Is it possible to create a "Next" in a ZX-UNO like board?

This section is for discussing everything about Next hardware and latest updates.
Post Reply
Eratosthenes
Posts: 229
Joined: Mon May 29, 2017 8:17 pm

Is it possible to create a "Next" in a ZX-UNO like board?

Post by Eratosthenes » Tue Sep 03, 2019 11:07 am

Moin, moin!

Owning "Just The Board", I like fiddling around with the Next. I really like it but I'd like to have a much smaller case.
I like it having real (FPGA-) hardware, but I don't need the fully equiped case. - My actual setup looks like this:
NextDisplay.jpg
Therre is no ZX Spectrum Next you could see
NextDisplay.jpg (44.61 KiB) Viewed 473 times
So I don't use the hardware (case, keyboard, ...). Is there anything out there looking similar to a ZX-UNO that is able to run a ZX Spectrum Next core? I don't care about the hardware options like the expansion port or other connectors. HDMI would be my 1st choice and PS/2 for the keyboard should be available.

The form factor should look something like this - it's less then 5 inches wide and powered by a 5V micro USB PSU:
HowMyNextShoultLookLike.jpg
My favorite ZX-UNO
HowMyNextShoultLookLike.jpg (61.54 KiB) Viewed 473 times
Is it possible to create a hardware of this kind?

THNX for info.

MfL
der Eratosthenes

Alcoholics Anonymous
Posts: 508
Joined: Mon May 29, 2017 7:00 pm

Re: Is it possible to create a "Next" in a ZX-UNO like board?

Post by Alcoholics Anonymous » Tue Sep 03, 2019 6:36 pm

The fpga on the uno is too small for a next core. However the zx dos is using the same size fpga. You will lose some things like pi, exp bus, etc, and I think the sram on the dos is only 512k which is really too small (it should be at least 1MB like the minimum zx next spec). So maybe it's still not an ideal fit as it is today. When the core is released, I'm sure Antonio will give it a go at least.

Things like the mister will likely be able to run the zx next core as well, again with some things removed. But it will take some work to adapt the sources to that machine.

Just adding - it is possible for third parties to make their own next boards. It has been done already with one person making a reduced size pcb for a zx next handheld. He did this without input from the team.

Eratosthenes
Posts: 229
Joined: Mon May 29, 2017 8:17 pm

Re: Is it possible to create a "Next" in a ZX-UNO like board?

Post by Eratosthenes » Tue Sep 03, 2019 7:09 pm

Hi,

thanks for the info. I know that the Spartan 6 of the ZX-Uno is too small.

I think it was not clear what I'm asking for... ;-)

I'd like to have a board similar to the one above that is able to run a ZX Spectrum Next core and is in a similar form factor.

MfL
der Eratosthenes

Tau Ceti
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:00 pm

Re: Is it possible to create a "Next" in a ZX-UNO like board?

Post by Tau Ceti » Wed Sep 04, 2019 1:02 am

Someone said that if the Next core was to appear on another FPGA, some work would be required:

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=1212

If someone could do a Mister ZX Next core, it would open up ZX Spectrum Next to a much larger group of people.

Ped7g
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:11 pm

Re: Is it possible to create a "Next" in a ZX-UNO like board?

Post by Ped7g » Wed Sep 04, 2019 6:37 am

"I'd like to have a board similar to the one above that is able to run a ZX Spectrum Next core and is in a similar form factor."

But AA did answer you. Of course it is possible, but nobody (except one individual creating his "handheld" version of Next) did it so far. I.e. if you are looking for finished board to buy, there's none.

I think the handheld guy had the original 2A board, and figured the schematics by looking at it, but upon the Next kickstarter being finalized, all the technical documentation including schematics should be available (I think lot of it already is, but I didn't read the HW specs, so I'm not sure to what extent ... I'm sure the VHDL of the core firmware is not released yet, but other things maybe already are) as the Next is "open" project (the case-design and Sinclair logo NOT included, those are (C) of their particular owners and not available ... also few tools on the tbblue distro image are closed source). So you will be able to even do such small board design based against original schematics, saving you some time of "dissecting" of original board. (and if you don't plan to design the board yourself, this is still like good news, because it increases the chances of somebody else designing the small Next board and make such design available).

User avatar
SevenFFF
Posts: 221
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2017 5:30 pm
Location: USA

Re: Is it possible to create a "Next" in a ZX-UNO like board?

Post by SevenFFF » Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:18 pm

The ZX-DOS is the successor to the ZX-UNO. It has the same FPGA chip as the Next, and the same size and case as the UNO. Antonio even sells it for cheaper than he sells the UNO, I think.

It’s completely possible to synthesize the Next core for the DOS. This has not been a priority for anyone on the Next team to do, yet. But once the Next core VHDL code has been open-sourced, probably somebody in the community with experience and skills will do it fairly quickly.
Robin Verhagen-Guest
SevenFFF / Threetwosevensixseven / colonel32
NXtel Spectron 2084blog

FuZX
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:49 am

Re: Is it possible to create a "Next" in a ZX-UNO like board?

Post by FuZX » Fri Sep 06, 2019 7:13 am

One could also look for an ITX generic format board, allowing the reuse of so many empty cases avail for nib...
and no plastic moldering issues ;-)

Eratosthenes
Posts: 229
Joined: Mon May 29, 2017 8:17 pm

Re: Is it possible to create a "Next" in a ZX-UNO like board?

Post by Eratosthenes » Sun Oct 06, 2019 5:34 pm

Hi,

@FuZX: "One" could, but I'm looking forward to have a (FPGA-) version of the ZX Spectrum Next fitting into a RasPI-like case.

The DOS could be a solution. - Time will tell...

MfL
der Eratosthenes

Post Reply