Overview Features Instructions Performance Forum Downloads Products OrderV4 Reseller Contact

Welcome to the Apollo Forum

This forum is for people interested in the APOLLO CPU.
Please read the forum usage manual.



All TopicsNewsPerformanceGamesDemosApolloVampireAROSWorkbenchATARIReleases
The team will post updates and news here

Future of Amiga Platformpage  1 2 3 

Carlos Rodriguez

Posts 6
22 Aug 2019 08:04


I would like to open a new conversation about the possibility of having a Vampire with Power PC in the future, I understand that it could be an excellent opportunity to incorporate the mass of classic Amiga users to the Amiga OS 4.1 and Morphos that I think they still have Much to say in the future.

By architecture I think this would be viable with an Amiga 1200.
In my opinion we would have to find a way to unify in a system because we could still be a third alternative to Apple or Microsoft platforms that was what the Amiga system was called for and was truncated by the fall of Commodore.


Vojin Vidanovic

Posts 1698
22 Aug 2019 08:11


I like such enthusiasm, used to have it a lot.
 
  Now, I took the pace of as things happen, all promises are vague, until done.
 
  Since MOS will migrate to x86 and OS4 is quite in dead corner, even with Tabor, would it not be easier to migrate Non RadeonHD related components to 080 making OS4 Classic for real? Even backporting just certain improved components and libraries (and some software that has gone a bit OS4 exclusive, not too many) would do much good.
 
  I see Vampire unfing both Classic diehards and NG Amigans, like myself.
 
  Sadly,name and  OS and its sources are fully in hands of Cloanto, Hyperion and Amiga Inc, as usual.


Richard Gatineau

Posts 58
22 Aug 2019 08:12


I think the best will be the opportunity to Morphos and Amiga OS to migrate to 68080.
Because the Appolo architecture is the future of the Amiga and PPC the past. :)


Carlos Rodriguez

Posts 6
22 Aug 2019 08:22


I am a follower of the work of Apollo with 68080 and that is why I see his team capable as you say to turn it into a powerful architecture.

What I am not so clear about is that processor is more capable if the PPC or 68080, what possibilities of expansion has the architecture etc ... would be a nice topic of discussion.

I see it difficult for hyperion or AEON to agree to change to 68080, it would certainly be phenomenal but it would be a matter of not throwing away the development hours already made with PPC.


Tim Trepanier

Posts 106
22 Aug 2019 08:24


I'm not a PPC fan. I think it's a dead architecture.

I'd much prefer a Vampire 68080 ASIC at about 1.6GHz (low enough clock speed to stay cool). Then the next step would be a multi-core 2.5GHz Vampire 68080. I think this is a great deal less work then implementing PPC and builds on what Apollo Team have already done.

I know PPC fans wouldn't like this, but that's the best course i see.

If a CPU architecture did take place i would go to ARM.

I wonder what kind of new CPU architecture Gunner would design if he started with a completely blank slate. Obviously it would take an extremely long period time without a large team behind him.


Olaf Schoenweiss

Posts 647
22 Aug 2019 08:27


it makes no sense

PPC in FPGA is much slower than a PPC processor you still can buy. 68k is different, FPGA is faster than the processors you can buy (if available at all). There was a discussion here about that already and it was obvious that it not makes sense and will not happen.


Eric Gus

Posts 413
22 Aug 2019 08:30


To compete in the modern world at a realistic/actually usable level, these days its all about "the web" and "web apps" and cloud. If you want to compete with Apple/Microsoft and Google/Android .. its really no longer about specific hardware and what display/audio abilities you have etc. (though that said, you DO need a certain "minimum" standard to be able to properly render web pages fully and in a rapid time frame, no one wants to wait 5 mins for a google search page to render) .. So I think looking at positioning the Amiga as some kind of serious modern alternative to those is going the wrong direction, The Amiga will likely always be a "niche" platform now.. I know Theirry would wholly disagree with me (and in my deepest of hearts and wishes I want him to win and be right and totally prove me wrong) but I know its not likely as the world has significantly changed since those halcyon days when Commodore was alive, unique custom hardware was vital and software only mattered a little bit, but even then the seeds of change were being sown .. What the Amiga should really be doing is presenting a platform to relive THOSE old glory days of when it was on the top of the world .. and do it exceptionally it well, low cost, easy to purchase and setup and play, etc. .. not try to compete with modern systems, OS's and platforms, internet-cloud solutions, The Amiga is so far behind in that area it would be playing catch-up for years since the goal post of the internet is constantly moving away from it swifter and faster each day, with all the new standards, HTML5, x265, SSL cryptography etc.. It takes companies lots and lots of time and dedicated full time teams of developers.. Something the Amiga community doesn't really have in nearly the same abundance. Realistically for a comparative example, look at the Linux community, there are tons of developers all contributing constantly, actively for decades and they still don't hold any real level of measurable "desktop linux" representative percentages, Amiga (if seriously trying to compete with the big/main guys) would be an even tiniest fraction of what linux enjoys, you simply can't build a working viable market from that.
 
  To the question of adding PPC to the vampire, "meh", PPC Amiga has a very tiny software repository compared to classic 1.x - 3.x .. And (for reasons given above) I dont think PPC/OS4 is really going to be able to realistically compete and/or be a day to day desktop solution .. it itself is a niche (nearly vintage in its own right) platform now. It would be far more interesting to just skip PPC and get AROS or OS4 ported to the Vampire (or even, ARM/x86 if you seriously wanted to do that -- but OS4 lacks applications, specifically a fully modern and fully web standard compliant web browser, so its kinda a dead-in-starting-gate situation), I think it would be wasted effort. PPC/OS4 is a curiosity at best. If you are going to use it play classic 68k amiga games, you still are running it in a PPC UAE, so why not just skip all the fluff, expense and fuss and run it in UAE x86? Or just run them on native 68k hardware, As hard as I try, I just can't justify any real reason to own a PPC system in 2019 other than to post on social media that I own one.
 
  I don't want to be all doom and gloom but I think what you saying is sort of asking the wrong question and looking in the wrong direction. I think what we need to say is, how can we position the Amiga to be one of the best retro gaming platforms out there. Make getting it easy, low cost and fun to use.


Carlos Rodriguez

Posts 6
22 Aug 2019 08:36


effectively Cloanto, Hyperion and Amiga Inc, maintain a licensing on the platform, but I understand that they will also be interested in progressing and especially increasing the critical mass of users, therefore we must seek to unify interests.

It would be necessary to know first if PPC is still interesting given that IBM has apparently made the PPC architecture open source if I have not misunderstood.


Steve Ferrell

Posts 397
22 Aug 2019 08:47


Tim Trepanier wrote:

I'm not a PPC fan. I think it's a dead architecture.
 

That's very hypocritical to say in light of the fact that the 68K is also a dead architecture.



Steve Ferrell

Posts 397
22 Aug 2019 09:08


@eric gus

As hard as I try, I just can't justify any real reason to own a PPC system in 2019 other than to post on social media that I own one.

There's no justifiable reason to own a Vampire, classic Amiga, or an X1000 either.....Amigas are a retro-hobby and they aren't in competition with any current technologies, but unfortunately we have crackpots who show up here believing otherwise who have delusions about how the Amiga could once again take the world by storm if there were just one or two "small" changes.  That ship sailed and then sank around 1988.




Steve Ferrell

Posts 397
22 Aug 2019 09:19


Olaf Schoenweiss wrote:

  it makes no sense
 
PPC in FPGA is much slower than a PPC processor you still can buy. 68k is different, FPGA is faster than the processors you can buy (if available at all). There was a discussion here about that already and it was obvious that it not makes sense and will not happen.
 

 
 
You must have missed it, because it HAS happened.  IBM, Xilinx and the OpenPower Foundation have partnered together and have a PPC softcore despite any discussions here.  The Vampire doesn't make financial nor technical sense either, and yet it exists and people buy it. 
 
Why should someone pay $500 USD for an FPGA hobby board to run classic Amiga software?  Because they enjoy a retro hobby, not because it makes any sense.  One can buy a $40 SBC ARM board that has gigabytes of RAM, 2D/3D accelerated graphics and runs multiple operating systems and has a software library that dwarfs PPC Amiga and 68K Amiga libraries combined and outperforms a Vampire exponentially.....yet people still buy Vampires.
 
People will buy PPC FPGA's for the same reasons that people buy Vampires...because it's something they will enjoy, not because it makes sense or not in your mind.
 
EXTERNAL LINK


Olaf Schoenweiss

Posts 647
22 Aug 2019 10:22


they will not enjoy it because they will compare it with existing PPC hardware and then dismiss it
 
  And as far as I know it is not a easy task to adapt a softcore and people seem to forget that there is only a very very small team behind the development, as far as I am aware only two people doing the FPGA work, the others are testers and/or developers.
 
  What do you guys want? That amiga development stalls for many months just for a FPGA based solution that is much slower than existing hardware? By the way it is not important what I think, Gunnar was very clear about that and the reasons for that decision have not changed.
 
  It would be easier to port AmigaOS and MorphOS to 68k than support PPC in vampire. And even if lots of people would demand it, it still would need to be supported by Hyperion and/or MorphOS or it is difficult to do except you would emulate a whole hardware enironment in FPGA like a VM. And I see no sign of interest there. Gunnar even negotiated with Hyperion and it is fact that 68k is not interesting to them. To support new hardware they always ask for money. And MorphOS team are working on a ISA change but certainly not to 68k or vampire.


Carlos Rodriguez

Posts 6
22 Aug 2019 12:45


Steve Ferrell wrote:

 
Olaf Schoenweiss wrote:

    it makes no sense
     
    PPC in FPGA is much slower than a PPC processor you still can buy. 68k is different, FPGA is faster than the processors you can buy (if available at all). There was a discussion here about that already and it was obvious that it not makes sense and will not happen.
   

   
   
    You must have missed it, because it HAS happened.  IBM, Xilinx and the OpenPower Foundation have partnered together and have a PPC softcore despite any discussions here.  The Vampire doesn't make financial nor technical sense either, and yet it exists and people buy it. 
   
    Why should someone pay $500 USD for an FPGA hobby board to run classic Amiga software?  Because they enjoy a retro hobby, not because it makes any sense.  One can buy a $40 SBC ARM board that has gigabytes of RAM, 2D/3D accelerated graphics and runs multiple operating systems and has a software library that dwarfs PPC Amiga and 68K Amiga libraries combined and outperforms a Vampire exponentially.....yet people still buy Vampires.
   
    People will buy PPC FPGA's for the same reasons that people buy Vampires...because it's something they will enjoy, not because it makes sense or not in your mind.
   
    EXTERNAL LINK   

 
  I agree with you, I think that if an FPGA solution with PPC were considered, it could be public.
 
  What I had in mind is that perhaps it would be a way to try to bring together the mass of Amiga users under a PPC architecture in this case, as a previous step to an architecture that should be new to obviously compete with current machines.
 
  i don't really know what it would cost less if the user group was switched to 68080 or PPC, but what I am convinced is that even if it is a niche market there is a lot of potential.
 
  I don't know another retro machine that is still as active as Amiga's.


Carlos Rodriguez

Posts 6
22 Aug 2019 14:41


eric gus wrote:

To compete in the modern world at a realistic/actually usable level, these days its all about "the web" and "web apps" and cloud. If you want to compete with Apple/Microsoft and Google/Android .. its really no longer about specific hardware and what display/audio abilities you have etc. (though that said, you DO need a certain "minimum" standard to be able to properly render web pages fully and in a rapid time frame, no one wants to wait 5 mins for a google search page to render) .. So I think looking at positioning the Amiga as some kind of serious modern alternative to those is going the wrong direction, The Amiga will likely always be a "niche" platform now.. I know Theirry would wholly disagree with me (and in my deepest of hearts and wishes I want him to win and be right and totally prove me wrong) but I know its not likely as the world has significantly changed since those halcyon days when Commodore was alive, unique custom hardware was vital and software only mattered a little bit, but even then the seeds of change were being sown .. What the Amiga should really be doing is presenting a platform to relive THOSE old glory days of when it was on the top of the world .. and do it exceptionally it well, low cost, easy to purchase and setup and play, etc. .. not try to compete with modern systems, OS's and platforms, internet-cloud solutions, The Amiga is so far behind in that area it would be playing catch-up for years since the goal post of the internet is constantly moving away from it swifter and faster each day, with all the new standards, HTML5, x265, SSL cryptography etc.. It takes companies lots and lots of time and dedicated full time teams of developers.. Something the Amiga community doesn't really have in nearly the same abundance. Realistically for a comparative example, look at the Linux community, there are tons of developers all contributing constantly, actively for decades and they still don't hold any real level of measurable "desktop linux" representative percentages, Amiga (if seriously trying to compete with the big/main guys) would be an even tiniest fraction of what linux enjoys, you simply can't build a working viable market from that.
 
  To the question of adding PPC to the vampire, "meh", PPC Amiga has a very tiny software repository compared to classic 1.x - 3.x .. And (for reasons given above) I dont think PPC/OS4 is really going to be able to realistically compete and/or be a day to day desktop solution .. it itself is a niche (nearly vintage in its own right) platform now. It would be far more interesting to just skip PPC and get AROS or OS4 ported to the Vampire (or even, ARM/x86 if you seriously wanted to do that -- but OS4 lacks applications, specifically a fully modern and fully web standard compliant web browser, so its kinda a dead-in-starting-gate situation), I think it would be wasted effort. PPC/OS4 is a curiosity at best. If you are going to use it play classic 68k amiga games, you still are running it in a PPC UAE, so why not just skip all the fluff, expense and fuss and run it in UAE x86? Or just run them on native 68k hardware, As hard as I try, I just can't justify any real reason to own a PPC system in 2019 other than to post on social media that I own one.
 
  I don't want to be all doom and gloom but I think what you saying is sort of asking the wrong question and looking in the wrong direction. I think what we need to say is, how can we position the Amiga to be one of the best retro gaming platforms out there. Make getting it easy, low cost and fun to use.

I do not know how far the Apollo team could get the current 68080 vampire architecture.
Bearing in mind that the PC cannot compete against the current PS4-5 or XBOX consoles, but it still has games.

I don't see where the problem is that the Amiga can improve their market share in other areas that are not of high demand.

On the other hand, a team to compete means that a new computer company with the appropriate means will consider a new architecture for the Amiga, with new chips etc ...


Olaf Schoenweiss

Posts 647
22 Aug 2019 15:25


I really do not understand what you mean... the mass of amiga users have old 68k hardware (some of them now new vampires) use PC or Mac for daily work. A small number (a couple of thousands at highest) have PPC hardware, many of those also have 68k hardware including vampires. So 68k hardware is what the majority of amiga users has in common. So if unifying at all, unification based on 68k makes more sense. As I wrote... even if you would have PPC as softcore (what would need a lot of work for sure) you still need a OS for it because as long neither Hyperion nor MorphOS team supports it, nothing runs on that core. MorphOS team certainly will head to X64 and Hyperion wants money to support something. PPC in softcore is much slower than real hardware so perhaps it makes sense when PPC is no longer produced and FPGAs are much faster than now so a softcore outperforming real hardware (like on 68k now). It makes no sense. Gunnar already said they will not do it. So I really do not understand why people go on asking to ride on a dead horse if everyone says them it is dead.


Carlos Rodriguez

Posts 6
22 Aug 2019 15:56


Olaf Schoenweiss wrote:

  I really do not understand what you mean... the mass of amiga users have old 68k hardware (some of them now new vampires) use PC or Mac for daily work. A small number (a couple of thousands at highest) have PPC hardware, many of those also have 68k hardware including vampires. So 68k hardware is what the majority of amiga users has in common. So if unifying at all, unification based on 68k makes more sense. As I wrote... even if you would have PPC as softcore (what would need a lot of work for sure) you still need a OS for it because as long neither Hyperion nor MorphOS team supports it, nothing runs on that core. MorphOS team certainly will head to X64 and Hyperion wants money to support something. PPC in softcore is much slower than real hardware so perhaps it makes sense when PPC is no longer produced and FPGAs are much faster than now so a softcore outperforming real hardware (like on 68k now). It makes no sense. Gunnar already said they will not do it. So I really do not understand why people go on asking to ride on a dead horse if everyone says them it is dead.
 

 
  All right.
  First, I proposed that architecture would be the most appropriate to evolve and I talked about PPC, as you say it seems more interesting 68080, the objective would be to try to unify the fragmented community of Amiga, I think like you about the migration of Amiga OS4.1 or Morphos After the hours spent compiling for PPC, they simply will not migrate to 68080.
 
  I understand that the smartest thing is to keep boosting the 68080 vampires that offer higher performance in FPGA than a PPC architecture, so it goes in the right direction and my initial theory of why it was not done to a PPC vampire is answered since it would simply have less performance, this idea came to me after seeing that IBM had made the PPC architecture open source.
 
  On the other hand, I spoke of the possibility (very enthusiastic) that the Amiga platform would be an alternative platform in the future to the other two of Apple and PC, but in fact being realistic this requires a lot of budget and support to create a new architecture. that the current ones could not compete.
 
  Although since we are, I throw the glove at Apollo ..... hehehehehe;)


Vojin Vidanovic

Posts 1698
22 Aug 2019 17:43


Carlos Rodriguez wrote:

  I think like you about the migration of Amiga OS4.1 or Morphos After the hours spent compiling for PPC, they simply will not migrate to 68080.

Au contraire, I am an A1-x1000 ex-user looking forward to migrate to v4. Reason? Really running AmigaOS software and games on supported Amiga with no lies and vain promises.



Richard Gatineau

Posts 58
22 Aug 2019 19:19


The PPC was not the Commodore choice. The PPC combined to the 680x0 was not a good choice but the Phase 5 opportunity to sell expansions. Keeping the PPC only while the mainboards are not afortables and compatible alternatives to the 680x0 exist, that does not make sens.


Steve Ferrell

Posts 397
22 Aug 2019 20:05


Olaf Schoenweiss wrote:

they will not enjoy it because they will compare it with existing PPC hardware and then dismiss it
   
    And as far as I know it is not a easy task to adapt a softcore and people seem to forget that there is only a very very small team behind the development, as far as I am aware only two people doing the FPGA work, the others are testers and/or developers.
   
    What do you guys want? That amiga development stalls for many months just for a FPGA based solution that is much slower than existing hardware? By the way it is not important what I think, Gunnar was very clear about that and the reasons for that decision have not changed.
 
  It would be easier to port AmigaOS and MorphOS to 68k than support PPC in vampire. And even if lots of people would demand it, it still would need to be supported by Hyperion and/or MorphOS or it is difficult to do except you would emulate a whole hardware enironment in FPGA like a VM. And I see no sign of interest there. Gunnar even negotiated with Hyperion and it is fact that 68k is not interesting to them. To support new hardware they always ask for money. And MorphOS team are working on a ISA change but certainly not to 68k or vampire.

I don't think anyone here is really expecting the Apollo Team to work on a PPC FPGA system right now, and neither do I.  But I do think there are some OS4 fanatics who WILL develop an FPGA capable of running OS4 in the near future.  I was never a fan of OS4 and have always preferred classic 68K Amigas so I'm glad that Gunnar and the team have been able to produce new 68K Amigas because classic hardware is becoming scarce, very expensive, and very unreliable with age.  These same factors are affecting OS4 users so it's only natural that they would follow the same route as the Apollo Team and develop FPGA hardware to run their favorite OS.

PPC FPGA's might be something the team would want to look into once the SA Vampire is completed and being sold, but I agree with you that right now, it's best that they stay focused on producing Vampires and supporting their classic Amiga fans.  I also believe that there's money to be made if the team can produce an FPGA that runs OS4, but first things first.


Andrew Miller

Posts 223
22 Aug 2019 21:42


I think the holy grail would be a multicore apollo core ASIC, though that would be quite some time in the future and would need alot of OS, software and hardware development, oh and a crap-ton of funding.

posts 58page  1 2 3