Prototype demonstration of Franky

by Sander on 12-07-2009, 11:26
Topic: Hardware
Languages:

Yesterday the team of SuperSoniqs went to the MSX meeting in Mariënberg to show Franky, the Sega VDP extension for MSX1 and higher. Not only did they manage to show some Sega games running on MSX, but they also showed MSX1 games running on Franky! Best thing of all was that there was no noticeable delay in speed during gameplay.

The crowd played some games and spoke out their positive feelings about this project. It really was fun to see. A lot of people already asked how to obtain a card. Sadly this is still a prototype. However, SuperSoniqs might produce a larger sample batch for those interested. As it is unclear when the second prototype with the Sid chip will be ready, or even when that version is going to be produced on a larger scale, you might want to contact them for obtaining a sample. Please do note that estimated production costs for the current version will be around 20 euro for the PCB and about 20 to 25 euro for the parts needed, without soldered components. However, SuperSoniqs will publish a list of needed components and it will be possible just to obtain the PCB only. Or hopefully the PCB and a Sega VDP (they are busy with buying old stock).

A youtube video with the demonstration of Franky has been published on their website.

Relevant link: SuperSoniqs

Comments (20)

By Ivan

Ascended (9013)

Ivan's picture

12-07-2009, 12:37

Nice! Smile

If I have understood correctly three versions of this card are going to be produced:

  • 1st prototype
  • 2nd prototype with SID chip
  • Definitive card

The first two might be very interesting for developers.

This project is already a reality!

By spl

Paragon (1461)

spl's picture

12-07-2009, 15:47

Great project!!! Hope it will be finished and be available soon Big smile

By FiXato

Scribe (1502)

FiXato's picture

12-07-2009, 20:00

Yesterday I had the pleasure to play "SonicBoy" on the Turbo-R running an MSX1 bios running the Sega bios addressing Franky ;p And loved it!
It was also nice to see Salamander using the sega VDP.

with the right tools, it has some potential Smile

By PingPong

Prophet (3134)

PingPong's picture

12-07-2009, 20:36

The video looks great.
I'm a bit confused about sega vdps. What are the sprite capabilities of the chip?
- N. of sprites on scan line / screen
- N. of colors of sprites
- size width x height

I've not found any documentation (because there are a lot of different sega sms generations)
Anyone can point me or give some info about hw sprites?

By PingPong

Prophet (3134)

PingPong's picture

12-07-2009, 21:04

And another question:
will the SID being memory mapped or I/O mapped?
(On the 6510 there was no choice, but z80 can also use I/O addressing)

plus, the SID tunes have, like the psg ones, the machine code of the main cpu. so to replay a sid tune someone need to convert 6510 asm to z80 one- Considering the architectural difference between the two cpu's it's not a quick operation...

By Sander

Ambassador (1831)

Sander's picture

12-07-2009, 21:33

Color RAM
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Master System:

The color palette used by sprites and backgrounds is arranged as two
16-color palettes. Background patterns can use either palette, while sprite
patterns can only use the second one.

The palette is defined by 32 bytes of color RAM (CRAM). This memory is
internal to the VDP, and is write-only. Each byte has the following format:

MSB LSB
--BBGGRR

- = Unused
R = Red component
G = Green component
B = Blue component

Up to 64 possible colors can be used, and up to 32 can be displayed on
screen at any given time

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Display modes
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

The TMS9918 has three bits which select different display modes called M1,
M2, and M3. However, only four combinations of these bits are documented
in the TMS9918 manual:

Mode 0 - Graphics I
Mode 1 - Text
Mode 2 - Graphics II
Mode 3 - Multicolor

The other four undocumented modes are simply variations of the above, they
are not unique.

The SMS VDP added another mode select bit that enabled mode 4, which is
specific to the SMS. The SMS 2 and GG VDP changed the function of the
TMS9918 mode select bits to pick different resolutions for a standard mode
4 screen. The Genesis VDP added mode 5, which is specific to the Genesis.

Here's a list of all possible display modes:

M4 M3 M2 M1 SMS VDP SMS 2 / GG VDP
-- -- -- -- ---------- -------------------------
0 0 0 0 Graphic I Graphic I
0 0 0 1 Text Text
0 0 1 0 Graphic 2 Graphic 2
0 0 1 1 Mode 1+2 Mode 1+2
0 1 0 0 Multicolor Multicolor
0 1 0 1 Mode 1+3 Mode 1+3
0 1 1 0 Mode 2+3 Mode 2+3
0 1 1 1 Mode 1+2+3 Mode 1+2+3
1 0 0 0 Mode 4 Mode 4
1 0 0 1 Invalid text mode Invalid text mode
1 0 1 0 Mode 4 Mode 4
1 0 1 1 Invalid text mode Mode 4 (224-line display)
1 1 0 0 Mode 4 Mode 4
1 1 0 1 Invalid text mode Invalid text mode
1 1 1 0 Mode 4 Mode 4 (240-line display)
1 1 1 1 Invalid text mode Mode 4

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Patterns
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

The background and sprites are made out of 8x8-pixel patterns. Each
pattern is composed of four bitplanes, so individual pixels can be one
of 16 colors.

Pattern data is stored in VRAM. There is enough memory for 512 patterns,
though some of the available VRAM is used by the sprite attribute table
and name table.

Each pattern uses 32 bytes. The first four bytes are bitplanes 0 through 3
for line 0, the next four bytes are bitplanes 0 through 3 for line 1, etc.,
up to line 7.

For more information about how patterns are used, see the background and
sprite sections.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Background
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

The background is made up of 8x8 tiles that can use 16 colors from either
palette. The background is defined by the name table, which is a 32x28
matrix of words stored in VRAM. If using the 224 or 240-line displays,
the size of the name table is 32x32 instead.

Source: http://www.smspower.org/dev/docs/msvdp-20021112.txt

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Number of sprites on screen at once: 64 (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sega_Master_System )

Maximum number of sprites per scanline: 8 (Source: Maxim, from www.smspower.org)

By spl

Paragon (1461)

spl's picture

12-07-2009, 21:55

I don't know anything about soldering... there will be a soldered unit available??

By sunrise

Paragon (1091)

sunrise's picture

12-07-2009, 22:55

Why not instead of sid using fmpac chip

By Sander

Ambassador (1831)

Sander's picture

12-07-2009, 23:18

I think because OPLL is already here and available. Otherwise, there are quite some Japanese SMS games that make use of the OPLL chip. But still, doing something that has already been done is less fun, I guess.

By Sander

Ambassador (1831)

Sander's picture

12-07-2009, 23:23

About the loose component kits: hopefully SuperSoniqs find someone or some company who can solder everything together for a reasonable price. But it will probably add up to the costs of the final product, about 50% to 100% because of labour costs. Personally, I don't think people want to pay 100 euros to play around with this cart. Smile

Maybe, if we find enough msx-ing people, friend or family, who can and will put things together (something like, make five, get one for free or something) we might have a solution. But the main goal should be: as cheap as possible.

By sunrise

Paragon (1091)

sunrise's picture

12-07-2009, 23:31

Partially true that opll is used but a) the combination isnot done b) leave the sid away and detect the opll instead c) ideas about casing?

By boblet

Master (188)

boblet's picture

12-07-2009, 23:47

I'd be interested in getting hold of a few sms vdp's myself

By Sander

Ambassador (1831)

Sander's picture

12-07-2009, 23:52

I don't think the combination SID and Sega on MSX has been tried before too ;P About casings: I hope it will fit in both the moonsound type cartridge and the one used for the Philips Barcode / Modem cartridge. They have a bunch of those.

By Sander

Ambassador (1831)

Sander's picture

12-07-2009, 23:57

About the SID replayer: if you read the SuperSonics website, Guyver offered to help on the replayer. He already made a 6502 emulator core for MSX. I'm not sure if a MSX1 will be fast enough. Maybe there's a converter needed for the .sid files. Please note however, that .sid files couldn't be played on a real c64 for a long time. My guess is that the instructions for setting the Mos registers will be limited and mostly the same. There could be a lookup table made for doing the same on msx and then convert the .sid files to a format the MSX can execute.

By sunrise

Paragon (1091)

sunrise's picture

13-07-2009, 00:10

You mean ofcourse could use a bunch of ..
Well if they can manage to place the right place for the holes (moonsound as example).
Please let me know the number carts

By Ivan

Ascended (9013)

Ivan's picture

13-07-2009, 16:57

About the loose component kits: hopefully SuperSoniqs find someone or some company who can solder everything together for a reasonable price. But it will probably add up to the costs of the final product, about 50% to 100% because of labour costs. Personally, I don't think people want to pay 100 euros to play around with this cart.I'm neither going to pay 100 euros nor going to solder myself the PCB so, please, find someone who can produce the final cartridge!

By OeiOeiVogeltje

Paragon (1202)

OeiOeiVogeltje's picture

13-07-2009, 19:46

Maybe, if we find enough msx-ing people, friend or family, who can and will put things together (something like, make five, get one for free or something) we might have a solution. But the main goal should be: as cheap as possible.

im game

By sunrise

Paragon (1091)

sunrise's picture

13-07-2009, 21:42

Well it will cost most certainly 45 euro, exclusive all soldering (20+25)

By Ivan

Ascended (9013)

Ivan's picture

13-07-2009, 22:43

If this project is going to end with a DIY kit it won't be a success.

By Sander

Ambassador (1831)

Sander's picture

14-07-2009, 09:30

"Succes" is a relative expression in our community I think. Tongue Nonetheless: where there's a will there's a way. We'll see.

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