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Enlighted (5918)

NYYRIKKI's picture

31-08-2005, 15:24

I don't think Space Manbow uses even HMMM etc. The game it self is working on SCREEN 4 and HMMM type of commands works only in SCREEN 5-8 in V9938. In V9958 there is a possibility to use HMMM in SCREEN 4 though.

By Leo

Paragon (1236)

Leo's picture

31-08-2005, 17:22

I found this link

An fpga board specially designed for doing "retro compting" like commodores ...

By cax

Prophet (3737)

cax's picture

31-08-2005, 18:15

"pushed by numerous projects around the web"

I doubt this - can you show me those "numerous projects" ?

By jltursan

Prophet (2619)

jltursan's picture

31-08-2005, 18:52

I don't know what's the most popular FPGA develpment board; but right now the C-One is a pretty good one :


It supports mainly C-64 & CPC families.

...but is VERY expensive, 269€!

By Leo

Paragon (1236)

Leo's picture

31-08-2005, 22:01

there is also sprinter in Russia

By erikmaas

Expert (66)

erikmaas's picture

31-08-2005, 22:28

@leo: Hmmmm.... The sources I already had here do not have a command engine at all (sources from 2002 from which I thought they were the last ones released)... So after a bit of browsing I now think I have the same sources you have, and they are much newer (2004-01-17).
The VDP command engine appears to be almost complete but it looks like LINE/SRCH/PSET and POINT are not yet implemented. If the OCM would have been produced, and the MSX-2 update would have been shipped, I would expect that those limitations would have been solved. But I could have overseen these VDP commands.

I wonder what the price of the package would be if quantities are 100 or below:

  • Cyclone EP1C12Q240C6 : +/- 50 euro
  • PCB 4 layers : 80 euro Question double sided would be much cheaper but is a risk : +/- 40 euro
  • Video encoder (Like SAA7129) : +/- 10 euro
  • SDRAM : +/- 10 euro
  • Flash memory AM29DL164 : +/- 5 euro
  • resistors/capacitors/regulators/buffers/etc : +/- 10 euro
  • Clock chip : No idea, an SRAM based clock IC with RICOH PR5C01 emulation through FPGA?
  • Connectors : +/- 15 euro (2xDIN9, 2xPS/2, MSX-cartridge, cinch-CVBS, 2xcinch-audio, 1xY/C, 1xSD)
  • Assembly : No idea

So that would make about 180 euro without clock-chip, battery, assembly or casing.
Ofcourse the above prices are just guesses, who makes the numbers more accurate and fills in the blanks?
And more important : is someone able to figure out the 1000+ prices?

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9956)

wolf_'s picture

31-08-2005, 22:43


Perhaps Sunrise can give some info on this one?

By Leo

Paragon (1236)

Leo's picture

31-08-2005, 23:06

On this photo this is the MSX-ESE with an external Z80.
Cyclone is quite expensive , cyclone II is 44 euros.
PCB is a bit expensive I belive signle side could be enough
Video encoder is not necessary for vga only output.
connectors coul be less 2 cinch audio + MSX cartridge + vga + 1 PS2 + 1 subd9
flash memory could be more.
I beleive Z80 are very cheap maybe an external Z80+ smaller fpga like spartan 2/3 could be cheaper...

If I look at the hisroty of my vdp.vhd I see that :
screen 7/8 +vga added by october 2003
screen0 width 80 by december 2003
VDP cmds HMMM... added by january 2004
this vdp is used inside kuni.vhd top file which I used to run quartus.
Compilation is not too long 2/3 minutes on my sempron 2200+.

I am looking for cheap fpga board with 512 colors, most of them have less
bits 8 or 64 colors ... I wonder if it is possible to extend an 8 colors to 512
just using some trick like very fast blinking.
at 31khz with 512 horizontal points , dot clock is about 15MHz , so there is
some headroom if we suppose that the fastest fpga logic can run to 100MHz.

By erikmaas

Expert (66)

erikmaas's picture

01-09-2005, 00:04

A single sided PCB is hardly possible I can assure you, the signals on one side, with some wires on the other, it would be possible to get 100% of the pins connected. But a FPGA needs a real good ground+supply. Even a double-sided layout is rather risky if you want to make a layout which does not need any re-design because of signal integrity problems.

A video encoder would come in very handy if you want to connect the thing to a TV. (An 8-bit DAC which would go till 30 MHz would also be enough. I am busy improving a PAL colour encoder I have made, once that is finished / good enough, I will put the sources somewhere.)

If you would buy a cheap FPGA board which does not have to be used to run a MSX on, then you might buy the Spartan-3 starter board from Xilinx. That board has 1 mbyte SRAM, 8-colour VGA, RS232C, PS/2, LED's, switches, buttons and expansion connectors. It comes with software and a download cable.
I added a 8-bit DAC and a 8051 CPU to it and am happy with it.
Oh yes, it costs $ 99,- without the postage and tax. (If you are in Europe: Buy it somewhere in Europe, otherwise you have to pay tax over the REAL postage amount, and that is more than you have to pay to Xilinx Crazy I had to pay 34 euros tax Crazy )

Another point that comes up with a OCM:
If a nice looking box is put around a PCB, it can be considered as a commercial product. Commercial products must comply to all kinds of rules, especially when they are being sent all over the world. Did ASCII already take this into account?
I know that the prototypes from our company, which can actually look like real products in that state, are marked very clearly that they are not a final product.

But I still do hope that MSX-A/Bazix/ESE/Whoever will make it possible to buy a OCM(2/2+/tR) LOL!

By Leo

Paragon (1236)

Leo's picture

01-09-2005, 07:19

I am trying to split the problem:
1- fpga : boards can be found for cheap
2- vhdl : could be free source,.
3- PCB : a specific design for MSX due to connectors.

In fact what limits today the implement of a MSX into an fpga is point 3.

OCM, is a product that combines a solution for these 3 points and has
been critiziced because of 2- and also because it was seen too expensive
for an MSX1 which might not be upgradable to tR (combination of 1 and 2)
due to lack of capacity.

So i think about a pcb , cheap , that can accept some fpga daughter boards.
The minimal conditions are then met. Of course , packaging and so on are missing
to name this commercial 'product'.

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