Atom on FPGA based retro-computers

discussion of games, software, hardware & emulators relating to the Acorn Atom
gob33
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Atom on FPGA based retro-computers

Postby gob33 » Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:36 am

Im lauching a new idea: Who would be capable to install Atom on Mist FPGA ?

The MiST FPGA card by Till Harbaum and Lotharek emulates many retro-systems but not the Atom.
It cost is ~215€ with a case.
It has already many cores defined (Atari,Amiga, Apple II,ZX Spectrum,...) and even for the BBC. See the wiki.
I think it should be fesable to build an advanced "Atom core" by reusing pieces of code from the other cores.
And why not emulating an advanced 6502 with large memory map, colors and BBC basic ?
The card/case is already available for anybody.

mist_board.2_bg_IG.jpg


lotharek_001.jpg


Specs:
    FPGA Altera Cyclone III EP3C25
    Micro-contrôleur ARM AT91SAM7S56 for input/output management.
    32 Mo SDRAM 16 bits.
    USB controller MAX3241E.
    USB hub TUSB2046.
    VGA connector analogic.
    4 USB ports host mode.
    Analog stereo output.
    Micro USB port for power (300 mA/5 V minimum and 400 mA/5 V with devices) and for flashing the microcontroller.
    SD card slot.
    Two DB9 ports for joysticks connection.
    Two MIDI ports.
    Three push buttons (reset the card, menu and the last one defined by the developer).
    On / Off switch.
    A jumper to activate flashing of the microcontroller via the micro USB port.
    Two DIP switches (for firmware or disabling the FPGA).
    ARM JTAG connector for development and debugging of the microcontroller.
    FPGA JTAG connector for development and debugging of the FPGA.
    ARM connector for debugging.
JTAG connectors are not present on commercial version (for devs only)

The above specifications are very interesting and normally allow re-implementation and enforcement of any machinery 16/32 bits.
They are better than the Minimig at memory and FPGA programming space. In the words of the designer of the project, the MIST card is powerful enough to enable the implementation of the Atari Mega STE at 16 MHz and the Amiga 1200 (AGA) to 28 MHz.
Last edited by gob33 on Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:46 pm, edited 14 times in total.

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hoglet
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Re: Atom on Mist Board

Postby hoglet » Wed Jun 08, 2016 10:09 am

Have you seen the current Atom FPGA project?
viewtopic.php?t=6313
https://github.com/hoglet67/AtomFpga

This currently supports several boards:
- Papilio One with Arcade Wing
- Papilio One with my own Wing
- Papilio Duo

You're welcome to have a go at adding Mist support.

Dave

gob33
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Re: Atom on FPGA based retro-computers

Postby gob33 » Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:11 am

Yes i have looked (not in deep details) at fpga projects.
Your work could be a starting point for adapting to another card more dedicated to retro-systems.
Mist board is more frequently used in retro-gamimg than a papillo board and you can use other different platforms/cores in same investment if not satisfied.
Last edited by gob33 on Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Atom on FPGA based retro-computers

Postby gob33 » Mon Jul 18, 2016 9:30 am

You should have a look at the ZX Uno, a FPGA spanish clone of the ZX Spectrum.
Project is free, schematics and PCB available to copy, adapt, transform.
This clone as many differents cores, specially BBC and Atom(VGA) ones.
They started from the Hoglet Atom core, remapped for their pins, new timing from their 50MHz oscillator, modified keyboard.

ZX_Uno_6_preview_featured.jpg

Specifications:
    FPGA Xilinx Spartan XC6SLX9-2TQG144C
    Static Memory 512Kb, AS7C34096A-10TIN
    50MHz Oscillator
    Superfo's 1 transistor EAR Circuit (one transistor)
    Composite video output using an AD724 with XTAL 4.43MHz / 3.58MHz for PAL/NTSC operation (user selectable)
    PS/2 keyboard
    RCA connector for composite video
    Stereo audio jack
    EAR jack connector
    Molex 1.25mm connectors for JTAG and RGB
    Slot for SD Cards
    Expansion port with 3 male pin strips
    Micro-USB power connector
    PCB Size: 86x56 mm. (Compatible with Raspberry Pi 1 cases although some machining with a dremel is needed).
uno2.png

The ZX-UNO also includes a boot time setup program (similar in appareance to most PC Setup BIOSes), from which the user can configure:
    Memory testing, EAR signal level testing, keyboard testing
    Silent Boot (no ZX-UNO logo at boot time)
    Spectrum keyboard implementation (issue 2 or 3)
    Machine timings (48k, 128k ..)
    Enable or disable contended memory
    Enable or disable DivMMC feature and/or DivMMC NMI trap
    Choose default ZX Spectrum to boot from, or choose default core (for other non-Spectrum machines)
    ZX Spectrum ROM manager (add, delete, update)
    Core manager (allows adding other machines' cores, up to 9 cores, without having to use an external JTAG programmer)
uno-boot.png

Archive.jpg

Facebook

Project page

Promotional Video
Last edited by gob33 on Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:07 pm, edited 3 times in total.

gob33
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Re: Atom on FPGA based retro-computers

Postby gob33 » Sat Aug 20, 2016 11:12 pm

ZX-Uno should be available in September 2016, mounted, welded, tested and with the latest cores and firmware
at a price of ~72 EUR Paypal.
Most are already reserved by the crowfunding campaign.
The transparent enclosure is at ~12 EUR, the official black/white one is sold out after the crowd order.
Also needed:
- A special VGA cable (see spanish forum) ~12 EUR. The main video output is composite video but also accepts VGA and RGB.
- A standart 5V micro USB power supply 5V. Power consumption is about 80mA, so anyone is good
(smartphone charger, PC USB cable, TV USB cable).

Contact: Antonio Villena

ZX-Uno English Manual

Pantalla_Ruta_Crow_ES_001.jpg


ZX-UNO_OK.jpg


IMG_20160604_133827.jpg

gob33
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Re: Atom on FPGA based retro-computers

Postby gob33 » Fri Nov 04, 2016 1:33 pm

For those who didnt take the crowdfunding campaign of the ZX-Uno team, there is now a new clone of the ZX-Uno 4.1, 100% compatible.
ZX-Uno's licence is free and permits anyone to commercialy copy/adapt the product.
Their plate is larger and has the DB15 VGA connector instead. Price: 100 €

zxuno-copy.jpg


www.8bits4ever.net/

Modifications from official ZX-UNO 4.1:

-Board dimension changed to 100mm x 80mm
-Various components moved to different positions

-Replaced all 0603 passive components with 0805 counterparts
-Replaced diodes with sot23 counterparts
-Replaced microJST JTAG connector with 2,54mm pitch, single pin row connector
-Replaced microJST Video connector with DB15 VGA connector
-Replaced audio output 3,5mm jack with two RCA jacks
-Added power jack connector
-Added power button, digital switch circuit and LED
-Added reset button

gob33
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Re: Atom on FPGA based retro-computers

Postby gob33 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:31 am

2 new non-official updates of the ZX-Uno 4.1 running Atom and BBC software.

1) v4.2 by Antonio Villena
antonio1.jpg

Memory upgraded to 2Mb.The raspberry case is from Cyntech.
Shop - Forum thread

2) VGA + 2Mb by Manuel Fernández
Extension port removed + 2 joysticks.
manu2.jpg


manu5.jpg


manu3.jpg


manu4.jpg

Forum Thread - Video

gob33
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Re: Atom on FPGA based retro-computers

Postby gob33 » Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:52 pm

http://www.8bits4ever.net has released their own clone of the Mist.
It is less expensive (160€ versus 220€) but also has less ports (2 USB, 1 DB9). The case is 3D printed.
As for the Mist, it runs a BBC core but not an Atom (to be written by someone).
Note the new Mist has now MIDI integrated.

StMini.jpg

gob33
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Re: Atom on FPGA based retro-computers

Postby gob33 » Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:21 am

A new interesting projet: MiSTer by developper sorgelig.
Basicely, it's MiST ported to Terasic DE10-nano board with a 4x larger FPGA (110K LE) and faster ARM (800MHz).
Board is mass produced by a big manufactured and freely available for a relatively cheap price.
All cores can be ported.

MiSTer.jpg


Wiki - Video - Announce

waltermixxx
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Re: Atom on FPGA based retro-computers

Postby waltermixxx » Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:13 pm

I am currently using the ZX-UNO as an acorn atom. It works very well.
I bought it specifically for the acorn atom core. I may try and 3D print some kind of Acorn Atom'ish case for it. I do miss my old acorn atom. Having this may be closest I come to having one again. Thanks Hoglet for the fpga core.

Totally awesome.

I may still try and build one from scratch.
I have all the chips. I would most likely wire wrap it instead of point to point. That worked great for my wire wrapped cosmac VIP redo (32k instead of 4, and 32k rom preloaded with software that gets moved to 0x200 depending on which key is pressed during reset.

Thanks again folks who helped make the atom on the ZX-UNO possible.

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hoglet
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Re: Atom on FPGA based retro-computers

Postby hoglet » Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:49 pm

waltermixxx wrote:Thanks Hoglet for the fpga core.

You are most welcome!

gob33
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Re: Atom on FPGA based retro-computers

Postby gob33 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:27 pm

MISTICA FPGA16 is the name of a new 100% compatible Mist board (although without MIDI or JTAG connector) designed by ManuFerHi (Spain).
No Atom core here yet but a BBC core exists.

mistica-fpga16-frontal-caja.jpg

The biggest advantages over the original Mist are the new audio and video connectors and the lowest price (~169 EUR vs 215 EUR for a Mist), while maintaining full compatibility with the cores developed for Mist. Its power consumption is very low: about 250mA in the cores menu and about 340mA using the friend's core.
Like the Mist, one of the recommended controls for is the clone version of the Super Nintendo, brand Buffalo Classic, quite good and at an affordable price.

MISTICAMiST.png.jpeg

It should be noted the high quality of the image produced through the RGB output on a CRT television, greater than the original machine through the RF signal.

Characteristics:

  • 100% compatible with Mist and its official cores
  • Composite video output
  • Audio output by RCA and stereo jack
  • DIN9 output for RGB scart with the same cable as the ZX GO +
  • SVideo Exit
  • EAR input usable by some cores such as Spectrum
  • The main cores (almost all) are adapted to 15khz with what they work in CRT televisions
  • Power via MicroUSB with mobile charger or 5V Jack

Where to buy a MISTICA FPGA16 ?

The best thing is to speak directly with ManuFerHi , who is its creator ... with a little luck you will be in time to acquire one of the first ones or participate in future editions. It is a product with an impeccable finish and a fairly low price compared to the original Mist, today € 169 including shipping to Spain and acrylic housing.

Links:

Mist Board Wiki
List of cores supported by MiST / MISTICA and MiSTER
Mist Board Github
MiST Forum on Atari-forum.com
Testing the MISTICA FPGA16
MiST Board Issues
MiST vs MISTICA FPGA16 in RetroWiki
Video presentation of MISTICA FPGA16

Alternative repositories

https://github.com/Gehstock
https://github.com/robinsonb5
https://github.com/rkrajnc
https://github.com/sorgelig
https://github.com/wsoltys
http://ssh.scrameta.net/

gob33
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Re: Atom on FPGA based retro-computers

Postby gob33 » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:58 am

Seems the production of the original Mist is stopped due to the cheaper clones.
They finish their stock.
Read: The last Mist

crj
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Re: Atom on FPGA based retro-computers

Postby crj » Sat Feb 10, 2018 3:22 pm

That sort of thing is a big problem.

I'm currently in the early stages of working on a product. If I pull it off, it'll be a lot of effort, therefore expense. I really need to recover my costs, and if it's a success then being modestly rewarded for my pains would also be nice.

It would be really nice to keep everything open, so anybody who wants to can hack on it, improve things, turn what I've done into something I never even imagined. But it would also be really nice if nobody straight-up copied what I'd done and sold it more cheaply.

It's hard to see a solution to that dilemma. Maybe fund development via Patreon and let manufacturers compete? I dunno.


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