Looking to do a new hardware project

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Van erpirao

Paladin (930)

afbeelding van erpirao

08-06-2019, 12:22

first, sorry for my translation Google translator.
As my father says, first start walking and then you can run.
In my opinion, a "mass production" project would be more useful, a flash cartridge with certain improvements, that being said, my idea is:
a "SFS SuperFX cartridge for MSX".
using a low cost processor (rabbit 2000 to $ 3 on aliexpress) with a small control cpld and a flash of 512KB-8MB, make a cartridge that if you want to use it accelerator, be cheap, and if you use it for Improve the game functions, do not shoot off price.
I know there are better options than the rabbit, this CPU based on z80 / z180 can reach up to 21MHZ, although I suppose that the multiplier / divider will have to be multiple even, so it would stay at 14MHZ, the good thing about this CPU is that it is the execution of the instructions is close to that of the ez80, (3 to 5 times faster to the same clock than the z80), that the compatible code Z80 would be reusable with minor changes.
so that the Rabbit could be used, and how?
I see it with 2 basic functions.
first, in case of pressing the selected key, the cartridge game would be ignored, jumping to the system bios that would have the advanced functions of it, it would also serve as a development cartridge for future productions:
in case of letting the game / soft start in turn I see 2 more modes of operation:
one: z380 mode (slave processor), the z80 is used to send code and show results, leaving all the heavy load (compression, decompression, reproduction, rotation, etc) to the rabbit, which will only notify the Z80 to show the data requested
two: direct communication rom-rabbit, the rabbit, while communicating with the z80 would do functions directly from the Rom, freeing the Z80 from sending code, this would be very interesting for, for example the rotation of a series of bitmaps, ( the rabbit would capture it from the Rom, rotate or undo it) and the z80 would only see the result.
the problem with this whole idea is that it's easy to see on a piece of paper, but I do not have the knowledge or the ability to do it
Well, I have already left my idea, to see what you think.
I think that this "rabbit-flash" (to put a catchy name), it would not be much more expensive to produce than the current cartridges, what you spend more in the Rabbit can be compensated with a cheaper cpld, since this Cpu already It gives you very interesting functions.
now if you want to stone me, the stones that are small please

Van buddha_da_great

Rookie (18)

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08-06-2019, 14:09

erpirao wrote:

first, sorry for my translation Google translator.
As my father says, first start walking and then you can run.
......................
Well, I have already left my idea, to see what you think.
I think that this "rabbit-flash" (to put a catchy name), it would not be much more expensive to produce than the current now

Hi erpiao,
I think your idea sounds very nice,and is most certainly doable. but it has many limitations to what you are able to do with it. thus requires more thought and planning and some external components.
and I am looking for something I can do now and will be useful now.. and have ready end of the summer if all goes well.

I kinda have decided to go with the multifunctional-cart with the features already mentioned.
with the key-features being external storage, lots of memory , fast co-processor , misc types of sound/music generation
ofcourse depending on how many FPGA resources will be left at the end I could implement more features but lets start with what we already have.
Hope you will find this acceptable too. Smile

Van buddha_da_great

Rookie (18)

afbeelding van buddha_da_great

08-06-2019, 14:14

hi all...have a little request..

I have completed the implementation of the z80 coprocessor (21mhz) and the PSG + SCC modules..running on the FPGA itself from 32K blockram..

Was wondering if someone has some small piece of replayer code + a little tune which would fit in there
So I can use it to test it all...and compare it to the real thing
which I could put up on youtube for you to listen to

I could write a replayer myself but that would take longer .. anything that will speed-up development is a good thing..right?

I am using a custom z80 assembler so any asm will do fine.

let me know please..

thx

Van wolf_

Ambassador_ (9767)

afbeelding van wolf_

08-06-2019, 14:32

Afaik the MB-replayer is free to be had, and there should be plenty .MBM tunes around to play with.

Van buddha_da_great

Rookie (18)

afbeelding van buddha_da_great

08-06-2019, 15:52

wolf_ wrote:

Afaik the MB-replayer is free to be had, and there should be plenty .MBM tunes around to play with.

ok no worries
I will rip a konami player will only cost me a day or so to modify

thx

Van ducasp

Master (147)

afbeelding van ducasp

08-06-2019, 18:06

buddha_da_great wrote:

Hi erpiao,
I think your idea sounds very nice,and is most certainly doable. but it has many limitations to what you are able to do with it. thus requires more thought and planning and some external components.
and I am looking for something I can do now and will be useful now.. and have ready end of the summer if all goes well.

I kinda have decided to go with the multifunctional-cart with the features already mentioned.
with the key-features being external storage, lots of memory , fast co-processor , misc types of sound/music generation
ofcourse depending on how many FPGA resources will be left at the end I could implement more features but lets start with what we already have.
Hope you will find this acceptable too. Smile

If you decide to add WiFi capabilities to your hardware, using ESP-01, we can most likely make the UNAPI TCP/IP memory mapper driver that I'm working on work with it, since you are using FPGA, even vhdl file that design the interface between ESP-01 and the MSX-BUS can probably be re-used as long as you don't mind having 1.5KB of FPGA buffers assigned to its FIFO. (probably can work with less FIFO space, never tested it). Since an ESP-01 cost is so low, it might worth the trouble as long as you have FPGA resources to spare with it. If you get interested into it, contact me and I can share the vhdl files with you).

Van buddha_da_great

Rookie (18)

afbeelding van buddha_da_great

08-06-2019, 22:32

thx ducasp.

I will certainly check back with you.

in the mean time just keep following this thread. I will place updates(pictures/youtube) as I am progressing.

all is going well thus far.

Van PingPong

Prophet (3435)

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09-06-2019, 18:56

Quote:

I have completed the implementation of the z80 coprocessor (21mhz) and the PSG

Hi, is the psg core an AY8930 core ? https://www.msx.org/wiki/Microchip_AY8930. it is an enhanced PSG called ePSG, more powerful than a standard psg nut fully compatible with the PSG. would be nice to have this.

Quote:

one limit of psg is that envelope pattern & frequency is one. there is a improved PSG where you can choose different frequency and patterns for each channel.
https://www.datasheets360.com/pdf/7756348957606408083
do you think can implement this instead of the normal PSG ?

Van buddha_da_great

Rookie (18)

afbeelding van buddha_da_great

09-06-2019, 19:14

PingPong wrote:
[
Hi, is the psg core an AY8930 core ? https://www.msx.org/wiki/Microchip_AY8930. it is an enhanced PSG called ePSG, more powerful than a standard psg nut fully compatible with the PSG. would be nice to have this.
Quote:

I was told to stick to the standards if possible so that it would always be supported.

I first suggested also the 6 channel psg but did not get the impression most people were interested much in enhancements.

anyways I think you should discuss it with the community.. If all agree its a good thing and support will not be a problem then why not..
The bigger picture is more that all music routines will be done by the co-processor off-loading the main cpu.

Van alexito

Hero (534)

afbeelding van alexito

09-06-2019, 19:39

If you talking about off-loading the main cpu then why not start emulating a CDROM RED BOOK AUDIO so we can use the SDCARD for keep the AUDIO TRACKs and just with simple COMMAND tell the CO-PROCESSOR to do the hard part. you can see the video a made 2 years ago using the PCENGINE CDROM (SLAVE) + DEVELO Interface + MSX Computer (MASTER):

DEVELO PART1
DEVELO PART2
DEVELO PART3
DEVELO PART4
DEVELO PART5

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