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Van Pentarou

Champion (290)

afbeelding van Pentarou

13-09-2020, 18:11

sd_snatcher wrote:

(this topic is incredibly recurrent)

It's always Pingpong...

sd_snatcher wrote:

there was this famous fire in one of the biggest DRAM factories and prices skyrocketed again.

This must be an urban legend, over the years I've read so many variations of it, and never from a reliable source.
But it must be happened later than 1986, as I remember PCs of those years were stuck with just 1 MB and the internal 512kb exp. modules for the AMIGA 500 became scarce and expensive.

Probably around 1988/89 (for various reasons).

Van PingPong

Prophet (3556)

afbeelding van PingPong

13-09-2020, 20:14

Pentarou wrote:
sd_snatcher wrote:

(this topic is incredibly recurrent)

It's always Pingpong...

Sorry, I m getting old and my memory does not serve me as it should

Van PingPong

Prophet (3556)

afbeelding van PingPong

13-09-2020, 20:16

Obviously! One bit for all sprites magnification, the usual scrooge style of guttag

Van PingPong

Prophet (3556)

afbeelding van PingPong

13-09-2020, 20:20

Nes ans sms vdp were younger and Not a Karl guttag (scrooge) project.
Anyway there where a lot of things that could have made the vdp reaally a good chip even without increasing the price of an order of magnitute

Van PingPong

Prophet (3556)

afbeelding van PingPong

13-09-2020, 20:35

ARTRAG wrote:

About pointless speculation, I have been sometimes wondering if the VDP would have had a 16 bit PNT holding directly the Vram addres of the character to show and the characters where 8x8 with 4bit per pixel. Now I know that the VRAM bandwidth cannot support 4bit color per pixel never the less, the 16 bit PNT maybe could have fitted

Are you totally mad? ;-) asking this to Karl would have lead to its suicide using the mouse cord as an hanged man

A 16 bit databus. What a waste.....

Van PingPong

Prophet (3556)

afbeelding van PingPong

13-09-2020, 21:12

The problem was that there was some interest about tms chip, and in a conference even small requests made from potential users to Karl guttag resulted, always with the same answer from the engineer: "oh, no, my god I need to add 10 transistors to do this". Even for small requests like a hw scroll reg as it is on C64 that is not sooooooo terribly complicated to achieve and was already here in more simpler chip of that era.

Van ducasp

Champion (386)

afbeelding van ducasp

13-09-2020, 22:32

PingPong wrote:

The problem was that there was some interest about tms chip, and in a conference even small requests made from potential users to Karl guttag resulted, always with the same answer from the engineer: "oh, no, my god I need to add 10 transistors to do this". Even for small requests like a hw scroll reg as it is on C64 that is not sooooooo terribly complicated to achieve and was already here in more simpler chip of that era.

I don't get it, why bash a guy who was doing his job? I don't think he was helding hostage the heirs of Texas Instruments to get 9918 like it is... It is very likely that he was tasked to save every transistor possible as at that time, and he was praised for the design, achieving what he was tasked to do... Also, 9918 is so bad that it sold Jo's a few hundreds and went into just one or two designs... Right?

Not saying we need to love the choices, but I'm pretty sure it is totally unnecessary to be so disrespectful to an engineer or designer, anyone can disagree and think on how it could be different, no need to be disrespectful to anyone Wink

Van Manuel

Ascended (17075)

afbeelding van Manuel

13-09-2020, 22:44

You can wonder why they didn't put the smooth scrolling directly in the V9938, though! Tongue

Van albs_br

Master (157)

afbeelding van albs_br

02-10-2020, 16:50

sd_snatcher wrote:

AFAIK, the type of PSRAM used by the SMS VDP didn't exist when the TMS9918 was designed.
(...)

Wow. I didn't read it before, there are a lot o restrictions on chip design I had no idea!

Van Edevaldo

Master (137)

afbeelding van Edevaldo

05-10-2020, 18:14

Quote:

sd_snatcher wrote:
Yes, RAM was one of the key cost factors during the whole 80s. To make things worse, when prices were beginning to drop around 1986, there was this famous fire in one of the biggest DRAM factories and prices skyrocketed again. I suspect the MSX2+ standard was planned to be released with more minimum RAM (even the DOS2 was planned to use that), but they had give up because of the expensive RAM prices.

When MSX was launched in 1983 the memory prices were around 2000$/Mbyte. It dropped continuously and reached around $200 in late 1985 thought 1987. Mainly because manufacturers overestimated demand and built too much capacity. The Chip industry was then characterized by ~7year cycles where manufacturers overestimated demand built huge capacity, closed old fabs in despair and stopped investing just to be surprised by a demand surge. That finally happened in 1988, moving the prices back to above 500$. This lasted years and only really stabilized to a downward trend in mid nineties.

The factory fire actually happened. But years later. And the fire afected a factory in Japan that produces a component used in the resin of the chip packages. At the time a very significant portion of the worlds production capacity of that substance was compromised. My memory fails but I think it was some kind of high purity alcohol. I do not think this happened during the eighties. It may even be late nineties. And it didn't affect only memories.

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