MSX ARM - first video footage

MSX ARM - first video footage

by popolony2k on 27-10-2012, 11:00
Topic: Hardware
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Source: Popolony2k rulezz

The first video footage of MSX upgrade kit MSX ARM has been revealed. We reported about this device before. In short the final goal of this project is to release one single upgrade that contains R800 with 50MHz mode, 4MB RAM, SD/MMC, FAT32, DMA, USB, Ethernet, RS232 and MIDI. A nice upgrade for any MSX, with an added bonus for MSX2+ owners, for whom this device also functions as a turboR upgrade kit.

This video shows the MSXARM running in so-called zombie mode, where the ARM Cortex M4 takes over almost all the work of the Z80. It also reveals file system operations in FAT32 and some interactions between MSXARM and a real MSX. For those who hadn't noticed yet, this is the first device that makes it possible to use FAT32 on MSX.

And that's not the only new feature for MSX computers that is revealed. In Popolon2yk's blog post there is also mention of a S/PDIF connector for digital 5.1 audio. At this moment it is not clear though wheter a new kind of sound chip will make use of this output connector or that there is a way to re-route or emulate one or more existing MSX sound chips via this digital audio connection.

Relevant link: MSX ARM - first video footage

Comments (7)

By Retrofan

Paragon (1214)

Retrofan's picture

27-10-2012, 12:10

Nice project! So it can also be used as upgrade kit for the 1chipMSX? Smile I hope it will be compatible with all existing sound chips including OPL4, SID and MP3 player in stereo and all existing MIDI interfaces (Fac MIDI interface/MIDI Saurus/Philips Music Module and MSX-MIDI).

By PingPong

Prophet (3432)

PingPong's picture

27-10-2012, 12:52

how this device can work?
the msx hw does not provide bus mastering, nor dma access. How can the ARM device on the board interact with the rest of hw without causing bus conflicts (electrically)?

By edoz

Prophet (2171)

edoz's picture

28-10-2012, 18:54

It looks very nice! ... interesting how it works. Is this device compatible with the MSX turbo-r ?

By popolony2k

Hero (525)

popolony2k's picture

31-10-2012, 02:49

Hi friends, I'll try answer your questions.

@Retrofan, The MSX Arm I'll be compatible with all MSX computers and we have plans to extend this compatibility to the OCM too.

@PingPong Yes, you're right, the original MSX doesn't provide DMA access, but we're developing our own bus through FPGA and this bus provides DMA access and others improvements to optimize a lot of slow devices on MSX, like VDP for example.

@edoz Yes, we have all MSX versions and we're using it to test the MSXARM implementation and MSX TurboR (A1ST and GT) are included.

[]'s
PopolonY2k

By Hydlide

Master (171)

Hydlide's picture

04-11-2012, 12:37

Pretty cool. But pretty bulky as well :-)
Will production models be a bit more space-friendly?

By popolony2k

Hero (525)

popolony2k's picture

04-11-2012, 14:40

Hi friend @Hydlide ...

...about your question, actually we're just interested to develop the technology behind the visual, but the "final" version will be "more space-friendly", sure.

Actually we using a lot of boards (like the ARM board and FPGA Nano), and these boards are available only in the development stage. The final version will have just the ARM processor and the FPGA then, 99% of the space used by these boards will be available.

[]'s
PopolonY2k

By rogermm

Master (130)

rogermm's picture

01-12-2012, 23:22