ACP Atari Coldfire

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ACP Atari Coldfire

Postby PeterS » Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:04 am

It's good to see steady progress on the Atari Coldfire Project http://acp.atari.org It must be great to see the machine boot up after all the work so far. I imagine there is still a long way to go yet with lots of testing and slowly adding the base peripherals (keyboard mouse etc.)

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Re: ACP Atari Coldfire

Postby wongck » Thu Nov 19, 2009 12:40 pm

Seems to be movin along nicely. 8)
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Re: ACP Atari Coldfire

Postby dexterslab » Thu Nov 19, 2009 1:02 pm

yea, i'd like to have one... can't justify the cost though

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Re: ACP Atari Coldfire

Postby wongck » Thu Nov 19, 2009 1:16 pm

dexterslab wrote:yea, i'd like to have one... can't justify the cost though


But there is no price information on the web page....
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Re: ACP Atari Coldfire

Postby PeterS » Thu Nov 19, 2009 2:21 pm

I don't think the price is fixed yet, I have heard rumours, either way it won't be cheap due to the low volume production. I'll still be getting one though, who can resist the temptation ? Casing, keyboard/mouse, drives etc are cheap after that.

This will be comfortably faster than my Milan060 and will have more memory and USB and will probably be more Falcon compatible. Shame it can't be PCI mounted in the Milan.

The design looks suitable for putting in a laptop but I can't find any laptop enclosures.

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Re: ACP Atari Coldfire

Postby wongck » Thu Nov 19, 2009 2:46 pm

PeterS wrote:The design looks suitable for putting in a laptop but I can't find any laptop enclosures.

:lol: You mean a laptop casing like this on ebay 150387424145
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Re: ACP Atari Coldfire

Postby Mathias » Fri Nov 20, 2009 5:58 am

PeterS wrote:I don't think the price is fixed yet, I have heard rumours, either way it won't be cheap due to the low volume production.


The price is fixed. It´s 599,- Euros + your local VAT or import sales tax + shipping. You can (pre-)order directly at acpinfo at atari.org or at medusacomputer.com

The price isn´t at 599,- only because of the low volume production, it´s also because of the high quality of the used parts. The FPGA alone is at 120,- Euros each (but this will be the key for new improvements and the usability within the next decades). Our parts alone are at 450,- Euros so we are glad that we reached the 599,- including PCB and soldering. BTW it will be the cheapest Atari clone of all times ;)
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Re: ACP Atari Coldfire

Postby wongck » Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:03 am

Mathias wrote:
PeterS wrote:The price is fixed. It´s 599,- Euros + your local VAT or import sales tax + shipping. You can (pre-)order directly at acpinfo at atari.org or at medusacomputer.com

And we are like how many months away from production?
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Re: ACP Atari Coldfire

Postby Mathias » Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:45 am

wongck wrote: And we are like how many months away from production?

You don´t really expect me to answer this question, do you? ;)

Be sure the computer will be built. From beginning of December 08 to April we had a first layout and an estimate of costs, and set up a verry good team. From April to August we improved the board and sent the prototypes to production, increased our team and started with many software-tasks like USB driver etc.
We receved the 3 prototypes in October and booted EmuTOS for the first time this week. What shall I tell you now, regarding a team of 36+ people working for the project in their spare time? That it will definitely be in February, or in June? Nono, one of our goals is to not prove anything we don´t know exactly!

So you´ll have to wait until the machine is ready and we call for the first production run, which than will take about 6-8 weeks.

I hope you understand that Atari-scene had enough promises which never became reality ;)
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Re: ACP Atari Coldfire

Postby PeterS » Fri Nov 20, 2009 9:42 am

That was the price I heard but I didn't know how official it was and couldn't find the source.

I hadn't realised the parts were so expensive. Obviously this isn't a PC which you have to replace every 2 years because it's too slow or hasn't got enough memory. I bought my Milan in 98 or 99 and I have spent quite a bit on it but it is still going strong. Hopefully this will be the same or better.

I am happy as long as the project keeps moving along. The project has reached that exciting stage were things start working and the customers get eager. We have to be patient, no doubt there is a lot of testing and some frustration to come but great work so far. :cheers:

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Re: ACP Atari Coldfire

Postby wongck » Fri Nov 20, 2009 11:32 am

Sorry no offence guys, I wouldn't call this a project then.... From my IPMA, a project has defined start and end date.
So this is more of a weekend/spare time hobby.
I really believed that this was a product done by Medusa and so will have some defined time line.
Nevertheless, it is good to see that it is picking up steam and heading the right direction after several years of dormant.
Especially now that no more new accelerator are being made, and this new device is miles ahead of any accelerator addon. :thumbs:
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Re: ACP Atari Coldfire

Postby PeterS » Fri Nov 20, 2009 12:36 pm

Ah the good old business definition of a project. Doesn't matter whether it works or not but we delivered on time :D

I am not involved in the project but to me it has a goal, to build a Coldfire Atari clone. That's good enough for me.

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Re: ACP Atari Coldfire

Postby wongck » Fri Nov 20, 2009 1:50 pm

PeterS wrote:I hadn't realised the parts were so expensive. Obviously this isn't a PC which you have to replace every 2 years because it's too slow or hasn't got enough memory. I bought my Milan in 98 or 99 and I have spent quite a bit on it but it is still going strong. Hopefully this will be the same or better.


unfortunately, only hard to obtain and older parts are expensive.
And on that PC replacement every 2 years... that's because it cannot play the latest DirectX 10 games any more.
I am quite happy with Z2: Steel Soldiers by Bitmap brothers on my dad's 286 system.
I think it can't even load the splash screen of Crysis (and that's 2 years old already). :lol:
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Re: ACP Atari Coldfire

Postby Mathias » Fri Nov 20, 2009 4:16 pm

wongck wrote:I really believed that this was a product done by Medusa and so will have some defined time line.

The hardware is done by Medusa Computer Systems, so yes it´s a normal product with 2 years warranty etc. . The FPGA IP-Core is done by Inventronic/Suska, the TOS licence will come from Milan, etc. But everybody is working free of charge!

Why should we define a time line, when there is no market any more? That would do nothing than to put some pressure to the team-members and gain expectations which maybe can´t be fullfilled. Even the projects which earn a little money (CT60/63, Nature, ...) don´t have a fixed time line.

I strongly belive that it´s a sign of consequence and sincerity that we tell "we will build the computer but don´t know if we need another month or five for development". In fact I´m also not aware if ever before such a huge Open Source hardware was done - a complete desctop computer. To me that seems only possible because we take our time, and don´t have to sell anything and therefore tell no lies to anybody.
:coffe:

Thank you also for your kind words about the right direction.
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Re: ACP Atari Coldfire

Postby wongck » Sat Nov 28, 2009 10:54 am

Mathias wrote:Thank you also for your kind words about the right direction.

[smilie=greencolorz4_pdt_01.gif] The specs speaks for themselves... 266MHz, ethernet, USB....
Who would not like to have one...
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Re: ACP Atari Coldfire

Postby KLund1 » Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:55 pm

This looks like a great idea/project!! I might like to get one! After looking over the Atari Coldfire web site, there are a lot of things that are a bit vague, at least to me, about this wonderful product they are still working on. I hope they can put more info about there system on there web site.
I'm wonder about about compatibility, and building. What kind of case will this fit into? What type of power supply connection? Will a HD FDD work, and will it read SS floppy disk & DS floppy disks? Will it run a copy of a 1985 public domain version of Monopoly in ST Low Res, and at ST speed? Or will it run programs too fast, with this new coldfire cpu? Will it be compatible with all versions of TOS, and by country verions US/UK?German, etc? Or willit be something like a MiNT only type of OS? What about getting the word out a bit more about this, and create some 'Buzz' like there was for the Ultra Satan Disk? Maybe have 'pre-order' sale with 10% off the final price??
Maybe I'm not looking in the right places about this. I just first read about this in a posting on Atari.com/reto/st today.
Anyway, Good luck to the Atari Coldfore project, I for one, can't wait to see it come out for sale!!!!!
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Re: ACP Atari Coldfire

Postby atarimusic[dot]net » Wed Dec 09, 2009 4:29 am

You pose some excellent questions, some of which I wished I had asked Mathias, the project coordinator of ACP, when I interviewed him last month...

You can find out a little more about the product specs here on my public-access facebook group http://www.facebook.com/group.php?v=app ... 5513878661. The article is geared towards the ACP's MIDI and audio specs but still has general specs written about it.

This interview will also go up on my website http://www.atarimusic.net when it goes live Jan 1, 2010

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Re: ACP Atari Coldfire

Postby joska » Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:28 am

KLund1 wrote:This looks like a great idea/project!! I might like to get one! After looking over the Atari Coldfire web site, there are a lot of things that are a bit vague, at least to me, about this wonderful product they are still working on. I hope they can put more info about there system on there web site.


The Atari chips (MFP, soundchip, floppy controller, SCSI, ACSI, IDE, ACIA, Videl...) is implemented in FPGA like on the Suska board. So compatibility is good. I'm not so sure about running old games and stuff like that, the Coldfire itself is not 100% 68k-compatible so there will have to be some emulation involved.
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Re: ACP Atari Coldfire

Postby alexh » Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:35 am

joska wrote:I'm not so sure about running old games and stuff like that, the Coldfire itself is not 100% 68k-compatible so there will have to be some emulation involved.

I believe there is little chance of it being able to run the vast majority of pre-compiled Atari ST games & Demo's. They were all about instruction timing which will be different. Plus the overhead of the 68k emulator is reported to take the Coldfire to an average of below 030@50MHz performance which is why the Amiga Coldfire design (Dragon) was shelved. It is possible they could be patched but the work is enormous.

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Re: ACP Atari Coldfire

Postby joska » Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:59 am

alexh wrote:
joska wrote:I'm not so sure about running old games and stuff like that, the Coldfire itself is not 100% 68k-compatible so there will have to be some emulation involved.

I believe there is little chance of it being able to run the vast majority of pre-compiled Atari ST games & Demo's. They were all about instruction timing which will be different. Plus the overhead of the 68k emulator is reported to take the Coldfire to an average of below 030@50MHz performance which is why the Amiga Coldfire design (Dragon) was shelved. It is possible they could be patched but the work is enormous.


But isn't a 50MHz 68030 faster than a 8MHz 68000 which is what you have to emulate to run ST games and demos? ;-)

You don't need a full 68000 emulator to run existing applications on the Coldfire. Applications that can't be recompiled for the Coldfire would have to rely on a supporting library to handle illegal instructions, or be patched permanently or during loading (JIT). I'm confident that this will work just fine.
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Re: ACP Atari Coldfire

Postby dexterslab » Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:59 am

alexh wrote:Plus the overhead of the 68k emulator is reported to take the Coldfire to an average of below 030@50MHz performance


thats a real shame, though the other features would boost comparative performance... bus speed etc. Shame they didn't use a real 060 with fpga for everything else

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Re: ACP Atari Coldfire

Postby joska » Wed Dec 09, 2009 9:27 am

dexterslab wrote:
alexh wrote:Plus the overhead of the 68k emulator is reported to take the Coldfire to an average of below 030@50MHz performance


thats a real shame, though the other features would boost comparative performance... bus speed etc. Shame they didn't use a real 060 with fpga for everything else


Why a 060? That would only be a Falcon+CT60-clone. The Coldfire is much faster, and it has a lot of stuff built-in which makes the ACP much cheaper than a 060-based clone would. The ACP might seem expensive, but in reality it's the cheapest clone ever made.
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Re: ACP Atari Coldfire

Postby alexh » Wed Dec 09, 2009 10:08 am

I'm sure cost is irrelevant to potential buyers?

If it were then their choice would be emulation (ARAnyM?). Much cheaper, faster with potentially higher compatibility.

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Re: ACP Atari Coldfire

Postby joska » Wed Dec 09, 2009 10:39 am

alexh wrote:I'm sure cost is irrelevant to potential buyers?

If it were then their choice would be emulation (ARAnyM?). Much cheaper, faster with potentially higher compatibility.


It already is. Aranym is probably the most popular "clone" in existence. I use it myself occasionally. But it's not a "real", physical computer.
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Re: ACP Atari Coldfire

Postby dexterslab » Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:15 am

joska wrote:Why a 060? That would only be a Falcon+CT60-clone. The Coldfire is much faster, and it has a lot of stuff built-in which makes the ACP much cheaper than a 060-based clone would. The ACP might seem expensive, but in reality it's the cheapest clone ever made.


sorry, yea i'm sure they are doing the right thing... and fpga means it can be changed/updated

for what the project is, it's very cheap for a low volume one-off system. I'd love one but it's more than i'd want to spend on my atari hobby especially the way the £ to € is at the moment.


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