Project Orbit - MSX on steroids announced

Project Orbit - MSX on steroids announced

by RobertVroemisse on 26-01-2012, 23:54
Topic: Hardware
Tags: Orbit, Worp3
Languages:

After the succes of the MIDI-PAC, WORP3 (Tjeerd Veenstra) is embarking on a new journey to create another great piece of hardware: A brand new MSX-compatible system called Orbit. The specifications currently revealed show that Tjeerd is aiming for much more than just MSX compatibility though.

  • Z80/R800 binary compatible CPU which has a fully pipelined 32 bits architecture
  • Main memory with a minimum capacity of 2 GBytes, bus width will be 32 bits
  • High end video processor which is powerful enough to handle HDTV. The VDP will have its own high bandwidth memory and has a V9958 compatible subset
  • Audio sound processor on board
  • The housing is half rack size, 19 inch. Mounting brackets can be placed

Together with these very interesting specifications, unprecedented for MSX, WORP3 has also revealed the design of the casing, which certainly looks very interesting. On Nijmegen, visitors could catch a first glimpse of the project already, and an official Project Orbit website is soon to be launched. Needless to say, we at MSX Resource Center will be following this project closely and will keep you informed on its progress.

Relevant link: WORP3

Comments (37)

By snout

Ascended (15187)

snout's picture

27-01-2012, 02:20

Wow, this project looks really nice! I like the looks of the casing, and am curious to find out more about the Z80/R800 compatible processor. Also, would it be possible to make the video processor V9990 compatible as well?

IMHO this is the most promising homebrew MSX3 project yet. Great stuff!

By Sama

Ambassador (2060)

Sama's picture

27-01-2012, 09:07

But... what does it do? What can it be used for?

By ro

Guardian (4104)

ro's picture

27-01-2012, 11:20

the question is, will it blend?

By spl

Paragon (1461)

spl's picture

27-01-2012, 14:42

That's outstanding Big smile Big smile

By OeiOeiVogeltje

Paragon (1286)

OeiOeiVogeltje's picture

27-01-2012, 19:29

But... what does it do? What can it be used for?

 
Yes ,what does it do?

By Meits

Scribe (5461)

Meits's picture

27-01-2012, 19:49

looks a bit sound canvas'ish... got a bit inspired by midi modules while working on midi-pac Wink ?

By WORP3

Paladin (804)

WORP3's picture

27-01-2012, 21:24

A sound canvas, uhh, probably because they both are using a half rack size and are both related to making music Wink
What does it do ?, in what sense ?
It will be a stand alone computer with it own OS but also able to run and use msx soft/hardware.
Specific spec's will follow during the development stage, so be patient and follow the progress on the MSX.ORG and or on my website.

By Lord_Zett

Paladin (807)

Lord_Zett's picture

28-01-2012, 07:31

wha nice man. filaly a real step into msx3! and it even looks better than the ese-msx(thats not diffucult Tongue)

By Lord_Zett

Paladin (807)

Lord_Zett's picture

28-01-2012, 11:17

but why all those midi conectors? or are some cas, cvbs, rgb?

By edoz

Prophet (2169)

edoz's picture

28-01-2012, 18:27

A new MSX !! whow! .. sounds cool to me Wink

By WORP3

Paladin (804)

WORP3's picture

28-01-2012, 19:15

but why all those midi conectors? or are some cas, cvbs, rgb?

Nope no cas,cvbs etc, just MIDI out ports, or at least for the first proto type Wink

By Lord_Zett

Paladin (807)

Lord_Zett's picture

28-01-2012, 19:34

sad. k a midi if you like it but whos using it in modern times. if you gona put that lot of time in a new msx just to be a midi thing?

By RobertVroemisse

Paragon (1235)

RobertVroemisse's picture

29-01-2012, 00:50

I think, one of the options will be using MIDI. Nothing wrong with that. I personally can't have enough MIDI connectors on my computer!

By MsxKun

Paladin (903)

MsxKun's picture

30-01-2012, 09:19

Quote:

sad. k a midi if you like it but whos using it in modern times.

Me Big smile To control my Moog.

By WORP3

Paladin (804)

WORP3's picture

30-01-2012, 09:54

Fortunately more people indicated that they are still using MIDI as a way to control their synth modules Wink
There are still a lot of modules/keyboards that uses MIDI, having then connected on multiple ports will give you more flexibility/possibilities.

By syn

Paragon (1919)

syn's picture

30-01-2012, 12:37

As this project seems music related I am really welcoming this, and also very curious about the software side. Would you be able to use the msx as a synthesizer controlled by Midi? I can see chiptune artists picking up this device and using it for their live-performances or for creating music if thats the case. Imagine hooking this device up to a pc/mac running Cubase or Ableton and selecting MSX like you select a VSTi!

Do I see USB ports (for keyboard and joysticks) and HDMI there? thats just great!
Btw any chance of USB-midi or would that be too complex to make?

Also I am wondering what sound chips would this one have?  I just assumed it would be psg+msx-music+1ch pcm (since you are going to make it turbo r compatible) and I was already dreaming about a scc+psg+msx-music+pcm module but then I realised maybe you will be using some "compatible" chip.

Anyway, this looks good Wink

By MsxKun

Paladin (903)

MsxKun's picture

30-01-2012, 15:29

As this project seems music related I am really welcoming this, and also very curious about the software side. Would you be able to use the msx as a synthesizer controlled by Midi? IWink

You can do that on any MSX if you have (by now) a Philips Music Module for MIDI input Tongue

By WORP3

Paladin (804)

WORP3's picture

31-01-2012, 13:20

Do I see USB ports (for keyboard and joysticks) and HDMI there? thats just great!
Btw any chance of USB-midi or would that be too complex to make?

Will probably take some time but it's planned Hannibal

By snout

Ascended (15187)

snout's picture

31-01-2012, 13:54

WORP3: how about the graphics, the HDTV and V9958 compatible subset are already quite interesting, but can you already reveal more about the 'rest'? Will the entire videochip work VDP-like (and thus very familiar to current MSX developers) or will it become something completely different?

Is V9990 compatibility an option, or is it out of the question? Call me nostalgic, but somehow it would be great to finally get that V9958+V9990(+VWORP3) compatibility rolled up in one Wink

By syn

Paragon (1919)

syn's picture

31-01-2012, 19:03

Msxkun I know you can have a Midi in, but what software allow you to control the msx music, psg, msx audio, scc thought midi, not only notes but also stuff like volume, instrument settings etc for all channels at the same time, in real-time? If there is one please let me know since thats what I am looking for! If it already exists sorry for my ignorance. I was wondering if something like that would be part of the orbits OS so thats why I asked.

I know you could use a midikeyboard to play one single note/instrument at once/per channel in trackers but thats not what I have in mind. What I mean is use a fullfledged MSX as a synth module (like a sound canvas Tongue ).

@worp3: Dont misunderstand my post as a demand, that you MUST implement something like this. It is still your project, and you should make it the way YOU want it ofcourse Wink  I am just wondering if this was your intention. If not, its just a sign for me to get off my lazy  ass and start developing stuff Smile

By WORP3

Paladin (804)

WORP3's picture

31-01-2012, 19:55

WORP3: how about the graphics, the HDTV and V9958 compatible subset are already quite interesting, but can you already reveal more about the 'rest'? Will the entire videochip work VDP-like (and thus very familiar to current MSX developers) or will it become something completely different?

Is V9990 compatibility an option, or is it out of the question? Call me nostalgic, but somehow it would be great to finally get that V9958+V9990(+VWORP3) compatibility rolled up in one Wink

The main setupt will be the same as it has it's own memory and can handle command like tasks but that's around it. It's also to soon to discuss the details right now. The great different is that is has a much higher data transfer rate. 

By WORP3

Paladin (804)

WORP3's picture

31-01-2012, 19:59

@worp3: Dont misunderstand my post as a demand, that you MUST implement something like this. It is still your project, and you should make it the way YOU want it ofcourse Wink  I am just wondering if this was your intention. If not, its just a sign for me to get off my lazy  ass and start developing stuff Smile

Demand non taken, i'm always happy with some input as it will keep new idea's open Wink
Sound will come and as music is one of my main driving fource in this project, it will be good !

By WORP3

Paladin (804)

WORP3's picture

03-03-2012, 11:26

First components received as can be seen on the WORP3 website, i also did receive those anoying screws (for in thermoplastics) yesterday Big smile

By Vampier

Prophet (2295)

Vampier's picture

03-03-2012, 18:02

http://www.raspberrypi.org/ + openMSX or blueMSX... who needs to have expensive hardware? :)

By vanfanel

Champion (446)

vanfanel's picture

03-03-2012, 19:11

@Vampier: Because modern Oses + emulators are inneficient and have input and output delay.
You can't compare an emulator with an FPGA implementation or real hardware in terms of response.

By vanfanel

Champion (446)

vanfanel's picture

03-03-2012, 19:11

Keep up the good work, WORP3!! I'll look forward to get one of your fantastic machines to play and experiment!

By WORP3

Paladin (804)

WORP3's picture

03-03-2012, 20:30

@Vampier, i'm not telling you to get a Orbit in any way, maybe for you and a lot of other people an emulator is just fine.
For me, i like to develop and create my own machine which can interact with other hardware Wink

@Vanvanel, don't worry, i'm still working on it, and probably also for the rest of the upcoming year Big smile

By Vampier

Prophet (2295)

Vampier's picture

04-03-2012, 02:22

Worp3 I think you're project is fantastic... but for me a $35 piece of hardware is sufficient Smile and as far the delay goes... I haven't touched a real MSX in 12 year and I don't notice a difference.

By vanfanel

Champion (446)

vanfanel's picture

04-03-2012, 12:51

@Vampier: I have already ordered my Raspberry Pi, too, but you're comparing apples with oranges here, really.

By WORP3

Paladin (804)

WORP3's picture

04-03-2012, 22:03

I can imagine that a emulator is working just perfect for you, actually i did write almost all of the MIDI-PAC tools on a PC using a emulator Wink
Actually that Raspberry seems like a very nice board and i'm amazed that they can sell it for such a low price which is even a lot lower then most arm development boards !
But I will just keep on working on my new Orbit platform  Big smile

By WORP3

Paladin (804)

WORP3's picture

06-03-2012, 12:57

als je trouwens nog een behuizing zoekt voor je pi, kijk hier eens naar:

http://www.shapeways.com/blog/archives/1240-3D-Print-a-Case-for-the-Raspberry-Pi.html

By Sky_hawk

Champion (267)

Sky_hawk's picture

08-03-2012, 22:41

Nice, a new device to play knightmare on! yeah!

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9766)

wolf_'s picture

10-03-2012, 19:55

..and Oh Shit! ^_^

By WORP3

Paladin (804)

WORP3's picture

27-06-2012, 13:06

I've placed new pictures on my website !

By MicroTech

Champion (384)

MicroTech's picture

29-06-2012, 10:51

Cool!
Always more intriguing Big smile
Do you have any update also about development of hardware/firmware Question

By Meits

Scribe (5461)

Meits's picture

29-06-2012, 13:57

Looks promising

By WORP3

Paladin (804)

WORP3's picture

29-06-2012, 16:15

@MicroTech: I'm almost ready with the three front pcb's, after that I will start on the main board.
Unfortunately Altera decided to release their Stratix/Arria and biggest cyclone V devices before the smaller Cyclone V devices Sad This could be a problem during the mainboard design, but for know I still got plenty to do before that.
In the worst case I will start developing the firmware on a older stratix 2 GX device while waiting for the cyclone V release !