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Documentation about the Vampire hardware

Vamp Presentation At Alchemie (French Only)

Vojin Vidanovic

Posts 685
18 Nov 2017 16:29


Apollo Team Conference @ Alchimie 12 on 11.11.17
  Présentation de la Vampire par Guibrush, TuKo et Barjack.
  02:05 01. Qu'est-ce que la Vampire ?
  04:04 02. Qu'est-ce que le 68080 ?
  04:53 03. Qu'est-ce qu'un FPGA ?
  06:00 04. Qu'offre la Vampire "V2" ?
  09:44 05. Qu'offre la Vampire "V4" ?
  13:03 06. Qui est l'Apollo Team ?
  14:54 07. Plan à court terme ?
  16:06 08. Quid du futur ?
  18:21 09. Nos buts.
  19:33 10. Le FPU.
  24:06 11. L'AGA & le SAGA.
  26:39 12. L'AMMX.
  32:44 13. Exemple de softs.
  36:48 14. Systèmes d'exploitation.
  38:39 15. Apparence graphique.
  41:29 16. Parlons budget !
  44:36 17. Comment se la procurer ?
  45:25 18. Questions et réponses.
  55:06 19. Merci pour votre attention.
  55:51 20. Crédits.
 
  EXTERNAL LINK   
  First video on new teams YT channel and had to be 101% French ...
 
  Hope some English summary or subs will follow!


Gregthe Canuck

Posts 192
18 Nov 2017 18:12


@30:53 we see an updated Dragon's Crown demo. It has a lot more going on than previous demos that I have seen, such as this one: EXTERNAL LINK 
Is there a better demo of this anywhere?
 
It looks very cool by the way :)
 


Tim Trepanier

Posts 7
19 Nov 2017 05:21


French is not my first language, (i sent my kids to a french school and i've picked up a bit from them) but here is my summery translation of the video.

----

The usual welcomes and introductions.

What is the Vampire?

The vampire card family and a family of FPGA accelerators for Amiga Classic. It brings features and performance never before offered on this platform.

It's made up of Vampire V2 and V4. The V2 is an accelerator card for Amiga Classic plus an RTG graphics card, the V4 works on the same concept, but it also offers the possibility of operating as a standalone system.

The Vampire V2 is the result of the marriage of the work of Igor <<Majsta>> Majstorovic and 68060. The Vampire V4 follows the same principle and is designed by Christophe <<Ceaich>> Hoehne.

Their commercialization and development is the result of the team work of the Apollo Team.

What is the 68080?

The 68080 (formerly known as Apollo Core) is the natural successor to the Motorola 68k processors.

It is 100% compatible with their code, fixes bugs in Motorola designs and completes them with new features. Its design is resolutely modern.
It has been designed and developed for over 7 years by Gunnar von Boehn, a former IBM employee who has been working on the Poewr8 architecture and developing ARM processors at Hauwei.

What is the FPGA?

An FPGA is a processor prototyping unit whose logic is reprogrammable. It is used by all processor founders during the development of their products before moving to the ASIC phase.

It can be considered that an FPGA is to an ASIC CPU what a DVD-RW is to a DVD-ROM press.

It's not about emulation but about a real physical processor. This modern technology also allows low cost implementations.

What does the Vampire << V2 >> offer?

(Information on the abilities and parts of the Vampire V2 which we already know).

What does the Vampire << V2 >> offer?

(Information on the abilities and parts of the Vampire V4 which we already know).

Who is The Apollo Team?

Gunnar << BigGun >> von Boehn
Co-designer of 68080

Christophe << eiach >> Oehne
Co-designer of the 68080 and hardware developer (V4)

Igor << majsha >> Majstrovic
Harware Developer (V2)

And a team of testers and developers:
Bax, Claude, Flype, ShK, grond, TuKo, cqugl, pisklak, crom00, guibrush, arczi & xboxown

The testers and developers are all volunteers.

Short term plan?

Make the core GOLD2.7 available

Put the V4 on the market

Integrate the AGA into the 68080 core (allow RGB display via HDMI)

Add 4 audio channels including 4 in 16bit (allow sound output via HDMI)

Integrate Hybrid FPU (for V2) and Hardware (for V4)

These last three features are needed for the core GOLD3 and for standalone.

What about the future?

The Vampire is an accelerator that is revolutionizing the world of 68k, it unleashes the passions in the Amiga community and eases the frustrations some of us have with our systems.

The development of the project is realized mainly by volunteers, who work on it in their free time. Each new feature requires a lot of time for its development and the testing that comes after.

The Vampire's interest must be driven for what the product is today and not what it will be tomorrow.

Our goals

Allow each fan of Amiga to continue to live his passion on new and inexpensive equipment.

Allow everyone to access a level of performance never reached on 68k.

Motivate developers to code on a fun and easy platform.

Develop the Amiga that should have succeeded the A1200/A4000, not by fixing the lack of evolution of the chipset by the addition of cards from the PC world (RTG & RTA) but by developing the successor of the AGA: the SAGA.

The FPU

The FPU is part of the desired specifications of 68080. The development has already started, it is already well ahead.

Two solutions are developed in parallel: a hybrid software solution for V2 and a hardware solution for V4.

A hybrid software release for the V2 is required due to the limited space available for the FPGA Cyclone 3. The hardware version has higher performance than any other FPU ever seen on 68k platform.

(showed some performance demos like SysInfo and Quake)

AGA & SAGA

The AGA is also under development and is progressing well.

This is a development branch parallel to the FPU.

The integration of the AGA will allow the Amiga OCS and ECS to have access to the AGA capabilities.

It's not just about integrating the AGA we know in the Amiga 1200/4000/CD32, but delivering a more powerful chipset: SAGA.

SAGA wants to bring the Amiga where it should have been if the development of the chipset had continued, bringing high resolution, larger sprites and a 16-bit Amiga without going through RTG or RTA.

The AMMX

The AMMX is a transposition of Intel MMX instructions to 68k. The AMMX instructions are very versatile and allow great acceleration on the processing of multimedia data.

It must be seen as a super DSP but much more flexible.

Its use makes it possible to reach performances never achieved on a 68k, as for example in MPEG video decoding in 360p (on V2).

(showed (at about 28:00min) various demos, including video playback, large sprites, etc...)

Example of software

The power level of the Vampire allows to run on Amiga classic applications never seen on our machine:

Several coders have already made ports using the power of the Vampire.

These developments also benefit the other Classics, because in practice the authors often make a standard 68k version (example: RIVA).

(showed (at 38:00min) clips of a couple games including metal slug)

Operating systems

A computer is nothing without an operating system. We currently have 3 operating systems taking into account the Vampire:

AmiagOS 3.x
AROS 68k
FreeMINT

Our attention is focused on AmigaOS 3.x. The team is currently in discussion to obtain the necessary rights to distribute a ready-made image for the Vampire.

The team is in close contact with the AROS 68k team as well as with Vincent Riviere for the adaptation of FreeMINT. AROS 68k, essentially C code still needs optimizations to be usable, FreeMINT is already fully functional.

Graphical appearance

The graphical appearance of the operating system is also very important.

The team commissioned Barjack to create a set of icons and a complete graphic theme.

This work funded by the team is available free of charge to the community, it will embody the official graphic appearance of the upcoming Apollo distribution.

(showing (at 39:40min) various screens of icons and an example WB screen)

(showing (at 42:05min) costs of current Amiga 060/PPC accelerator and controller cards totalling $1950 EU and emphasizing Vampire will be a cheaper solution)

How to get it?

Via EXTERNAL LINK 
Via the resellers (indirect distribution channel)

For more presses, via majsta's eBay auctions. The V4 will be distributed only through resellers.

The usual thank you for coming and your interest closing remarks.

(showing (at 5530min) the following english quote from Dave Haynie)
2016-03-17
"Wow! I did not know about this! Ok, sure, I knew about a number of 68k cores around, you can find some of these on OpenCores, and they show up in various things like MiniMig. But this is an entirely different class -- a very modern implementation of the 68k ISA. The idea that you can get way faster than an '060 or a PowerPC Amiga, and add 128MB RAM, for only 150 Euros -- that's the kind of thing I can get behind. I was pretty strongly against the PPC thing for years, not so much because the PPC was a terrible CPU or anything (it's not), but that $1500 or so for an underpowered system is not what we had all hoped for the future of the Amiga. This is great! I don't have an A600 or A500... maybe I'll have to track one down!"
Dave Haynie



Gregthe Canuck

Posts 192
19 Nov 2017 05:51


Tim - thanks for the translation :)



Vojin Vidanovic

Posts 685
19 Nov 2017 10:15


Thanks Tim, its more then I could do with my rusty high school French!

Tim Trepanier wrote:

  Develop the Amiga that should have succeeded the A1200/A4000, not by fixing the lack of evolution of the chipset by the addition of cards from the PC world (RTG & RTA) but by developing the successor of the AGA: the SAGA.

Very consise and good description of project.
 
Tim Trepanier wrote:

  Our attention is focused on AmigaOS 3.x. The team is currently in discussion to obtain the necessary rights to distribute a ready-made image for the Vampire.

This I find as new info and fruit of Hypes interest, as well as end of piracy-nagsayers.

Tim Trepanier wrote:

  The team commissioned Barjack to create a set of icons and a complete graphic theme.
  This work funded by the team is available free of charge to the community, it will embody the official graphic appearance of the upcoming Apollo distribution.
  (showing (at 39:40min) various screens of icons and an example WB screen)

This has been displayed in few videos recently, but is now far more serious, as "new look standard"

Tim Trepanier wrote:

  (showing (at 5530min) the following english quote from Dave Haynie)
  2016-03-17
  "Wow! I did not know about this! Ok, sure, I knew about a number of 68k cores around, you can find some of these on OpenCores, and they show up in various things like MiniMig. But this is an entirely different class -- a very modern implementation of the 68k ISA. The idea that you can get way faster than an '060 or a PowerPC Amiga, and add 128MB RAM, for only 150 Euros -- that's the kind of thing I can get behind. I was pretty strongly against the PPC thing for years, not so much because the PPC was a terrible CPU or anything (it's not), but that $1500 or so for an underpowered system is not what we had all hoped for the future of the Amiga. This is great! I don't have an A600 or A500... maybe I'll have to track one down!"
  Dave Haynie

 
This one is great WOW! factor, only that $150 was v1 price, we are way beyond that, but yet competative!

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