HW shortage ?

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By JohnHassink

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16-09-2010, 04:18

About the sound-

When -and if- there would be more soundchips made compatible to the MSX system, a certain 'standard' would be wise.
Similar to the format which a program as MuSiCa produces; interchangeable 'music' data (mainly frequency/noise/envelope/additional).

Progressions concerning control of native/traditional MSX chips (as PSG, SCC, OPLL etc.) as well as 'new' chips (SID, SPC700, etc.) should IMO be very basic and minimalistic, holding a common ground with interchangeable values (starting with frequencies).

Think of the PT3 (or even the AY) format, a very effective way of controlling the AY-3-8910 but with possibilities to manipulate SCC registers as well, aided by additional data (development is on-going at the moment).

A 100% open source interpretation/execution of chip manipulation with respect to the MSX cpu internals seems an important factor.

[/2 cents]

By DD

Expert (88)

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16-09-2010, 09:04

The idea of another retro sound chip is very, very interesting i think!

Btw, what was used in the Yamaha CX5M, that was also the YM2151?

By syn

Prophet (2096)

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16-09-2010, 09:18

The YM2151 was used in the SFG-01 and SFG-05 cartridges (some SFG-05 models contained a different chip according to wikipedia, the YM2164), which you can also use on msx with a slot converter. No clue how many of those were made, but I gues they are as rare as CX5M, which is why I mentioned it.
These cartridges didn't include the Oki PCM chip though, which the X68000 has. Ofcourse in a replayer you can use other sources ofcourse for pcm (music module, turbo r pcm, fmpac, scc, moonsound, one of the SPC700's channels) but maybe more practical to include a real OKI MSM6258.

By karloch

Prophet (2157)

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16-09-2010, 10:53

Now with this design you can have at least 8 add-ons plus the 4 normal expansions.
and if you have two slots in your msx can have a total of 24 additional hardware expansions.

And I do believe this should be enough for a while WinkSounds so great, but be aware of power consumption. Standard MSX power supply can't take that number of devices.

no I dont know this. It would be nice if there was a "official" listing of all devices available or being developed.Yeah, but different developers, different list :P. The Donyonet is a ethernet hardware for the MSX, scheduled to be available in jan 2011. You can take a look here. There have been several "attemps" of bringing ethernet hardware on MSX and UNIAPI was created to ensure networking software keep compatibility with different ethernet implementations.

I will definitely keep this in mind. Thanks for this.

But the ethernet is last on my list.

I'm busy with the sound-chip right now.
Then I'll start with the usb-storage/HID add-on. I believe the UNIAPI also applies here right?Yeah, UNIAPI is a standard for creating BIOS code for MSX hardware. Currently it is only used by the ethernet projects, but it is designed to be used on any hardware.

Imagine you create a SPC hardware implementation for MSX, and trackers are developed for that. If another user creates another SPC cart for MSX and both are compliant with UNIAPI, the tracker could be use in both implementations.

As far as I know, UNIAPI doesn't modify hardware desing, it is more a way of coding the BIOS. Konamiman is the one who can talk about this with detail.

By RetroTechie

Paragon (1563)

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16-09-2010, 13:41

When -and if- there would be more soundchips made compatible to the MSX system, a certain 'standard' would be wise. (..) A 100% open source interpretation/execution of chip manipulation with respect to the MSX cpu internals seems an important factor.
Totally agree, but I would apply this to hardware characteristics - software will find a way once the hardware is available.

For any new soundchip development, it would make sense to me to look at popular chips of other systems. Chips that already have a FPGA implementation (so that it would be easy to port to future model MSX), and from systems that have similar memory/CPU power as MSX (so that it would ease porting software from that system a la Franky). And preferably popular platform (C64?) because that would mean large software base / musics to pick from.

But to be honest, I think MSX has more than enough soundchips already. IMHO having all those available to as many MSX users as possible, is more useful than adding yet another... For example: AFAIK there isn't a FPGA implementation of Y8950 (MSX-Audio) yet, despite the fact that many existing software knows how to use it. Would seem more useful to work on that if you want to enhance MSX sound options.

By syn

Prophet (2096)

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16-09-2010, 14:25

Why fpga? the Y8950 is still available in most of the same Chinese shops ppl get their v9958/v9990/SCC's etc..

actually I was looking around at some shops for fun (no concrete plans to make some hardware) and almost all msx related chips are still available.. at least a few thousand of each (assuming the sites are correct).

How about someone make a normal cartridge (for all msx, not marlons expander) containing Y8950 (msx audio) and YM2413 (msx music) in 1 cartridge with (either software or hardware) selectable output (either 2x mono out or "moonblaster stereo" aka 1 chip left channel 1 chip right channel). Maybe add a ym2149/AY-3-8910 (psg) with a Ymixer-like thingy while we are at it.

If I had the technical knowledge I would make it myself :D

damn msx is so inspiring :)

By RetroTechie

Paragon (1563)

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16-09-2010, 15:27

Why fpga? the Y8950 is still available in most of the same Chinese shops ppl get their v9958/v9990/SCC's etc..

  • At some point, all chips die. Not an urgent problem for Y8950 chips I think, but it will happen. By that time you either have something open/portable (like a design that can be implemented in a FPGA), or the hardware is lost.
  • Those far-east shops may have them, but price / availability might be bad. Not much of a problem if you want 1 or 2 ICs, big problem if you want to build large numbers. Just imagine 1chipMSX had been built with real V9958. Try finding several thousand of those. Maybe it's possible, maybe not. But it would certainly be difficult, and expensive.
  • It's a big chip. Modern FPGA implementation of most soundchips is (overall) more compact, power-efficient & cheaper. And easier to replace with other part if supplies run out.

For small series none of this may be a problem, but in general I would prefer not to use antique parts for new designs.

By syn

Prophet (2096)

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16-09-2010, 15:33

Ah I understand now, thank you for explaining.

I have been reading a lot about FPGA lately, for fun as well, I love the concept behind it.

By marlon-B

Expert (88)

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16-09-2010, 22:23


But to be honest, I think MSX has more than enough soundchips already

And how many of them have thousands of free music-files available for them?? hmmm ..right...only SID perhaps.

there are people who suck at composing their own music but are great at coding (like me Crying)
These people can now select nice tunes among the thousands and thousands of free .MOD / .SPC files and create
wonderful (complete) productions.

By JohnHassink

Ambassador (5605)

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16-09-2010, 23:03

Well, I hope developers would still prefer taylor-made music which fits their production.
Just like you wouldn't really want some ripped graphics from here and there. Wink

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