have another 20 - 40% increase in places lol.


Well it needs to be tried before getting excited ;) You should start building your pcb ;-) saying that, its probably the ABT chips will have to be removed to try the blitter out. I will have to work on the TOS104 issue first of all. Though I think the problem there was TOS was running 25% ish slower than we thought. So this is why the GLUE seemed to decode amazingly faster, it wasn't that the GLUE was fast, it was we was running slow. This ended up in like a 10ns speed race between the GAL logic and the GLUE. Though now its been fixed, we should have 33ns or more to compete with now so it shouldn't be a problem now to fix this issue.

16mhz TOS runs sweet! defiantly worth doing 8)
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby qq1975b » Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:32 am

:thumbs:

With TOS accesses....mmm...which is the minimum Eprom speed needed? 60ns?
Will the 16mhz mod be compatible with STe too? Or Stfm and Mega only? Blitter in STe may be different in later models.
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby GadgetUK164 » Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:32 am

exxos wrote:
GadgetUK164 wrote:I am excited to find out in any case lol! I bet there are a fair few games that do make TOS calls, even if just for basic things like file access etc. Some of the Sierra games might benefit as they seem to be TOS based - in a window type games etc. I can't imagine how fast this is going to be just in terms of desktop use etc, because mine runs sooooo much faster now with 16Mhz and Blitter, I cannot imagine how it's going to feel to have another 20 - 40% increase in places lol.


Well it needs to be tried before getting excited ;) You should start building your pcb ;-) saying that, its probably the ABT chips will have to be removed to try the blitter out. I will have to work on the TOS104 issue first of all. Though I think the problem there was TOS was running 25% ish slower than we thought. So this is why the GLUE seemed to decode amazingly faster, it wasn't that the GLUE was fast, it was we was running slow. This ended up in like a 10ns speed race between the GAL logic and the GLUE. Though now its been fixed, we should have 33ns or more to compete with now so it shouldn't be a problem now to fix this issue.

16mhz TOS runs sweet! defiantly worth doing 8)


I think I will wait for the next PCB revision as I've not got all the required parts etc - I can't remember what the last board revision was, wasn't that the Blitter based board or was it the 68000 board?

Back on the subject of the Blitter - Thinking about it it's clear that it was never Blitting at 16Mhz as it operates RAM to RAM as far as I understand, so there's no way that would work unless we had faster RAM (and Glue / MMU) I think. It's a shame there aren't any pin and opcode instruction compatible 20 / 32Mhz 68Ks we could use =( I am hoping that at some point someone will implement the 68K in a pin compatible PCB with 32Mhz or beyond. For one thing there must be a real shortage of 16Mhz 68Ks suitable for this? How many have you got left?

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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby exxos » Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:52 am

qq1975b wrote::thumbs:

With TOS accesses....mmm...which is the minimum Eprom speed needed? 60ns?
Will the 16mhz mod be compatible with STe too? Or Stfm and Mega only? Blitter in STe may be different in later models.


I am using 45ns ROM at the moment. The faster the better. Though I have a set of 120ns which I can try now.

The mod should work with any Atari ST/E or any basic similar types. Though as its a really large card, I doubt it will physically fit in many Ataris. We are trying to keep it as small as possible though the layout is being geared for the STFM as its the only easy to obtain machine and probably the most common. There is no reason it can't be adapted for the PLCC type CPU such as the STE. The veloce is a large card and that fits in the STE case.
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby exxos » Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:52 am

GadgetUK164 wrote:
I think I will wait for the next PCB revision as I've not got all the required parts etc - I can't remember what the last board revision was, wasn't that the Blitter based board or was it the 68000 board?


The last revision was the one which is listed on the top of my store page. I doubt there will be a 68000 revsion of that pcb unless there is enough interest to warrant another pcb run.

GadgetUK164 wrote:Back on the subject of the Blitter - Thinking about it it's clear that it was never Blitting at 16Mhz as it operates RAM to RAM as far as I understand, so there's no way that would work unless we had faster RAM (and Glue / MMU) I think. It's a shame there aren't any pin and opcode instruction compatible 20 / 32Mhz 68Ks we could use =( I am hoping that at some point someone will implement the 68K in a pin compatible PCB with 32Mhz or beyond. For one thing there must be a real shortage of 16Mhz 68Ks suitable for this? How many have you got left?


It is possible the blitter does do something at 16mhz, but I dont know how the blitter works exactly. The cpu is boosted to 16mhz only when nothing is using the bus. The blitter may well operate the same so when the cpu is running 16mhz, so will the blitter. So there might be some gain there. I dont know until I do more testing. Even so, the cpu isn't running at 16mhz when the blitter is accessed. Though its possible the blitter will shift data around its registers at 16mhz while nothing else is using the bus.

I doubt there will be a faster 68000, even in FPGA. I think I spoke to some people about this last year. Basically you need something like a 200mhz MPU to emulate a 8mhz CPU. Have to remember VHDL stuff has to run several instructions to emulate a single 68000 instruction. So 32mhz could may well need 500mhz chip or more. I don't think they make them much past 100mhz.

I probably have a few 16mhz CPUs left. Not sure how many, I would guess around 15.
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby exxos » Sun Nov 09, 2014 12:29 pm

One thing I did wonder, is if it is possible to emulate the blitter somehow, like in VHDL or something. Blitters are hard/expensive to get hold of, so some alternative would be good. If it was possible, then we could simply include the blitter on all the addon cards. I guess this would be more of a question for the people who make MiST etc.
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby GadgetUK164 » Sun Nov 09, 2014 5:34 pm

Will you be doing a kit of the components required for that PCB? ie. GALs, OTP Proms etc?

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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby exxos » Sun Nov 09, 2014 5:46 pm

GadgetUK164 wrote:Will you be doing a kit of the components required for that PCB? ie. GALs, OTP Proms etc?


I will upload the files later which can be used to program the chips. If anyone needs me to supply the chips programmed then its not a problem either.
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http://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/ All my hardware guides - mods - games - STOS
http://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/last/storenew/ - All my hardware mods for sale - Please help support by making a purchase.
http://ataristeven.exxoshost.co.uk/Steem.htm Latest Steem Emulator

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exxos
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby exxos » Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:27 pm

I just tried 120ns EPROMS and they boot. Though 100ns or faster should be the ideal for the ROMs. I will try and get TOS104 working tonight, but if not, I will work on it tomorrow.
4MB STFM 1.44 FD- VELOCE+ 020 STE - Falcon 030 CT60 - Atari 2600 - Atari 7800 - Gigafile - SD Floppy Emulator - PeST - various clutter

http://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/ All my hardware guides - mods - games - STOS
http://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/last/storenew/ - All my hardware mods for sale - Please help support by making a purchase.
http://ataristeven.exxoshost.co.uk/Steem.htm Latest Steem Emulator

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exxos
Fuji Shaped Bastard
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Posts: 4933
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2003 8:36 pm
Location: England
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Re: 4MB Upgrade & 16MHz Booster progress

Postby exxos » Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:46 pm

Just making sure the 120ns ROMs work.. Also used this program, it replaces "alt-help" to save to a file. Then I used http://www.xnview.com/ to convert pi1 to jpg :)
16_result.jpg

SNAP3_1.zip
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4MB STFM 1.44 FD- VELOCE+ 020 STE - Falcon 030 CT60 - Atari 2600 - Atari 7800 - Gigafile - SD Floppy Emulator - PeST - various clutter

http://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/ All my hardware guides - mods - games - STOS
http://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/last/storenew/ - All my hardware mods for sale - Please help support by making a purchase.
http://ataristeven.exxoshost.co.uk/Steem.htm Latest Steem Emulator


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