Author Topic: Superscalar 68000, have you seen the Apollo core ? What do you think about ?  (Read 31676 times)

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Offline legacy

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Re: Superscalar 68000, have you seen the Apollo core ? What do you think about ?
« Reply #100 on: September 02, 2016, 03:23:44 pm »
It's a softcore, but it doesn't seem to be available unless you buy the "Vampire" board.

Vampire is a fork, a branch, of the original project and buying a board doesn't come with sources
it's a commercial private project, be aware of that
 

Offline edavid

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Re: Superscalar 68000, have you seen the Apollo core ? What do you think about ?
« Reply #101 on: September 02, 2016, 03:37:35 pm »
It's a softcore, but it doesn't seem to be available unless you buy the "Vampire" board.

Vampire is a fork, a branch, of the original project and buying a board doesn't come with sources
it's a commercial private project, be aware of that

Is the original project source available?
 

Offline sleary78

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Re: Superscalar 68000, have you seen the Apollo core ? What do you think about ?
« Reply #102 on: September 02, 2016, 04:46:43 pm »
So is the Apollo core available as verilog/VHDL or is it just an unlicensed rip off of the 68K series?

What a weird question.

It's a softcore, but it doesn't seem to be available unless you buy the "Vampire" board.

Why would you call it a "rip off"?  Since when do you need a license to build a CPU emulator?  What kind of license are you even talking about?

Weird How? I've worked on many HDL CPU Cores... this is just another one but closed source.

A soft core? If its implemented in HDL then its not what i'd call a soft core. HDL can be fabbed onto ASICs. If its some sort of RISC cpu running a software emulation then fair enough.

ARM Ltd will threaten to sue you if you release ARM HDL cores/clones. Many of them have been taken off github and in the past google code. I expected Freescale/NXP would have a similar policy.

IMHO this is a 680x0 clone since it can be delivered in hardware form and can replace a real 68K. Hence its ripping off a commercially available chip. Its also probably breaking the licensing owned by whoever has the hardware IP from Amiga Inc if its shipping an AGA chipset clone too. So its a rippoff on two fronts.

 

Offline edavid

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Re: Superscalar 68000, have you seen the Apollo core ? What do you think about ?
« Reply #103 on: September 02, 2016, 05:12:01 pm »
A soft core? If its implemented in HDL then its not what i'd call a soft core.
OK, but be aware that you have a different definition of soft core than everyone else.

Quote
ARM Ltd will threaten to sue you if you release ARM HDL cores/clones. Many of them have been taken off github and in the past google code.
That's because of their (stupid) patents.  It doesn't apply to 68K.

Quote
IMHO this is a 680x0 clone since it can be delivered in hardware form and can replace a real 68K. Hence its ripping off a commercially available chip.
What 68K CPU is commercially available?

Anyway, why is releasing a compatible CPU a ripoff?  Are all the 8051 clones ripoffs?
 

Offline sleary78

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Re: Superscalar 68000, have you seen the Apollo core ? What do you think about ?
« Reply #104 on: September 02, 2016, 06:05:29 pm »
A soft core? If its implemented in HDL then its not what i'd call a soft core.
OK, but be aware that you have a different definition of soft core than everyone else.

I think we may be talking at cross purposes. The binary thats getting flashed into the Vampire II board is a softcore. However HDL sources (if they exist) arent. They're something you can create a physical ASIC from. This is what I am referring to. The topic title refers to the Apollo core not the Vampire core. There is a differents albeit its subtle.

Quote
ARM Ltd will threaten to sue you if you release ARM HDL cores/clones. Many of them have been taken off github and in the past google code.
That's because of their (stupid) patents.  It doesn't apply to 68K.

Ok. thats probably true since the 68K is used in military applications and needs to be available from more than one source. I'd be surprised if there were no patents involved.

I know i got nervous about releasing my Archimedes core with an updated Amber ARM core in it. The patent had expired on ARM2 but I was still nervous.

Quote
IMHO this is a 680x0 clone since it can be delivered in hardware form and can replace a real 68K. Hence its ripping off a commercially available chip.
What 68K CPU is commercially available?

Anyway, why is releasing a compatible CPU a ripoff?  Are all the 8051 clones ripoffs?

Ripoff in this case implies clone. Not necessarily illegal or negative.

My issue with this project is that the HDL 68Ks out there so far are mostly GPL and i'm sceptical about a closed source core that may be building on GPLd work. If this was at least open source (but commercial) I'd give it less of a hard time.

 

Offline legacy

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Re: Superscalar 68000, have you seen the Apollo core ? What do you think about ?
« Reply #105 on: September 02, 2016, 06:17:55 pm »
Is the original project source available?

last time I checked: - no -
and I am afraid it's still - no -

you can contact the ex-NATAMI team (Apollo-team)
and ask them for their sources
they might agree IF you have a valid purpose

e.g. because you are willing to develop a new-amiga platform
or to improve/test their core
or something similar

but keep in mind their code is NOT opensource

don't ask me why, I am not affiliated with them
I had a few interests in supporting 68K
so I started to check around, meeting their project

currently I am definitively not interested in 68k
since I am busy with my own toy-RISC project
 

Online andersm

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Re: Superscalar 68000, have you seen the Apollo core ? What do you think about ?
« Reply #106 on: September 02, 2016, 06:22:16 pm »
What 68K CPU is commercially available?
AFAIK the M68SEC000 is still manufactured, as the last of its kind.

Offline legacy

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Re: Superscalar 68000, have you seen the Apollo core ? What do you think about ?
« Reply #107 on: September 02, 2016, 06:25:08 pm »
What 68K CPU is commercially available?

what I know:

68SEC000 at 3.3V, very good for fpga, used by Texas Instruments
in order to build their TI89/TI92/Vojager CAS-calculators
(even if currently replaced by nSpire calculators, which are ARM-based)

68332 at 5V, used in military applications
and in some automotive applications, e.g. Ford Racing
mainly due to the legacy code and due to the TPU unit
 

Offline sleary78

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Re: Superscalar 68000, have you seen the Apollo core ? What do you think about ?
« Reply #108 on: September 02, 2016, 08:38:31 pm »
Is the original project source available?

last time I checked: - no -
and I am afraid it's still - no -

you can contact the ex-NATAMI team (Apollo-team)
and ask them for their sources
they might agree IF you have a valid purpose

e.g. because you are willing to develop a new-amiga platform
or to improve/test their core
or something similar


My interest would be getting the core running on the MiST  platform which is probably not in the interest of the Apollo-Team. sigh.

 

Offline Rasz

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Re: Superscalar 68000, have you seen the Apollo core ? What do you think about ?
« Reply #109 on: September 02, 2016, 09:44:43 pm »
Is the original project source available?

no, last time I checked ~2? years ago authors were still deluding themselves into thinking they have something commercially viable on their hands and tried to peddle this 30 year old technology to IBM of all places (claiming it can scale >1GHz in asic and be competitive against powerpc).
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Offline Tomorokoshi

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Re: Superscalar 68000, have you seen the Apollo core ? What do you think about ?
« Reply #110 on: September 03, 2016, 02:01:02 am »
I turbocharged an Amiga 1000 by replacing the 68000 with a 68010 from an Apollo workstation.

For the most part it worked. Needed to run the "vbr" program to set the Vector Base Register. Some of the games and demos that did particularly egregious hardware banging had trouble running. Otherwise there was a nice speed improvement.
 

Offline edavid

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Re: Superscalar 68000, have you seen the Apollo core ? What do you think about ?
« Reply #111 on: September 03, 2016, 02:09:00 am »
I turbocharged an Amiga 1000 by replacing the 68000 with a 68010 from an Apollo workstation.

For the most part it worked. Needed to run the "vbr" program to set the Vector Base Register. Some of the games and demos that did particularly egregious hardware banging had trouble running. Otherwise there was a nice speed improvement.

Why was it faster?  The 68010 is not any faster than than the 68000 except for "loop mode", which hardly makes a difference.
 

Offline Tomorokoshi

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Re: Superscalar 68000, have you seen the Apollo core ? What do you think about ?
« Reply #112 on: September 03, 2016, 02:53:11 am »
I turbocharged an Amiga 1000 by replacing the 68000 with a 68010 from an Apollo workstation.

For the most part it worked. Needed to run the "vbr" program to set the Vector Base Register. Some of the games and demos that did particularly egregious hardware banging had trouble running. Otherwise there was a nice speed improvement.

Why was it faster?  The 68010 is not any faster than than the 68000 except for "loop mode", which hardly makes a difference.

If I recall, some of the instructions were optimized to use fewer clock cycles. The number I remember from the time is about a 10% improvement.

I found out about it either from newsgroups or magazines, besides, otherwise there wouldn't have been a need for the "VBR" program.
 

Offline sleary78

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Re: Superscalar 68000, have you seen the Apollo core ? What do you think about ?
« Reply #113 on: September 03, 2016, 10:54:29 am »
I've just sent off for some boards to be made up of an 020 accelerator that fits in a 68K socket. Mostly i'm wanting to remove the need for PALs and move to a CPLD design. So its proof of concept work rather than production.
 

Offline legacy

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Re: Superscalar 68000, have you seen the Apollo core ? What do you think about ?
« Reply #114 on: September 24, 2016, 11:20:38 am »
Quote
Hi All,

i want to let everyone know in more detail why pricing has gone up, There was no possible way that i could get it done, I have spent hours locked up in my room trying to get these completed, as well, i have fallen way behind in other orders as people can testify and this is having an impact wit my sanity and patience. The amount of work and co-ordination required to get this all done is probably harder than what most people think. Add to this the constant flaming about people complaining that this should be handed over to a board house to get this done, and now we have people are complaining about the increased price.

Whenever you import parts bit by bit you can sometimes get them in under the radar, whenever you import expensive items the customs people rub their hands with glee and will gladly accept visa and your first born. Some people are cancelling their orders now and TBH i can understand. When we started this project and decided on the price we wanted to make this available to the masses and expected a small demand for the A600. I will never believe people who say they dont like the A600 as it appears there are at least 1000 active users of the A600. we were naive to think we could get this done at a lower price and people were excited to see this great product at a basement price, (Which it was). Once we made the decision to get the boards done professionally (at the request of a lot of people) we have now offended people at the other end of the spectrum. I have been receiving hate mail from people who are cancelling their orders and being accused of gouging, and multiple other reasons that we have used to increase the price.

I always said when it is no longer fun what i am doing then it is time to stop, So i will stop, Once the Vampire/Phoenix project is complete then it will be time to me to sell off existing bits and pieces and disappear into the woodwork. I am getting too old for this stress,

Thanks to all who supported me and to the rest, goodbye.


to the above poster, show me the $16 fpga we use from digikey ?

unfortunately the above drama happened here  :palm: :palm: :palm: :palm:
 

Offline CJay

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Re: Superscalar 68000, have you seen the Apollo core ? What do you think about ?
« Reply #115 on: September 27, 2016, 12:56:24 pm »
I turbocharged an Amiga 1000 by replacing the 68000 with a 68010 from an Apollo workstation.

For the most part it worked. Needed to run the "vbr" program to set the Vector Base Register. Some of the games and demos that did particularly egregious hardware banging had trouble running. Otherwise there was a nice speed improvement.

Why was it faster?  The 68010 is not any faster than than the 68000 except for "loop mode", which hardly makes a difference.

If I recall, some of the instructions were optimized to use fewer clock cycles. The number I remember from the time is about a 10% improvement.

I found out about it either from newsgroups or magazines, besides, otherwise there wouldn't have been a need for the "VBR" program.

That and it was easier to get 16MHz 68010 chips IIRC, you could then overclock it as well.
M0UAW
 

Offline ale500

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Re: Superscalar 68000, have you seen the Apollo core ? What do you think about ?
« Reply #116 on: September 28, 2016, 07:03:43 am »
The code for the vampire board is available, the version I saw had a TG68K core inside.
 

Offline legacy

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Re: Superscalar 68000, have you seen the Apollo core ? What do you think about ?
« Reply #117 on: September 28, 2016, 11:56:45 am »
The code for the vampire board is available, the version I saw had a TG68K core inside.

where?
the TG68k is not the Apollo-core

 

Offline legacy

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Re: Superscalar 68000, have you seen the Apollo core ? What do you think about ?
« Reply #118 on: September 28, 2016, 12:42:32 pm »
oh, I see a new commit of their web page  :o :o :o
 

Offline legacy

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Re: Superscalar 68000, have you seen the Apollo core ? What do you think about ?
« Reply #119 on: September 28, 2016, 12:43:55 pm »
Quote
Info: About recent events
Amiga FPGA accelerator

As you probably know participation in Apollo-team project was 90Eur, later on price went to 120Eur because design change. For that price you were getting Vampire 600 V2 accelerator card and opportunity to have fastest and most compatible Amiga accelerator ever produced, Apollo-core ported to Vampire card with unique features and with more than 100MIPS with latest published cores. From initial core release we went up for more than 20MIPS with adding more and more instructions, more compatible video output drivers and support for MicroSD. Everyone got opportunity to participate in this amazing project seeing it as a next best thing after minimig. Lot of people realized that we inside Apollo-team could bring something to the market, beyond wildest dreams of Amiga enthusiasts who waited for over 20 years for something like this to happen. As a person who worked on hardware design for last 6 years I was under constant pressure helping the team best I could in various areas with my modest knowledge. At the time when money was needed Amiga community recognized potential of this project and placed first pre-orders helping a lot financially. Without those people none of this would happen and that's the truth. They were helping me also in other things, getting parts, equipment. There was so many energy in the air send by them. That gave me the strength to work constantly more than 10 hours per day, every single day. For two years I didn't go to fishing properly or did something else like spending some time with the family.Don't know, just go somewhere with them. I didn't find time to do any other things, this project took it all. Project was frustrating, from the point that design needed change, five times, to the fact that in process of testings I had to buy parts who are now forgotten in those changes.

When you solder by hand about 3200 0402 capacitors and loads of other parts sacrificing in front of everything my health and then when you see that someone else is making money from your hard work then you start to wonder what are you doing wrong. From the start money wasn't my motivation. If that was the case I could sell this design number of times or I could increase the price more. Why solder by hand you may wonder. Because that was the only option to keep prices low and affordable to everyone, at least it was me who was talking constantly that no one should benefit from nostalgic feelings of retro computers enthusiasts. That's why I have opensourced first version of the Vampire 600 so anyone can continue work on it. If this was about the money then I wouldn't end up in the situation where I need to find money for future projects. I was forcing kipper2k to keep prices of the accelerators low with minimum profit or close to zero and each time one FPGA dies he is left with loses. And yes those things happen, I have loads of overheated or ESD damaged parts.

Lot of questions are in my mind lately, could we get even better results if we had money to pay someone for the drivers, demos, for the test cases, instead everyone inside team was working for free. With recent Intel purchases prices of the parts went even higher, yet we kept prices down because we had stock of the parts ordered before those Intel's takeovers. Same time people started to put their Vampire 600V2 cards on eBay selling it for anywhere between 300-800Eur. You may say that's not illegal and they can do whatever they want with their cards but please be in my position to work on this so hard and still don't have money for tooling fees needed for card edge connectors. Some people are adding themselves to our waiting list because pure profit they can make by selling the card five times more than they paid for. I was at the edge to block those cards from future core uploads but I didn't do it and I won't.

Since I have enough parts only to cover initial pre-orders placed on Amibay without need for more funds and because of recent eBay events I m forced to increase the price anywhere between 230-250Eur for various models. Without this decision we are dead in the water and we will hardly find money to finance Vampire 1200. I was idealist, thinking that I should play fair and give anyone opportunity to get this piece of hardware not respecting my time or energy and knowledge rest of the team put into this. I was an idiot thinking that everyone will keep their cards and follow our progress, they didn't even bother to try latest cores, instead they went for quick money. In the darkest corner of my mind I couldn't predict that someone will sell the card instantly when he gets it... Thank you eBay sellers for opening my eyes. World turns when money talks. Finally I learned that.

( link )
« Last Edit: September 28, 2016, 12:51:57 pm by legacy »
 

Offline legacy

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Re: Superscalar 68000, have you seen the Apollo core ? What do you think about ?
« Reply #120 on: September 28, 2016, 12:59:57 pm »
2015, Vampire V2, Gunnar von Boehn
(Apollo Team Member)
 

Offline legacy

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Re: Superscalar 68000, have you seen the Apollo core ? What do you think about ?
« Reply #121 on: September 28, 2016, 01:03:36 pm »
Quote
If you compare Coldfire V4 and Apollo then you see that:
1) Apollo can execute twice as many instructions per clock cycle.
2) Apollo can read/write twice as much data from Caches.
3) Apollo can process per instruction 64bit - so it can do twice as much work per instruction.
4) Apollo has automatic memory stream detection, and automatic hardware prefetching.
 
Each routine is different of course.
But for new code in general Apollo has the potential to be 4 times faster than Coldfire V4 at the same clock.
 
 
 
For old 68k Legacy code the situation is different.
As you know Coldfire does unfortunately _NOT_ support many 68K instruction and data sizes.
For example BYTE or WORD operations are not supported by Coldfire.
 
Coldfire will execute an exception when doing many 68K instructions. Executing such an exception takes many ~100 cycles.
 
We evaluated Coldfire V4 system during the NATAMI time and were disappointed with the legacy code speed.
 
I would assume for legacy 68k code, APOLLO is in the order of 100 times faster than a Coldfire core.

this may be interesting (written by Gunnar von Boehn)  :popcorn:
 

Offline legacy

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Re: Superscalar 68000, have you seen the Apollo core ? What do you think about ?
« Reply #122 on: September 28, 2016, 01:11:24 pm »
Quote
Quote
And Gunnar, if you allready have any plans for the future regarding commercial usage of your Apollo core. Do you plan to sell only your own hardware using Apollo core or do you have plans to sell the core also to other developers and how?

Sure, licensing the APOLLO Core is certainly possible.

(written by Gunnar von Boehn)
 

Offline legacy

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Re: Superscalar 68000, have you seen the Apollo core ? What do you think about ?
« Reply #123 on: September 28, 2016, 02:51:13 pm »
Quote
September 28, 2016 at 14:40:50

message: hi
is it possible to see the HDL-code used in the Vampire accelerators ?
for personal use

let me know
Carlo

Quote
Dear Carlo,

Thanks for your email.

Apollo Core is closed source and we can't provide VHDL code.

Best Regards

Renaud


just asked directly to the team  :-//
 

Offline ale500

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Re: Superscalar 68000, have you seen the Apollo core ? What do you think about ?
« Reply #124 on: September 29, 2016, 08:39:28 am »
Yes, they have a new core, but, here can you see that they used the TG68K:

http://www.majsta.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=77

Those are the sources, 0.1, that I saw.

Here you can read about some happy owners :) : http://www.amiga.org/forums/showthread.php?t=70424&page=3
 


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