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Re: same coupe and similar beasts

Posted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:50 am
by JoeZX
Quazar wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:36 am
It's quite capable as it stands with some careful programming - I've had tremendous results with some of my software, plus all the hardware goodies I've designed for it, and continue to design for some new releases soon :)
Yeah, I am still keeping an eye on Sam Coupe homebrew SW/HW scene .. because "Sam can it do too !".
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XN8d-aP ... e=youtu.be

Re: same coupe and similar beasts

Posted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:37 pm
by Northernbob
anyone know how much space(of the fpga) the existing sam coupe core takes up...

am guessing there is room for improvement? does that interest anyone?

Re: same coupe and similar beasts

Posted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:20 am
by JoeZX
Northernbob wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:37 pm
anyone know how much space(of the fpga) the existing sam coupe core takes up...

am guessing there is room for improvement? does that interest anyone?
Much more space in specnext FPGA for Sam Coupe core than needed.

http://www.atari-forum.com/viewtopic.php?t=29937
- sam coupe FPGA soft core talks ..

Re: same coupe and similar beasts

Posted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:20 am
by Northernbob
am confused about what victor is doing atmo.

is he developing a speccy core thats more powerful, than anything around atmo? like why is he messing about on russian clone stuff.....are they making a hybrid entity......part womble part nanny goat?!

Re: same coupe and similar beasts

Posted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:27 am
by JoeZX
Northernbob wrote:
Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:20 am
am confused about what victor is doing atmo.

is he developing a speccy core thats more powerful, than anything around atmo? like why is he messing about on russian clone stuff.....are they making a hybrid entity......part womble part nanny goat?!
SpecNext core is one machine, Pentagon is another /victor is lurking russian scene to our platform/ .. they are completely separated. Imagine PC boot menu with WIN 10 and LINUX OS, you choose one, you are not running both at once.

Re: same coupe and similar beasts

Posted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:32 am
by Northernbob
ok ic thanks. nicely put with your example.

SpecNext core is one machine

is this core evolved from the +3e ? or is it much further down the road from that? eg are we getting something that been worked on over many years? will the core details be revealed soon as the next boards go into production?
i assume this is tbblue v3 ?

Re: same coupe and similar beasts

Posted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:11 pm
by JoeZX
Northernbob wrote:
Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:32 am
ok ic thanks. nicely put with your example.

SpecNext core is one machine

is this core evolved from the +3e ? or is it much further down the road from that? eg are we getting something that been worked on over many years? will the core details be revealed soon as the next boards go into production?
i assume this is tbblue v3 ?
SpecNext with its new VDP /video display processor/ - Layer2, HW scroll, HW sprites, raster interupts + audio + RAM + DMA etc. etc. .. is another completely new machine. Much muuuuuuuuuuuuch more powerful than any classic 8 bit home computer /C64, ATARI XL, 128K+3/. See also this - http://blog.retroleum.co.uk/electronics ... es/v6z80p/

"will the core details be revealed soon as the next boards go into production?" - YES, its even possible to further optimize the VHDL code.

"i assume this is tbblue v3 ?" - TBBlue is terminus technicus for FIRMWARE, not for hardware .. TBBlue is "ghost in the shell" .. even in this very second is Victor and co. working on it .. version XYZ.

Re: same coupe and similar beasts

Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 1:31 am
by mcleod_ideafix
JoeZX wrote:
Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:11 pm
"i assume this is tbblue v3 ?" - TBBlue is terminus technicus for FIRMWARE, not for hardware .. TBBlue is "ghost in the shell" .. even in this very second is Victor and co. working on it .. version XYZ.
TBBlue is not the firmware. Firmware implies software written in a "firm" (permanent or rarely updated) media. TBBlue is a core (more precisely, a soft-core). A soft-core is the set of commands directed to a FPGA to reconfigure itself to become an actual device (a microcomputer, a logic analyzer, a music synthesizer, a robot controller, an intelligent vision system, etc). TBBlue is what everybody know "the Next" when they are watching some tech demos on the screen and not the actual board, but the Next is just a container for the core. That is, a board that holds a suitable FPGA and related circuitry. You can have a Next and have its FPGA reconfigured to be a totally different thing than a TBBlue. On the other hand, you can have a FPGA board not being a Next and still, be able to reconfigure it to behave as a TBBlue microcomputer.

When TBBlue is configured in a FPGA, part of the FPGA becomes a Z80A, part becomes an internal ROM, part becomes the video chip, etc. The Z80A inside TBBlue, once given life and resseted, begins to read and execute code from the internal ROM. This code in turn accesses the SD card and loads a file called TBBLUE.FW which is then executed to show the boot screen, option screen, etc. That, besides the internal ROM, is the actual firmware.

Re: same coupe and similar beasts

Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:57 am
by JoeZX
mcleod_ideafix wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 1:31 am
.. when TBBlue is configured in a FPGA, part of the FPGA becomes a Z80A, part becomes an internal ROM, part becomes the video chip, etc. The Z80A inside TBBlue, once given life and resseted, begins to read and execute code from the internal ROM. This code in turn accesses the SD card and loads a file called TBBLUE.FW which is then executed to show the boot screen, option screen, etc. That, besides the internal ROM, is the actual firmware.
Thanks for ELI5 explanation. What I wanted to tell Northernbob was that TBBlue in first place is not a piece of "visible" PCB with wires and co. but something that could be as a "software" applicable to any enough big FPGA /plus SD etc. etc./ and that device will eventually become another "SpecNext".