new GFX card

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By PingPong

Prophet (3666)

PingPong's picture

09-09-2008, 21:38

Hi, all. I've 'talked' with the V5Z80P project engineer about the possibility to use it's work done in FPGA on msx-
He said me that it's possible to alter the project to use in a port based environment on msx2 (although it's not needed. It's project work on a memory based approach). What is good is the ability to have 56 sprites / scanline with every sprite pixel in one of 256 color! sprites are 16x16 pixels wide. Much better than V9990. Who is interested?

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By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9853)

wolf_'s picture

09-09-2008, 21:51

omg another graphics card forumthread ^___^

By Pentarou

Champion (333)

Pentarou's picture

09-09-2008, 22:00

Ask him how much do the part cost and how much would only the PCB cost, please.
Another thing: ask him if the V5Z80P can be changed to mimic the OCM and how much a complete unit costs.
ThanksSmile

By PingPong

Prophet (3666)

PingPong's picture

09-09-2008, 22:05

Ask him how much do the part cost and how much would only the PCB cost, please.
Another thing: ask him if the V5Z80P can be changed to mimic the OCM and how much a complete unit costs.
ThanksSmile

No, no OCM mimic, it's a Xilix device, not an ALTERA. I do not know what is better, but surely they are non so similar.

By Pentarou

Champion (333)

Pentarou's picture

09-09-2008, 22:57

No, no OCM mimic, it's a Xilix device, not an ALTERA. I do not know what is better, but surely they are non so similar.

I've seen that it's a Xilink, Wink
Most of the free FPGA "circuits" can be ported to other architectures, if the target device spec are similar, with a few modifications.

By MagicBox

Master (198)

MagicBox's picture

10-09-2008, 08:49

Seeing these threads my interest has been sparked. I did VDP coding in the old MSX days and later on PC I wrote 2D render engines that acted like a software VDP. I'm also an electrical engineer, designing digital circuits for hobby projects, using FPGAs, CPLDs and uCs.

Well 1 + 1 = 2. I think it will be fun to design a heavily beefed up VDP that would work for an MSX. I did a concept draft for a screenmode already, just to set specs:

256x212 resolution
16M Color palette
512x 8x8 pixel 256 color map patterns
256x 8x8 pixel 256 color sprite patterns (64x 16x16 256 color sprite patterns)
256 Sprites simultaniously be displayed, no limit on number of sprites / scanline
4 overlayed pattern name tables (maps), each with independant smoothscroll registers
Visible mapsize 32x26, however virtual mapsize can be bigger for smoothscroll to work and have pattern name update regions well outside display area. I.E. Layer granularity can be set.
(Virtual map with and height in patterns, display offset X / Y in pixels, per layer)
Hardware Z-Ordering for individual patterns on their layers as well as sprites.

One such "page" would require 64KB.

Videomemory accessible through a 16KB slot page.

I would be using a Xilinx FPGA device for this, since it offers great features to implement such thing. Altera would have alternatives too, it's just that I'm a Xilinx guy.

Bear in mind, these are just concept specs for only one screenmode. But obviously, a screenmode that would be used exclusively for gaming.

By jltursan

Prophet (2456)

jltursan's picture

10-09-2008, 10:59

I have no idea of designing such piece of hardware; but I think that definitely, this kind of GFX card must be untied as much as possible from the Z80. This CPU has not enough speed to handle so much VRAM.

How can it be solved?, maybe sending little programs to the own GFX card memory and letting the card running them?, preloading ALL the data (as the VSU seems to do) and work only with registers fast updates?

By sjoerd

Hero (599)

sjoerd's picture

10-09-2008, 11:05

I think it will be fun to design a heavily beefed up VDP that would work for an MSX.

That will be fun indeed Smile

But:

Only 512x 8x8 pixel 256 color map patterns?
Only 64x 16x16 256 color sprite patterns?

And what about transparency, scaling, rotating and screensplits? Smile

MSX has a pretty slow CPU, so the VDP has to do a lot itself. It would be fun if it was also possible to implement some math instructions like multiply and such in fpga.

Anyway, I’ll discuss with ghostguy what we are missing in the gfx9000 and see if we can come up with a nice wish list Tongue

By Salamander2

Expert (124)

Salamander2's picture

10-09-2008, 11:28

omg another graphics card forumthread ^___^

good! let them come!
let the people say what they want!

these alternatives need to be pratical: simple, powerfull and cheap.

By Salamander2

Expert (124)

Salamander2's picture

10-09-2008, 11:34

And what about transparency, scaling, rotating and screensplits? Smile

MSX has a pretty slow CPU, so the VDP has to do a lot itself. It would be fun if it was also possible to implement some math instructions like multiply and such in fpga.

Anyway, I’ll discuss with ghostguy what we are missing in the gfx9000 and see if we can come up with a nice wish list Tongue

the super nintendo cpu is almost the same of the nes. it is incredible slow.
but its vdp chip is awesome. very very powerfull.
and look, has many effects that we need, rotation, scalling. even the translucid that only now will be avaliable in the VSU.

look again! how much cost the supernes nowadays?
the gba and nds has these effects too but they are cheap and powerfull!

the nintendo ds can navigate in the internet web pages!

so please add these suggestions on your wish list.
no more bulky and outdated hardware. simplicity is everything.

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9853)

wolf_'s picture

10-09-2008, 12:02

How about a bit of flash RAM + CPU on such a card on which you can drop your own routines, unloading the Z80. Naturally, such routines should have access to the whole VRAM, no bus, just direct (like ADVRAM). This would mean that if you manage to code a rotate routine in some language: you upload it to the card, and now your card has an extra native function: rotating! You wouldn't ruin the card in case of bad code, when reset, the code-RAM is empty again.

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