Current roadmap 2018

Open source STF clone project.
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exxos
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Current roadmap 2018

Post by exxos » Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:53 am

First of all, this project isn't dead.. far from it..

Current status of the motherboard is I need to add caps and manually route the RGB drivers.. but Eagle doesn't allow "stop" layers internally, so it messed thing sup routing wise :roll:

Once above is finished, the board can actually go into production for testing.. BUT. this is going to be expensive, and will need a few people willing to buy a board and built it up themselves to test it all works.

Meanwhile as people know I am working on the STFM SEC DESIGN which will ultimately be integrated onto future motherboard revisions.

Blitter is impossible to find now, so needs a FPGA board creating and testing for that.. likely be some time before I get chance to work on that. Again this be tested on the STFM first and will be included on new motherboard in future revisions.

Speed up of MMU is next step to clone in FPGA (will use suska core) which will run at 50MHz with CPU. Meaning 50MHz CPU & ST-RAM. 14MB ST-RAM should be possible.

Then we have higher bandwidth to shifter for more colours and video resolutions. Of course needs new shifter for that also..

GLUE logic should be easy to replace, we can add TOS206 decoding on there also..

Also check out the FAQ & suggestions viewtopic.php?f=19&t=1028

Also current draft layout is here viewtopic.php?f=19&t=15

So once my SEC design is finished and I caught up on peoples machine repairs and web store items, I hope to dedicate my time to this project.. but of course, really need some people to invest some time and money into testing the board out so I can work on next revision rather than spending time on current ST clone which almost anyone should be able to build and test.

Ultimately the MMU & GLUE will likely be integrated into a single FPGA. So as the SEC CPU needs a bit of support logic, I hope to mash that into the same FPGA also.

Long term, the DMA will be replaced with a higher speed FPGA so DMA transfers can operate at much higher speeds.
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Re: Current roadmap 2018

Post by Smonson » Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:26 am

exxos wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:53 am
Ultimately the MMU & GLUE will likely be integrated into a single FPGA. So as the SEC CPU needs a bit of support logic, I hope to mash that into the same FPGA also.
...and shifter, I'm guessing.

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Re: Current roadmap 2018

Post by exxos » Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:50 am

Smonson wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:26 am
...and shifter, I'm guessing.
Possible yes.
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Re: Current roadmap 2018

Post by Darklord » Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:44 pm

Thanks for the update Chris ! :)
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Re: Current roadmap 2018

Post by sandord » Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:19 pm

Now that things are going so incredibly well (I mean, I saw a screenshot of Xenon II playing :shock: :yay2:), I'm wondering when the second PCB revision will be produced. Will it be in 2018 or will I have to be a little more patient?

I'm interested in participating, I have an STF with fried ROMS that is eager to become a donor :P Of course I understand very well that this isn't simply a production run, so much work that has to be done to fix the little things...

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Re: Current roadmap 2018

Post by exxos » Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:36 pm

sandord wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:19 pm
Now that things are going so incredibly well (I mean, I saw a screenshot of Xenon II playing :shock: :yay2:),
I don't think he is 100% stable yet, AFAIK still doesn't have sound.. We got a lot of debugging to do which will take a while.
sandord wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:19 pm
I'm wondering when the second PCB revision will be produced. Will it be in 2018 or will I have to be a little more patient?
It won't be anytime soon.. There still needs to be stuff testing/fixing yet. People need to catch up on the current board yet as well. We need everyone to build it and get it working for a wide range of hardware tolerances to make sure the design is stable. I don't want to fall into the "trap" like things are now with Atari boards, where the same revision board can have multiple issues, or none. We need to be 500% sure this new ST has no issues before we start building on it.

The REV_G is the current design, but not worth a run of that board. There are still 2 boards in my store, so everyone who has brought one, has pretty much done so already. IMHO it wouldn't be fair on those current guys who brought one already to go and push out a new board out so quickly. The board isn't in high demand, and I'm not expecting those guys to buy a new revision when its basically the same one as they have already.

A new board will only be done when there are substantial updates.. but I need to finish the SEC booster yet, blitter & MMU FPGA, among other things. So I doubt there will be any more boards for the next 2 years.
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Re: Current roadmap 2018

Post by sandord » Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:15 pm

I gasped at that two year prospect for a second and then concluded that it is probably the best thing to do even. It wouldn't be fair indeed to release an update quickly after the early adopters put so much effort in it. I also appreciate the amount of work that still has to be done.

I'm just going to enjoy reading about the progress of the whole thing, it has been amazing so far.

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Re: Current roadmap 2018

Post by exxos » Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:36 pm

sandord wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:15 pm
I gasped at that two year prospect for a second and then concluded that it is probably the best thing to do even. It wouldn't be fair indeed to release an update quickly after the early adopters put so much effort in it. I also appreciate the amount of work that still has to be done.

I'm just going to enjoy reading about the progress of the whole thing, it has been amazing so far.

Yeah 2 years may sound like a long time, but really its not. We need to get this first step right.

Once we get all issues ironed out then we will have a stable board to work with. This is the main problem with Atari boards, always debugging stuff and coming up with fixes, takes huge amounts of time. Franky I have "wasted" years on it all, just look at the DMA chaos for example.. I want to move away from that chaos, its not a good useage of time. With this new STF board, we can actually fix stuff properly right from the start.

Ultimately upgrades wont need massive amounts of debugging to do as the board will work properly from the start. Upgrades will be built on or addon cards, they will be a lot cheaper and easier to install. No soldering!

As many know I am ditching a lot of stuff next year. I don't have the time or energy to constant swap around 50 different things all the time. I am going to try and concentrate on this STF board and its future upgrades.I've been supporting the ST range since like early 90s.. its time to move onto better things and create a new board and build it bigger & better :)

Of course this new machine will be fully backwards compatible with the original ST. Something which is lacking with all other "clones". Plus will have a true 50MHz machine built in.. the sky is the limit really..
4MB STFM 1.44 FD- VELOCE+ 020 STE - 4MB STE 32MHz - STFM 16MHz - STM - MEGA ST - Falcon 030 CT60 - Atari 2600 - Atari 7800 - Gigafile - SD Floppy Emulator - PeST - HxC - CosmosEx - Ultrasatan - various clutter

https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/ All my hardware guides - mods - games - STOS
https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/last/storenew/ - All my hardware mods for sale - Please help support by making a purchase.

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