Source: Gigamix Online

Altera, one of the largest and most well known developers of PLD chips, is holding the 'PLD World 2004' conference in Tokyo on October 29th, 2004. During this event many different companies will show their latest developments, demonstrating the power of FPGA. Among such companies as Hitachi and Panasonic, ASCII and MSX Association will be there as well, demonstrating their upcoming hardware release: a one chip MSX1 computer.

Although the plans of the One Chip MSX announced by Nishi during this lecture and in this powerpoint presentation go a lot further than just creating an MSX compatible device consisting out of one chip, it looks like MSX Association and ASCII are first going to release a cheap MSX-compatible one chip computer, in a nice casing, that can be modified by its owner with VHDL code (since it's FPGA). This first edition of the one chip MSX will most likely be based on the ESE MSX2 project. Final designs and specifications are presently unknown, but we will keep you posted as soon as we find out more about this!

Relevant link: ASCII/MSX Association demonstration announcement

Comments (26)

By Sonic_aka_T

Enlighted (4130)

Sonic_aka_T's picture

10-09-2004, 22:43

That looks promising... Does this mean we can make an MSX 2# with it too ^_^

By karloch

Prophet (2122)

karloch's picture

10-09-2004, 23:17

This is the TRUE revival Smile

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (116)

anonymous's picture

10-09-2004, 23:44

Let me hear those non-believers again? Tongue

By Ivan

Ascended (9288)

Ivan's picture

11-09-2004, 00:18

I like it! I like it!

At last an interesting hardware development by the MSX Association/ASCII. A fresh new MSX from factory Smile

My purse is ready!

By Ivan

Ascended (9288)

Ivan's picture

11-09-2004, 00:20

Lets forget the crap MSX-PC! Tongue

By Grauw

Ascended (9817)

Grauw's picture

11-09-2004, 00:24

Heh, I think for the first time in my life, I will buy an MSX1 ^_^.

~Grauw

By flyguille

Prophet (3028)

flyguille's picture

11-09-2004, 00:31

at which super-speed it will run?

By flyguille

Prophet (3028)

flyguille's picture

11-09-2004, 00:32

it will come with the keyboard or only the little mother in a box?

By Ivan

Ascended (9288)

Ivan's picture

11-09-2004, 00:36

Did I say MSX-PC? I meant a PC with an MSX emulator Tongue

By Grauw

Ascended (9817)

Grauw's picture

11-09-2004, 00:37

I think the details are as of yet still unknown. Personally, I would prefer it to connect a keyboard through USB. And have two regular MSX DIN-9 ports for joystick/mouse.

By Ivan

Ascended (9288)

Ivan's picture

11-09-2004, 00:46

I'm afraid of one thing: "CHEAP MSX-compatible one chip computer"

What is "cheap" for MSX Association/ASCII? 12500 yens for the Game Reader?????

Lets hope this time MSX Association/ASCII will put a reasonable price...

By Sander

Founder (1865)

Sander's picture

11-09-2004, 01:12

Sigh. Come on people, let's battle about the estimated price later ok? For now, lets cheer about this new development and commitment of ASCII and the MSX Association. Because this clearly shows some real commitment from our Japanese friends. I drink to that!

By Thom

Paladin (674)

Thom's picture

11-09-2004, 11:01

that can be modified by its owner with VHDL code (since it's FPGA).
Right. What do VHDL and FPGA mean?

By snout

Ascended (15184)

snout's picture

11-09-2004, 11:27

VHDL = VHSIC Hardware Description Language
FPGA = Field-programmable gate array
PLD = Programmable Logic Device

In essence, this means you can alter the funtionality of a PLD/FPGA chip by reprogramming it. VHDL is the 'programming language' you use for this. So, by changing the VHDL code you can make the chip function like an R800, or add SCC functionality, or...

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (116)

anonymous's picture

11-09-2004, 14:00

Ofcourse people always find SOMETHING to complain about... Sad

By xperroni

Expert (83)

xperroni's picture

11-09-2004, 15:24

There's only one thing I don't get: I thought ASCII got out of the operation when the MSX Association was founded. How come the two of them are doing that presentation toghether?

The idea of a one-chip MSX1 looks right for me, though... I always wondered why an existing MSX series couldn't be re-released as a cheap, highly portable computing device. With the right casing (I think something in the lines of the Nokia Communicator 9500 [1]) it can prove a very useful, yet affordable gadget.

1. http://www.nokia.com/nokia/0,,54106,00.html

By snout

Ascended (15184)

snout's picture

11-09-2004, 16:02

xperroni: ASCII still is a major publisher of magazines, software and hardware in Japan. MSX Association is the company with the copyrights, the trademarks. They invest in new developments concerning MSX. ASCII on their turn license to actually produce and sell these products. I'm not 100% sure, but I think other companies can license these products as well.

By djh1697

Paragon (1578)

djh1697's picture

11-09-2004, 20:18

Hey this is wonderful, but I am almost prepared to bet money that Microsoft will not allow it to be sold outside Japan, just as they did with MSXplayer

By karloch

Prophet (2122)

karloch's picture

12-09-2004, 03:05

Hey this is wonderful, but I am almost prepared to bet money that Microsoft will not allow it to be sold outside Japan, just as they did with MSXplayerWell... I'm pettry sure that Microsoft would let OneChipMSX to be sold outside Japan, if MSX Association pay them a good amount of money for royalties Tongue

By SLotman

Paragon (1236)

SLotman's picture

12-09-2004, 09:21

Just one question... it will be just a MSX1 machine?

We already have cell phones much more powerfull than any MSX1, and PSP and the Nintendo DS2 are coming...

Dont get me wrong, I really will appreciate a new MSX specially if the price tag would be less than $100 (that was the price mentioned on Nishi's lecture right?) - but I keep wondering what kind of market this new MSX would have... specially if it's only a plain MSX1... well, let's wait and see what they will show in the fair ^_^

By Ivan

Ascended (9288)

Ivan's picture

12-09-2004, 10:47

If they are going to sell this new MSX1, if I were them, I would add some software to the package (for instance a cartridge with several games). ASCII had a good catalogue of MSX1 games.

A standalone MSX1 without any soft will not attract new MSXers (because they will have to buy extra second hand cartridges to use something different from MSX-BASIC).

Well, lets wait and see what plans ASCII/MSX Association have in mind.

By Ivan

Ascended (9288)

Ivan's picture

12-09-2004, 11:04

I hope that they will add a cassette connector. Yes, I know that we are in 21st century but a lot of users still own old glories in tapes.

By Henk

Expert (107)

Henk's picture

12-09-2004, 11:27

I dont know what the power is of this device but it could be possible to come up with a new MSX (MSX 3?). If it attracks enough people some companies could end up making it Smile
I do think that a console version of it would be made first to get to the big crouwds.

By snout

Ascended (15184)

snout's picture

12-09-2004, 12:34

SLotman - As I stated in the newspost, this is not the 'final one chip MSX' as of yet. What you get is a MSX1 compatible one-chip-computer, but using FPGA you can (within its limitations) add more functioality to it, or even change it completely. The community could indeed improve the FPGA to become an MSX2+ with MSX-MUSIC and SCC, or a self-designed MSX3. However, I don't think this version will be capable of running at 400MHz just yet Wink

By Grauw

Ascended (9817)

Grauw's picture

13-09-2004, 01:00

Doesn't the post say that they will demonstrate the MSX1 version/functionality at that fair, but base the whole on the ESE MSX2 project (which implies the end result will be MSX 2)???

I don't know how far ESE progressed since, but... Afaik MSX1 has already been working for some time (looking at Sunrise's prototype at least). So personally I'd expect some MSX2 features (and some free space in the FPGA so that we have room to extend it ;p).

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (116)

anonymous's picture

13-09-2004, 01:16

IIRC, there was a partial V9938 implementation a few years ago already (It ran Ys 2 introduction demo). It must've improved since then Smile