Gigamix Online have just posted an article on the One Chip MSX1 containing several close-up pictures and some extra information. The pictures were taken during the MSX Meeting in Minakan, which was held on November 8th.
The first thing that strikes the reviewer is the size of the One Chip MSX: about the same size as a DVD jewel case and just bit smaller than the new Sony Playstation 2. A - for MSX measures - huge amount of 32MB memory is used as smaller capacity SDRAM chips are no longer available at reasonable prices. Although the prototype features many connectors it is likely that quite a few will be left out in the final version in order to reduce production costs.
The reviewer is pleasantly surprised by the way the One Chip MSX1 runs MSX1 software. The real MSX1 palette is being used and the image quality is very high. The 31kHz RGB connector which is used to connect to a VGA monitor can, with a cheap conversion cable and a change of settings, also be used to produce a 15kHz RGB output (RGB-SCART), which makes it possible to connect the One Chip MSX1 to old RGB monitors and televisions as well.
The cartridge slots on the One Chip MSX1 are real cartridge slots which means that, unlike with MSX Game Reader, I/O based extensions like external diskdrives, soundcards, GFX9000 and ObsoNET all work just like they do on real MSX computers. The One Chip MSX also is capable of running MSX2 software, but while doing so 80% of the FPGA space is already in use, making it nearly impossible to implement MSX2+ as well. It is not clear, however, if the FPGA chip of the production version of the One Chip MSX will have more (or less) gates.
Another surprising feature of the One Chip MSX1 is the combination of MSX1 running Disk BASIC 2. By default it is even possible to use FAT16, which makes it possible to use partitions of up to 2 Gigabytes on the SD Card.
At the end of the review Gigamix shows a potential future One Chip MSX setup, connecting it to a TFT screen, a PS/2 keyboard and a USB mouse and joypad. All in all Gigamix is very excited about the current prototype of the One Chip MSX. Hopefully the production version will do the finishing touch.
Relevant link: One Chip MSX preview at Gigamix