Mini One Chip MSX prototype

Mini One Chip MSX prototype

by supmsx on 17-03-2013, 13:20
Tags: One Chip MSX
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Korean MSX user painkilla, who also made the One Chip MSX casemod we reported about earlier, has updated his blog with photos from an interesting new project. This project is a new and very small One Chip MSX computer about the size of a Konami cartridge.

The photos show some of the prototypes of this brand new MSX computer, the new and tiny version with a single cartridge slot and an older one one with 2 cartridge slots. The new version lacks some of the USB and audio outputs but also comes with an SD card slot for convenience.

Apart from these photos, not a lot is known about this project as of yet. It's unclear when or if this project will be finished and available for the general public or if it's just a fun hobby experiment.

Relevant link: Mini One Chip MSX prototype

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Comments (33)

By Maggoo

Paragon (1214)

Maggoo's picture

17-03-2013, 15:55

Cool, would be nice to manufacture a new version of the OCM. This one reminds me of the Raspberry PI.

How about a MSX on an HDMI stick next ?;-)

http://blog.laptopmag.com/cotton-candy-tested-fastest-pc-on-...

By mtn

Champion (263)

mtn's picture

17-03-2013, 15:58

Ive seen cheap Altera Cyclone II devboards for about 30 USD.. would be nice to put one to use

By Lord_Zett

Paladin (807)

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17-03-2013, 17:38

te gek! what price ?

By Capitan_Goto

Master (168)

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19-03-2013, 08:59

Too bad news guys...from http://kpark.co.kr/2925329

painkilla 2013/03/18 21:56 #
Hello, giuseve.

The producer - Mr.M.M doesn't have any plan to export this mini MSX outside of KOREA at this time of moment.
So.. I feel sorry about it.

By supmsx

Master (158)

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19-03-2013, 09:49

I think he will be interested by many orders outside Korea

By Capitan_Goto

Master (168)

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19-03-2013, 09:51

me too

By Pac

Guardian (6395)

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19-03-2013, 19:54

Capitan_Goto wrote:

Too bad news guys...from http://kpark.co.kr/2925329

painkilla 2013/03/18 21:56 #
Hello, giuseve.

The producer - Mr.M.M doesn't have any plan to export this mini MSX outside of KOREA at this time of moment.
So.. I feel sorry about it.

As usual... He has the right to do whatever he wish but I don't understand such kind of behaviour. To invest a lot of time in a great project just to show what I'm capable to make but you never be able to enjoy. The MSX needs more community spirit, that's our force.

By MsxKun

Paragon (1030)

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19-03-2013, 20:14

I'd be more interested in his MIDI board: http://kpark.co.kr/2927012

By hbarcellos

Hero (628)

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19-03-2013, 21:59

That's really non-sense. At the end of the day it's EMULATION anyway.
To me, simulating the behavior of a chip from inputs and expected outputs is EMULATION, doesn't really matter what are you using to emulate...
Real Deal, or, open/blueMSX!

By rogermm

Master (130)

rogermm's picture

19-03-2013, 23:25

I dont like full emulation too. Because this I started this project using a hybrid technology: emulation(Z80/R800) and real MSX hardware(PPI, VDP,PSG,FM,...): http://187.33.0.151/foswiki/bin/view/MsxArm/MsxarmArchitecture

By hbarcellos

Hero (628)

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20-03-2013, 15:38

I'll never get tired of repeating:

- Macs are still macs after they changed PPC to Intel. SW is always the key.
If we want a "better" more modern MSX we should focus on SW (not that we need it doe, MSX is fun as it is...)

Twisted Franky: Mega Drive with a port of MSX Basic adding extensions to use the new hardware, video modes and etc...; MSX-DOS, LoadRom.com; Single cart with BASIC and DOS ROMS, USB interface (keyboard & mouse) and an SD interface.

By rogermm

Master (130)

rogermm's picture

20-03-2013, 20:33

I think the software is the key too! Smile. Because this I embeded the LUA script engine(http://www.lua.org/) with the MSX BIOS (http://187.33.0.151/foswiki/bin/view/MsxArm/MsxArmLuaBios). Think LUA as a modern upgrade of MSXBASIC

http://187.33.0.151/foswiki/bin/view/MsxArm/MsxArmBasicLua

By janghang

Expert (121)

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20-03-2013, 21:47

@rogermm This is awesome! how could it be possible? did you implement everything in assembly? how's the speed of MSXLUA?

By janghang

Expert (121)

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20-03-2013, 22:06

PAC wrote:
Capitan_Goto wrote:

Too bad news guys...from http://kpark.co.kr/2925329

painkilla 2013/03/18 21:56 #
Hello, giuseve.

The producer - Mr.M.M doesn't have any plan to export this mini MSX outside of KOREA at this time of moment.
So.. I feel sorry about it.

As usual... He has the right to do whatever he wish but I don't understand such kind of behaviour. To invest a lot of time in a great project just to show what I'm capable to make but you never be able to enjoy. The MSX needs more community spirit, that's our force.

I fully understand how you think of this and I definitely agree with you. I am not sure if OCM is an open-source project, but I guess they are concerning about some licensing/copyright issues regarding MSX association and the original authorship of OCM because their OCM is based on the original design. That's why they are not planning to sell them and just want to stay in some hobby or trial (or boasting) levels. It might be helpful if someone can explain about some copyright issues around OCM.

By Pac

Guardian (6395)

Pac's picture

21-03-2013, 04:58

Yes you are right anyway in this cases there are ways to promote projects
providing schematics, etc to do it yourself.

By Vampier

Prophet (2385)

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21-03-2013, 05:37

interesting having LUA Smile

By rogermm

Master (130)

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21-03-2013, 15:10

janghang wrote:

@rogermm This is awesome! how could it be possible? did you implement everything in assembly? how's the speed of MSXLUA?

In fact, the LUA engine runs on ARM Cortex M4 at 180MHZ with extensions(http://www.lua.org/pil/24.html) to what I called "MSXDOS/BIOS extender(AKA DOS extender, http://187.33.0.151/foswiki/bin/view/MsxArm/MsxDosExtender).
To Implement this:
- Build the prototype: http://187.33.0.151/foswiki/bin/view/MsxArm/PrototypePhotos
- Program the FPGA(Verilog HDL) modules: "Z80 Zombie coprocessor", "FPGA internal bus". See the modules on http://187.33.0.151/foswiki/pub/MsxArm/MsxarmArchitecture/ms...
- Compile LUA (http://www.lua.org/download.html) on ARM
- Create LUA extensions(ARM C language) using SWIG(http://www.swig.org/)
- Create the MSXBIOS extender(ARM C language and Z80). http://187.33.0.151/foswiki/bin/view/MsxArm/MsxDosExtender
- Create ARM C code to interface with the "Z80 Zombie coprocessor" FPGA module http://187.33.0.151/foswiki/bin/view/MsxArm/ZombieMode

By rogermm

Master (130)

rogermm's picture

21-03-2013, 18:55

hbarcellos wrote:

I'll never get tired of repeating:

- Macs are still macs after they changed PPC to Intel. SW is always the key.
If we want a "better" more modern MSX we should focus on SW (not that we need it doe, MSX is fun as it is...)

Twisted Franky: Mega Drive with a port of MSX Basic adding extensions to use the new hardware, video modes and etc...; MSX-DOS, LoadRom.com; Single cart with BASIC and DOS ROMS, USB interface (keyboard & mouse) and an SD interface.

Megadrive hardware = 68000 microprocessor + Z80 coprocessor.
Here you find a Basic interpreter to run on Megadrive Smile: http://mycorner.no-ip.org/68k/ehbasic/index.html
And here a interesting project with 68k and the Yamaha V9990 Video Display Processor running Basic: http://www.ist-schlau.de/

By enribar

Paragon (1136)

enribar's picture

21-03-2013, 19:21

But do you really think that if I produce a 1chip MSX with the same schematics, electronic components and firmware, the owner of the MSX trademark will lawsuit me? (from Japan?)... For an obsolete technology and a clearly claimed "open source hardware project"? Naaaa... Anybody could change some component a bit and machine name, and start a mass production. Moreover, I will produce it in China or North Korea, so... Who in Japan is so brave to do a lawsuit to some Chinese producer?

By janghang

Expert (121)

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22-03-2013, 05:44

yeah, you are probably right.

By spl

Paragon (1470)

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22-03-2013, 16:25

FPGA is NOT emulation. Is hardware.

By mars2000you

Enlighted (5984)

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22-03-2013, 17:27

FPGA is hardware emulation, blueMSX/openMSX is software emulation and there are domains where software emulation is more accurate than hardware emulation. Both systems can add new features and improve existing features, so hardware emulation and software emulation can create a new MSX generation (material or virtual).

By rogermm

Master (130)

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22-03-2013, 17:45

I think we can distigish 2 emulation tecniques(I think we need 2 words to describe emulation):
- "Hardware emulation": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardware_emulation
- "Software emulation"

- openmsx, bluemsx: "Software emualtion" (i386)
- OCM- "Hardware emulation" (FPGA)
-MSXARM(project in progress.only proposal): Hybrib techniques: software emulation(Z80/R800 on ARM ) , hardware emulation(FPGA) and real hardware(PPI, VDP,FM, ...)

By Lord_Zett

Paladin (807)

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22-03-2013, 19:08

Rogermm Great project.

By hbarcellos

Hero (628)

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22-03-2013, 20:17

Great news about Lua.
Hardware Emulation, Software Emulation, * Emulation,... "Emulation" word is still there.
Doesn't really matter the "media". The fact is that you're taking inputs and producing the expected outputs using your skills. I might be wrong, but, AFAIK, there's absolutely nothing (no aspects) you couldn't emulate with SW that would be possible using HW emulation (FPGA). My sense even tells me that using a RTOS or even DOS non-multitask and coding in ASM, would represent a more stable environment for a really accurate emulation than FPGA....

By rogermm

Master (130)

rogermm's picture

25-03-2013, 18:49

hbarcellos wrote:

Great news about Lua.
Hardware Emulation, Software Emulation, * Emulation,... "Emulation" word is still there.
Doesn't really matter the "media". The fact is that you're taking inputs and producing the expected outputs using your skills. I might be wrong, but, AFAIK, there's absolutely nothing (no aspects) you couldn't emulate with SW that would be possible using HW emulation (FPGA). My sense even tells me that using a RTOS or even DOS non-multitask and coding in ASM, would represent a more stable environment for a really accurate emulation than FPGA....

Did you see the MSXARM architecture design picture? (http://187.33.0.151/foswiki/bin/view/MsxArm/MsxarmArchitecture) The only emulated chips on FPGA are the sound chips(optional feature. can hear the sound on real MSX). The ARM runs the Z80/R800 emulator and all other MSX devices(PSG,FM,VDP,...) are real devices(not emulated)

By hbarcellos

Hero (628)

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25-03-2013, 23:10

I did... And just for information, I'm not against of ANY kind of emulation! Hardware/Software or any blend in between.
And, I'm pretty sure you might have noticed that I'm also Brazilian. Actually I work @ Av. Paulista and I have just noticed that you work at BOVESPA. Can't really say HOW, you managed to get time to create something like that...
I added you at G+ few minutes ago.

Maybe we can schedule a lunch to talk about MSX someday. What do you think?
*PS* Somehow, I happen to have an early Franky prototype with me (Muffie gave it to me). It's unused. Maybe you could have a better use for it.

By _ThEcRoW

Expert (127)

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03-04-2013, 15:31

FPGA is not emulation. The logic chips on the fpga adopt the same logic gates as the original chips, and are a exact copy of the originals. Calling it emulation is inaccurate and lead to cause confusion.

By mars2000you

Enlighted (5984)

mars2000you's picture

03-04-2013, 15:45

See that : http://www.grauw.nl/blog/entry/392

VDP emulation in FPGA is not so good as you think .... blueMSX/openMSX are better ! :)

By Gradius2

Hero (625)

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08-04-2013, 20:52

Emulation, emulation, emulation! Emulation everywhere. Evil Sad

By rogermm

Master (130)

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09-04-2013, 00:27

More thoughts about emulation: FPGA is emulation as well as Turbor R800 emulates Z80! Just semantic!!

By rogermm

Master (130)

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09-04-2013, 18:24

The Tecnobytes IDE ATA interface emulates the Sunrise ATA device. Emulation everywhere!!! Just semantics!!! Smile

By KdL

Paragon (1408)

KdL's picture

06-01-2014, 06:28

Yes, it is so! I want to awake this post again.

Check this innovation: the new Nvidia G-Sync Smile2
http://www.anandtech.com/show/7582/nvidia-gsync-review
There is an Altera Arria V GX FPGA inside of its PCB!

Do you think? It's emulation? Or simply a modern hardware like I think?!!