Overall strategy for hardware mods, upgrades, clones

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Re: Overall strategy for hardware mods, upgrades, clones

Postby 1st1 » Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:17 pm

Thank you for confirming PPC. But that does not prove that it does not exist for classic 68K Amiga OS. I just stopped after having a first hit. I also have other things to do.
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Re: Overall strategy for hardware mods, upgrades, clones

Postby joska » Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:26 pm

1st1 wrote:But that does not prove that it does not exist for classic 68K Amiga OS.


You get this the wrong way around. You say memory protection exist for 68k. The fact that the opposite can't be proved (can you prove that something does *not* exist?) does not mean you're right ;) Prove that it exists, this should be very easy if this is something that exists and actually works.

Look at the internals of 68k AmigaOS/Workbench. I'm a novice myself in that field but you don't have to know it very well to understand that memory protection - as we know it - can not be implemented.

Take a look at the Apollo forum. When Gunnar is talking about the purpose of the MMU he's talking about it as a debugging tool. Not for memory protection.
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Re: Overall strategy for hardware mods, upgrades, clones

Postby BlankVector » Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:58 pm

1st1 wrote:
joska wrote:If I'm not mistaken the Amiga's floppy controller does not do the MFM encoding/decoding but leaves that to the CPU.

No. Paula (the sound chip) does it.

In that case, I reinvented the wheel by manually decoding MFM in the EmuTOS floppy driver for Amiga:
https://github.com/emutos/emutos/blob/m ... ga.c#L1385
And AROS drivers, where I took inspiration, made the same thing. :lol:

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Re: Overall strategy for hardware mods, upgrades, clones

Postby Frank B » Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:16 pm

BlankVector wrote:
1st1 wrote:
joska wrote:If I'm not mistaken the Amiga's floppy controller does not do the MFM encoding/decoding but leaves that to the CPU.

No. Paula (the sound chip) does it.

In that case, I reinvented the wheel by manually decoding MFM in the EmuTOS floppy driver for Amiga:
https://github.com/emutos/emutos/blob/m ... ga.c#L1385
And AROS drivers, where I took inspiration, made the same thing. :lol:


I believe Amiga OS uses the blitter for MFM decoding.

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Re: Overall strategy for hardware mods, upgrades, clones

Postby leech » Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:21 am

joska wrote:
1st1 wrote:But that does not prove that it does not exist for classic 68K Amiga OS.


You get this the wrong way around. You say memory protection exist for 68k. The fact that the opposite can't be proved (can you prove that something does *not* exist?) does not mean you're right ;) Prove that it exists, this should be very easy if this is something that exists and actually works.

Look at the internals of 68k AmigaOS/Workbench. I'm a novice myself in that field but you don't have to know it very well to understand that memory protection - as we know it - can not be implemented.

Take a look at the Apollo forum. When Gunnar is talking about the purpose of the MMU he's talking about it as a debugging tool. Not for memory protection.


I've been following OS4 and OS3 development for quite some time, and yeah no Memory Protection for 68k Amigas. Only recently did they get the optional memory protection in OS4. Apparently the 'just make your application not suck' is the method for stability in Amiga land. But then that could be said about anything else as well. Remember the first few versions of Win9x claimed to have some memory protection, but you'd still have programs kill the entire system.

Then again, in another thread, 1st1 had said that the Amiga didn't have anything in place for graphics cards, and so Picasso96 is a subsystem for that. Which is incorrect, they have the rtg.library (retargettable graphics) which can be used with several different graphics cards. Picasso96 is more like an API+library from what I understand that uses rtg.library as part of it's setup, but there are other graphics cards out there that use different drivers.

While I'm not an expert, you learn a lot of this crap when you're setting up an Amiga 4000D and trying to expand it as much as you can (Mediator, Radeon, ZorRAM, Network, USB, etc.).
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Re: Overall strategy for hardware mods, upgrades, clones

Postby shoggoth » Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:12 am

1st1 wrote:Ok, I found something, Ok it's Amiga OS 4, which I think is for PPC platform but...


Can you discuss things without resorting to Google? Ever?

No. AmigaOS4 doesn't implement memory protection as defined by any modern operating system. The architecture is still based on shared memory, and that shared memory is wide open. You can't fully prevent a faulty program from writing to memory belonging to other tasks. Hence it's not a memory protected system. It's part of the design.

I'm not saying this to bash AmigaOS, because it's a really neat OS. I'm saying this because you're wrong, and you're spreading your views very confidently whilst expecting your target audience to swallow just about anything you find on google.

Should I continue to search? When it's available there, why not in OS 3.9? Why not something for 3.1? Should I continue to search? This was just found in a bunch of minutes...


"why not in OS 3.9 Why not something for 3.1?" <-- because you're speculating. And because it's not possible. For tech reasons.

Should I continue to search? This was just found in a bunch of minutes...


Wow. You found all that in a bunch of minutes? You really know how to google things.
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Re: Overall strategy for hardware mods, upgrades, clones

Postby 1st1 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:48 am

Shoggoth, you are my hero, my master of google!
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Re: Overall strategy for hardware mods, upgrades, clones

Postby mikro » Tue Feb 28, 2017 7:30 am

PeP, doesn't matter it isn't the truth, it could have been! ;-)

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Re: Overall strategy for hardware mods, upgrades, clones

Postby 1st1 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:39 am

The magic thing's names are:

1. enforcer
2. CyberGuard
3. GAngelRmx1

#1: http://aminet.net/package/dev/debug/enforcer
Requires: OS2.0, MMU.
Architecture: m68k-amigaos
...
Enforcer V37 - For 68020/68851, 68030, 68040, & 68060 CPUs

It requires V37 of the OS or better and does not have *any*
exceptions in it for specific software. Nothing should be causing
Enforcer hits.

Requires an MMU. On 68EC030 systems, it may think it is working
even if it is not due to the fact that the missing MMU is very
hard to detect. Use LawBreaker to check.

This Enforcer has also been highly optimized to be as fast as
possible.

Enforcer can now also be used with CPU or SetCPU FASTROM or most
any other MMU-Kickstart-Mapping tool. This means that you do not
have to give up your speed in order to use Enforcer. (Major win
on A2000 and A500 systems)

Make sure you read the documentation before using these programs.


#2 http://amigadocs.hokstad.com/doku.php?id=debugging
Debugging on the Amiga
CyberGuard / Enforcer / MuForce / Mungwall / Wipeout

Due to lack of memory protection under AmigaOS, a number of tools exists that use MMUs to offer partial protection for debugging purposes during development.

MorphOS

MorphOS has built-in CyberGuard. It guards non-allocated memory and writes to zero page. It can be configured to guard reads from zero page but it is not enabled by default because many Amiga software would fail.

MorphOS SDK includes Wipeout. It is Mungwall replacement originally written by Olaf Barthel and then ported to MorphOS.


#3: http://aminet.net/package/dev/debug/GAngelRmx1.1
dev/debug/GAngelRmx1.1.lha
Short: MMU protect free memory. Source included.


Summary: There is MMU based memory protection available for Amiga OS 2.x and newer. I am better in using Google than Shoggoth.
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Re: Overall strategy for hardware mods, upgrades, clones

Postby joska » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:58 am

1st1 wrote:The magic thing's names are:

1. enforcer


And this is the proof that you don't know what you're talking about ;)

This is a debugging tool. It's not memory protection.
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Re: Overall strategy for hardware mods, upgrades, clones

Postby 1st1 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:50 am

It uses MMU to protect memory. Check the others as well...

And there is something else you shoud consider. MiNT is opensource and can be modified to use anything what has the same effect as an 680x0 intecrated PMMU does. Apollo core has MCU. There was already discussion on this regarding MiNT. See http://www.apollo-core.com/knowledge.ph ... order=&x=6 Just read those posting at the beginning of the page down to mfro's posting at 05 Jan 2017 06:02 -> summary. It should be possible to use Apollo MCU to do the same as MiNT does with PMMU.
Last edited by 1st1 on Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Overall strategy for hardware mods, upgrades, clones

Postby shoggoth » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:24 am

I think we have a new nobel prize winner.
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Re: Overall strategy for hardware mods, upgrades, clones

Postby 1st1 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:39 pm

So we continue on MMU use on Amiga?

- AROS is basically using it, and optionally real memory protection is at least planned: http://aros.sourceforge.net/documentati ... muhidd.php
- There is also a basic MMUlib on AmiNet which's target is to unify MMU accesses by different tools: http://aminet.net/package/util/libs/MMULib As you can see from the readme there are even more packages using MMU. Should I google all of them and list what they do?

Purpose and goal of this library:

The mmu.library is a basis for MMU (memory management) related functions the
MC68K family can perform. Up to now certain hacks are available that program
the MMU themselves (Enforcer,CyberGuard,GuardianAngle,SetCPU,Shapeshifter,
VMM,GigaMem...).
It's therefore not unexpected that these tools conflict with each other.
There's up to now no Os support for the MMU at all - the gap this mmu.library
fills.

The goal is to provide a basis of functions to address and program the MMU in
a hardware independent, Os friendly fashion. Hence, the new version of the
Enforcer, called MuForce, will work together with virtual memory, and others.

The mmu.library is also the basis for the virtual memory project, the
memory.library. Even though the mmu.library does not provide virtual memory
itself, it builds the basics to allow an easy implementation and to avoid the
hacks required by other implementations so far.

The memory.library is now complete and can be found in this archive.


- SetCPU http://aminet.net/package/util/misc/SetCPU
- Shapeshifter is a very good Mac 68K Emulator on Amiga. It seems to use MMU if it's there for memory protection. There is something "TurboEVD/MMU drivers", but I am not familar with this topic. And they also talk about graphics cards with "Fusion3.x" which would work with MMU and Shapeshifter. To run MacOS 8.x on Shapeshifter, MMu is a must have.
- This is very interesting: VMM - http://aminet.net/package/util/misc/VMM_V3_3a

VMM implements a virtual memory manager for Amigas with a MMU. A
localized user interface to enter all parameters and to disable
certain tasks and load files from using virtual memory is also
provided. For the user interface MUI 2.3 is needed.
This is only a very small update. It now contains a german
documentation as people kept asking me for one. Apart from this only
new locales and an updated version of the BGUI interface written by
Emmanuel Doguet is included.

- Summary: This is something even MiNT is not capable to do with MMU. But, yes, virtual/swapped mem always is slower than real mem. (But "Outside" on TT does this as well)

- No details on GigaMem: http://aminet.net/package/docs/rview/GigaMem3.0
- WHDLoad can use MMU to increase compaitibility/stability/performance.

Or is this an ATARI forum and we better ought to discuss what is possible with Apollo MCU in MiNT?
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Re: Overall strategy for hardware mods, upgrades, clones

Postby Faucon2001 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:57 pm

mikro wrote:PeP, doesn't matter it isn't the truth, it could have been! ;-)

poo, "alternative facts "are also coming to Atari ? 8O
What a strange world :wink:
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Re: Overall strategy for hardware mods, upgrades, clones

Postby joska » Tue Feb 28, 2017 4:09 pm

1st1 wrote:So we continue on MMU use on Amiga?


Not at all. When was this a topic? I thought the topic was your claim that 68k AmigaOS supported memory protection? ;)

1st1 wrote:Or is this an ATARI forum and we better ought to discuss what is possible with Apollo MCU in MiNT?


So are the Apollo MMU features settled? I haven't been paying too much attention to the Apollo forum but the last I saw was that the MMU design was far from finished. I believe it will be possible to use the Apollo MMU in MiNT, but it depends on atleast one feature that was not clear the last time I checked (page size). Without it the Vampire is of no interest to me.
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Re: Overall strategy for hardware mods, upgrades, clones

Postby rpineau » Tue Feb 28, 2017 4:10 pm

So the thread went from "Overall strategy for hardware mods, upgrades, clones" to a flame war about Amiga memory protection (or lack thereof).
The thread started with an interesting discussion about expansion port, what signals would we want on a generic port ... and then once again got polluted by 1st1 and his holly war to push the Apollo core on any thread related to hardware enhancement for the Atari line of computer .. not the Amiga ..
So can we get back on subject.. or just lock the tread as it has become useless at this point.
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Re: Overall strategy for hardware mods, upgrades, clones

Postby exxos » Tue Feb 28, 2017 4:44 pm

I second what Rodolphe said. What the Amiga can or can't do I don't really care personally. While it may use the apollo core, there is no Atari core and the 100's of posts keep going on about it are just annoying to many people. This has been going on for some weeks now and people are tired of it (believe me) .

There's many threads on the forum about how good something is going to be, then it vanishes after months of discussion then nothing happens. If the apollo team want to be taken seriously by Atari folks, then lets at least see the core running as a stock CPU then take it from there.

I think the original subject is interesting and has some very valid points. Problem is, everyone wants something different, so how do you generalise all that ? I personally think any upgrade should be backwards compatible with legacy software from the ST range. Sure it would be great to have higher resolutions. With some small tweaks I already showed the ST can double is resolution but nobody is interested in that or doing drivers for the desktop, or writing new games for it.

Problem is as I have said before, Someone may have the fastest ST about, write games for it, which nobody else can play unless they have the hardware. OTOH, People might not care for legacy support and just want to multitask with huge desktop and RAM.

It is possible a fast enough core and ram and build in some video codecs to play HD videos or whatever, but also need fast video RAM to keep up, higher resolutions. I personally would think it would be cool to do, but I use my PC for that stuff.

Why bother with a apollo core anyway ? Plenty of PC CPU's about cheap, bang that on the bus and have huge caches and huge CPU quad core power, plenty of PC graphics chipsets about for peanuts. All it needs is some special libs to make use of the PC's instructions and away ya go.
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Re: Overall strategy for hardware mods, upgrades, clones

Postby exxos » Tue Feb 28, 2017 5:08 pm

I personally go for compatibility with fastest speed possible. While the CPU can access fast-ram pushing 32MHz speeds now, all it would take would be for someone to re-design the ST's MMU to work at 32MHz speeds with SRAM instead of DRAM, run ST-RAM then at 32MHz with the CPU and the ST would get a serious kick in CPU power. Pretty much all legacy software would run and run faster. Then would come other options maybe like extra resolutions, but nobody gives a stuff about doing a replacement MMU. I'm sure there are capable people to do it easily as well.

Its a modification which could be done to just about any ST and likely without to much fuss or expense. If the ST had more power than it would open up the door to beginner coders to start writing apps and not having to count CPU cycles per instruction to push every ounce of speed out of the system.

It would still have a 68000 core and be compatible with all software (not including timing sensitive demos/games etc) only it would run vastly faster. I personally think that would open the door to a more powerful Atari system. The MMU can be double clocked for 16MHz ST-RAM and CPU, though I would rather have a replacement MMU with 4MB of SRAM running at 50MHz or higher with the CPU. No need for alt-ram, but still could be added.
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Re: Overall strategy for hardware mods, upgrades, clones

Postby 1st1 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 5:36 pm

joska wrote:
1st1 wrote:So are the Apollo MMU features settled? I haven't been paying too much attention to the Apollo forum but the last I saw was that the MMU design was far from finished. I believe it will be possible to use the Apollo MMU in MiNT, but it depends on atleast one feature that was not clear the last time I checked (page size). Without it the Vampire is of no interest to me.


For the moment 68K PMMU has low prio for them. PMMU support is also interesting for them, but not at high importance. Page size of the Apollo MCU is 8k which is supported by MiNT. So it should be possible to implement this. And later on when they decide to support real PMMU, both could be used. As you can see from my researches,
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Re: Overall strategy for hardware mods, upgrades, clones

Postby joska » Tue Feb 28, 2017 5:37 pm

exxos wrote:I personally think any upgrade should be backwards compatible with legacy software from the ST range.


I agree. That means a 68k CPU, or a way to switch back to the original CPU like you can on the CT6x. In any case you must be able to switch back to 100% stock 8MHz speed, since so many games and demos requires that.

exxos wrote:Sure it would be great to have higher resolutions.


I think it's mandatory. If you're going to accelerate the CPU it means that you're not only playing games and/or watching demos since these rarely benefits from an accelerator. On the contrary, games and demos usually suffers. More RAM, bigger resolutions (not necessarily more colours, they are nice but bigger resolutions is what makes it usable) and a faster CPU.

exxos wrote:Problem is as I have said before, Someone may have the fastest ST about, write games for it, which nobody else can play unless they have the hardware. OTOH, People might not care for legacy support and just want to multitask with huge desktop and RAM.


The thing is that you can have both at the same time. Not for watching videos or play games in a web-browser, but to run things like PureC or Papyrus faster and more comfortable while still be able to play Nebulus and watch the latest demos.

1. Faster CPU. 50MHz 030, switchable back to original CPU. Compatibility problem solved while providing CPU power for "serious" use.
2. More RAM. Add zero-waitstate fast-RAM. Does not conflict with legacy software. 128Mb or more.
3. Higher resolution, at least 1280x1024. VGA or HDMI output. Use an FPGA for this. Route shifter output through the graphics card for seamless integration and 100% compatibility with the most challenging demos. Use shifter and videl framebuffer layouts in extended mode for better compatibility. Maybe even support for multiple monitors.
4. IDE port.

Basically what has been done the last 20 years, but in one compact, integrated solution using an FPGA to provide graphics and tie everything together. In my opinion an expansion port is waste of space and money, I'd rather have everything on one compact PCB that fits inside the standard case.

Make this, and I'll pay CT6x money for it.

exxos wrote:Why bother with a apollo core anyway ? Plenty of PC CPU's about cheap, bang that on the bus and have huge caches and huge CPU quad core power, plenty of PC graphics chipsets about for peanuts. All it needs is some special libs to make use of the PC's instructions and away ya go.


I don't believe you mean this. If you do, then you really don't have a clue about what's this all about :)

But maybe you do mean it. It appears that many hardware guys rarely use their ST's, and do whatever they find interesting without caring much for what the users actually wants. Which btw is perfectly fine, this is just a hobby after all.
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1st1
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Re: Overall strategy for hardware mods, upgrades, clones

Postby 1st1 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 5:46 pm

exxos wrote:I personally go for compatibility with fastest speed possible. While the CPU can access fast-ram pushing 32MHz speeds now, all it would take would be for someone to re-design the ST's MMU to work at 32MHz speeds with SRAM instead of DRAM, run ST-RAM then at 32MHz with the CPU and the ST would get a serious kick in CPU power. Pretty much all legacy software would run and run faster. Then would come other options maybe like extra resolutions, but nobody gives a stuff about doing a replacement MMU. I'm sure there are capable people to do it easily as well.


It's not only CPU, MMU, GLUE (very important for the clockings) and shifter work very close and syncronous together. If you simply speed up, you speed up everything, including Shifter's video timimng. If you would run the MMU and GLUE at 32 Mhz, you would force shifter to make video at higher refresh rates, higher pixel clock, but there is still it's intenal counter for 640x400 which has to be tricked out like Autoswitch Overscan does it to really get higher resolutions. Or you need to produce new clock sync signals for shifter to get back the original timing.

All of this is decribed in principal for the 12 Mhz patch, like here: http://www.stcarchiv.de/stc1992/09_gehtdoch.php
Power without the Price. It's not a bug. It's a feature. _/|\_ATARI

1040STFM in PC-Tower (PAK68/2, OvrScn, 4 MB, 1GB SCSI, CD-ROM...) * 2x Falcon 030 32GB/14MB+ScrnBlstrIII * 2x TT030 73GB/20MB+Nova * 520/1040STFM * 520/1040STE * 260/520ST/+ * some Mega ST * 2x Mega STE 500MB/4MB+M.CoCo * Stacy * STBook * SLM605 * SLM804 * SLM605 * SMM804 * SH 204/205 * Megafile 30/44/60 * SF314 * SF354 * 5x Pofo * PC3

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Re: Overall strategy for hardware mods, upgrades, clones

Postby exxos » Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:31 pm

Its ok in theory to have a "stock mode" but physical space inside the case is a problem, how to fit a 68000 system with a 030 system in such little space? Plus then all the extras people want. As Rodolphe pointed out some days ago, and I myself in the past. There is little room to add everything people want, either the architecture goes 32bit and uses the 030 CPU, or it doesn't. It would be difficult to have in effect 2 systems operating independently and still fit within the physical constraints. My V2 booster only just fits in the STFM case, and adding more stuff like IDE and alt-ram is going to be hard, and no chance of it fitting in those various oddball revisions.

Even so, if the CPU gets replaced, faster ram, better video, LAN, USB and all the rest, then I think it would be a little pointless as that is what MiST is all about isn't it ? I don't think recreating a similar thing is a good investment. I mean sure, Myself and Rodolphe talked about a new motherboard a few times. It could be done. Though its back to likely being a super clocked 030 based system. It would still need a new MMU, new GLUE logic and the rest. Its just to much work for us to get into replacing chips like that.

If people want a new Atari board, something like a 030 based STE, then people will have to start actually doing some work and helping. If someone dumped a drop in replacement MMU which uses SRAM and can run at 50mhz on my desk, I would sure design a booster around it. It's a stepping stone to a new motherboard. If everything was open source and various people worked on "extra's" like a super shifter or something for higher resolutions then everyone could work on it. Though problem is, the only guys who could do the FPGA stuff are doing it for MiST. Really its where to draw the line, replacing chips is one thing, but at what point do you just end up with the MiST ? At what point does the "Atari" no longer be an actual "Atari" ?.

You are right in what you say that nothing much has changed in 20 years. Problem is everything has to be re-invented all the time. A lot of stuff is going open source so future generations can add or build on the stuff, rather than having to design stuff from the ground up, which is basically what I have been doing for years. I'm not going to do this work indefinitely either, I've been doing Atari upgrades on and off since the early 90s and not really finding this work very enjoyable much these days.

What users want is "everything" , Unfortunately I am only one person and can only do so much. There no use going into pro's and con's, like some want a faster CPU, some don't and want higher resolutions some don't. Overall, I only do what interests myself personally. Of course I do listen to what people want, which is why I am working on the fast-ram and IDE stuff next. Though people also want my new Falcon PSU's which have been on hold for about 3 months now, so booster stuff will have to wait while I please the PSU's people.

Don't get me wrong, its great that people want the stuff I design, but its more like 5 people buying one of 50 kits I do. Its a insane amount of work, I've got 100's of PCB's and designs which never made it to production, or loads of prototypes designed. I try my best to keep up, but what people want has exceeded what I personally are cable of doing. So choices have to be made to reduce my workload. This means producing the STE booster without fast-ram for example. Fast-ram can wait for another time. Even so, designing endless PCB's over and over isn't enjoyable anymore. So while I am still producing stuff, I likely won't be for much longer.

Future is open source, so when I close shop, someone else can take over all the work and update the designs and add in what everyone wants. All my designs will be open when the time comes, though I'm not going to single handedly design a whole new Atari motherboard with every feature under the sun, I don't have the time or the funds for such ventures.

I know well what people want from my series of boosters, People want IDE and fast-ram, that will be next with the fastests 68000 possible. Beyond that, Rodolphe is working on 030 boards, There are other guys about working on 030 stuff. So there isn't any need for myself to progress much past what is mentioned.

The whole idea of the expansion bus was so that people could develop addons for the boosters, but again , nobody will do that, its all left to people like myself and Rodolphe to keep doing all the work. We don't wake up one morning and suddenly know all about how everything works, takes months if not years of research.

As I said before, there are people on here which could really give our projects a huge speed injection with various things, but they don't. So it falls back on people like myself to do even more work in re-creating things which are already done. Which brings me back to what I said earlier.

So while this thread had a interesting subject, there is no solution to "Overall strategy for hardware mods". My philosophy is the machine must be as compatible as possible to run legacy software. My boosters already do that, that can be turned off. So adding fast-RAM and IDE is the next most sensible steps for me. Yes nothing new, but still a hell of a lot of work, and hard drives is a really useful thing.

It would make sense to me to have some drop in replacement chips which can run faster on the Atari, like the MMU as a next step, but I think that is unlikely to happen. Nobody wants a expansion bus or wants to develop anything for it. So its pretty clear really from my perspective where things will go.

My main focus lately is keeping the original hardware functioning and replacing things like the PSU and various fixes and mods. From my point of view, when people like myself and Rodolphe say "enough" I can't see anyone else taking over booster work or adding more features. Nobody is interested in that now, so when we leave, well......
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Re: Overall strategy for hardware mods, upgrades, clones

Postby exxos » Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:45 pm

1st1 wrote:It's not only CPU, MMU, GLUE (very important for the clockings) and shifter work very close and syncronous together. If you simply speed up, you speed up everything, including Shifter's video timimng. If you would run the MMU and GLUE at 32 Mhz, you would force shifter to make video at higher refresh rates, higher pixel clock, but there is still it's intenal counter for 640x400 which has to be tricked out like Autoswitch Overscan does it to really get higher resolutions. Or you need to produce new clock sync signals for shifter to get back the original timing.

All of this is decribed in principal for the 12 Mhz patch, like here: http://www.stcarchiv.de/stc1992/09_gehtdoch.php


That is speeding up the whole bus "as is" and is a very old bad hack. If you speed up the shifter, yes it runs twice as fast, you also have to run the MMU twice as fast, though its been already proven you can still get the shifter to work perfectly well as a stock machine. You have to slow down some clocks to the GLUE and rest of the system, then nothing gets screwed up. I did all that work about a year ago, but I want to max out raw CPU power before working on the ST-RAM speed.

Check out July 19,2016 http://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/last/16mhz/index.htm 16MHz system at play. ROM actually runs faster aswell even on a stock machine. Now replace the ROM with booster ROM decoding for higher speed, and instead of my previous boosters switching between 8mhz and 16mhz (or now 32mhz) the CPU would switch between 16MHz with 32MHz boost to ROM. CPU can do its internal instructions at 32MHz so gains some speed there as well. Fast forward to 64MHz ROM access and CPU boost, mix in some fast-ram and that's going to be the hard limits of what a stock 68000 system can do. Possible could progress to a 030 CPU and mix in the speed from the caches for even higher speeds.

The only thing which changes is the access to STRAM is double speed along with the CPU. This isn't easy because the MMU's clock rise and fall times are to slow to be double clocked, so it barely works. Though I plan to replace the clocks with better ones and get it reliable that way. Basically the booster will be 16MHz access to STRAM, and whatever speed the CPU can run at, aim now is 64MHz. Can still have fast-ram running at whatever speed it can, 32MHz minimum effective speed. That would be basically my final booster goal.

If someone did a faster MMU then it would need a little patching to work with the GLUE and SHIFTER timings, but no reason why ST-RAM itself can't run at 64MHz speeds with a modern MMU replacement with SRAM instead of DRAM. No reason why it would upset anything else either. Worst case would be to downclock the MMU back to stock speeds and everything should work as a stock machine again. Though as that will never happen, overclocking the MMU is the only option left for speeding up the system.

All takes a lot of time but the overall design ideas are already proven and tested. As I am working on like 20 Atari projects at once, then I don't have much time each year to do this work.
4MB STFM 1.44 FD- VELOCE+ 020 STE - Falcon 030 CT60 - Atari 2600 - Atari 7800 - Gigafile - SD Floppy Emulator - PeST - various clutter

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Re: Overall strategy for hardware mods, upgrades, clones

Postby joska » Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:07 pm

exxos wrote:Its ok in theory to have a "stock mode" but physical space inside the case is a problem,


There is plenty of space inside an STE/STFM when you replace the PSU with a PicoPSU. In my own STE I have a MonSTer, an IDE->SD adapter, an ISA-adapter, an ET4000 graphics card, a Gotek (under the floppydrive) and a Raspberry Pi Zero. The keyboard fits and the case closes, although I had to cut away some of the support posts due to the size of the graphics card. There's still space left for more stuff though.

exxos wrote:It would be difficult to have in effect 2 systems operating independently and still fit within the physical constraints.


I can see that for the STFM. The CPU is awkwardly positioned in all motherboards I've seen, either in front of the PCB under the keyboard, or between the mouse ports and floppy drive. But it's much easier on the STE. Isn't the CPU in the same place on all revisions? I'm sure I haven't seen all but I've never seen an STE that doesn't have the CPU left to the mouse ports.

exxos wrote:My V2 booster only just fits in the STFM case, and adding more stuff like IDE and alt-ram is going to be hard, and no chance of it fitting in those various oddball revisions.


I have an IDE interface that worked around this by using a ribbon cable between the interface and the CPU. But I understand, it's tricky to create a good, versatile solution for the STFM that does not require casemods. Maybe focus on the STE?

exxos wrote:Even so, if the CPU gets replaced, faster ram, better video, LAN, USB and all the rest, then I think it would be a little pointless as that is what MiST is all about isn't it ?


MIST is great, but it's a better Amiga than ST :) The ST core is good for playing games but it's not capable of running demos. Accelerating an ST(E) is much better for compatibility as long as you can switch to stock configuration. You just can't do that with the MIST. At least not yet. I'm not sure if there's enough knowledge of the internal workings of the ST chipset to accurately reproduce it.

exxos wrote:Though its back to likely being a super clocked 030 based system.


In that case there is no ST compatibility left. Atleast not on the level that's required for demos and a lot of games. An FPGA solution would be better then. Something more powerful than the MIST. Sounds like the standalone Vampire actually...
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Re: Overall strategy for hardware mods, upgrades, clones

Postby 1st1 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:07 pm

Exxos, rpineau and all, I see the total solution in Vampire. It includes fast, fully compatible CPU (with throtteling) (PMMU is open topic, but let's wait...), Fastram, IDE/SD-Card-Support, Full-HD-Graphics card and much more in very small space which could fit in any ST series machines. One day when it will be available for ST it makes all other turbo cards, memeory and graphics cards just obsolete. I understand your argument that as it's not availabe yet then it's not real. Varporware... And they are AMIGA guys, don't trust AMiga guys, they are just the dark side, evil... But that shows that you don't have visions. You can make your 68020,30 turbocards and so, but one day peoples will bite in their own ass when Vampire is available and they have spent money and effort in those legacy cards with second hand processors and so.

More intelligent would be to take all these VHDL codes from MiST, Suska and so on for the different ATARI custom chips and modify these VHDL codes to supportg ALTERA defined standard bus system or ARM bus system as the Apollo team is using. Such modified VHDL codes could be easily merged into Vampire and would get an Vampire ST comming much closer. It's in your hands.

So just continue to build the 10th type of slightly different 68020 accelerators... Every Atari guy has to made his own, otherwise he is no real man. Have fun! Don't care on double work.
Power without the Price. It's not a bug. It's a feature. _/|\_ATARI

1040STFM in PC-Tower (PAK68/2, OvrScn, 4 MB, 1GB SCSI, CD-ROM...) * 2x Falcon 030 32GB/14MB+ScrnBlstrIII * 2x TT030 73GB/20MB+Nova * 520/1040STFM * 520/1040STE * 260/520ST/+ * some Mega ST * 2x Mega STE 500MB/4MB+M.CoCo * Stacy * STBook * SLM605 * SLM804 * SLM605 * SMM804 * SH 204/205 * Megafile 30/44/60 * SF314 * SF354 * 5x Pofo * PC3


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