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FPGA Based Videogame System

FPGA

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Poll: Interest in an FPGA Videogame System (474 member(s) have cast votes)

I would pay....

  1. > $100 (41 votes [8.65%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 8.65%

  2. $100-149 (66 votes [13.92%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 13.92%

  3. $150-199 (137 votes [28.90%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 28.90%

  4. $200-299 (131 votes [27.64%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 27.64%

  5. Sky's the Limit (99 votes [20.89%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 20.89%

I Would Like Support for...

  1. 8 bit era games (398 votes [45.96%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 45.96%

  2. 16 bit era games (397 votes [45.84%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 45.84%

  3. Blip (71 votes [8.20%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 8.20%

Games Should Run From...

  1. SD Card / USB Memory Sticks (414 votes [54.91%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 54.91%

  2. Original Cartridges (299 votes [39.66%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 39.66%

  3. Hopes and Dreams (41 votes [5.44%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 5.44%

The Video Inteface Should be...

  1. RGB (182 votes [18.88%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 18.88%

  2. Composite (155 votes [16.08%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 16.08%

  3. S-video (88 votes [9.13%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 9.13%

  4. Component (126 votes [13.07%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 13.07%

  5. HDMI (413 votes [42.84%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 42.84%

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#1276 Katsu OFFLINE  

Katsu

    Space Invader

  • 14 posts

Posted Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:17 AM

Also, for those RGB nuts like me out there, Retro Gaming Cables UK is now selling RGB cables for the NT mini. It has the stereo spliced in so that's a nice little perk. 

https://www.retrogam...search=analogue

One caveat though, Robert at Retro Gaming Cables UK contacted me directly when I asked about the delay in shipment. He stated that he was working out an issue about not having 5 volt signal being output by the VGA port on the back of the NT mini. Apparently that doesn't cause any problems if you're hooking it up to a PVM/BVM (which I am) or if you're using a Framemesiter, but if you're actually using the cable to connect to an RGB Television or a SCART to HDMI converter (which is pointless for an NT mini anyway as it already does HDMI), it requires the 5 volts signal and won't work. Since I assured him I will not be using the cable on an actual RGB TV, he shipped the cable out to me anyway. 

I also have a set of monoprice RGB cables that have arrived, so I'll be testing those out first.
 



#1277 Keatah OFFLINE  

Keatah

    Quadrunner

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Posted Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:55 AM

TRIVIA:

The most amazing thing about FPGA is that the SRAM based ones can be re-programmed on-the-fly, live-in-circuit, while actually working on a problem. Akin to brain surgery on a patient while she's at work.

 

Most annoying thing about FPGA is they don't come ready with an OS infrastructure like Windows/Linux/MacOS, no file management no other amenities. If you design a small system on one of these chips, you have to write your own GUI and OS. Though newer FPGA chips come with x86 and ARM processors embedded in them.



#1278 Guspaz OFFLINE  

Guspaz

    Star Raider

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Posted Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:15 PM

One caveat though, Robert at Retro Gaming Cables UK contacted me directly when I asked about the delay in shipment. He stated that he was working out an issue about not having 5 volt signal being output by the VGA port on the back of the NT mini. Apparently that doesn't cause any problems if you're hooking it up to a PVM/BVM (which I am) or if you're using a Framemesiter, but if you're actually using the cable to connect to an RGB Television or a SCART to HDMI converter (which is pointless for an NT mini anyway as it already does HDMI), it requires the 5 volts signal and won't work. Since I assured him I will not be using the cable on an actual RGB TV, he shipped the cable out to me anyway. 
 

 

If none of the detection pins on the NT Mini are providing 5v, then it can be pulled from the NT Mini's USB port.



#1279 Great Hierophant OFFLINE  

Great Hierophant

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Posted Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:14 PM

 

Some points of note:

 

FPGA is rather new in the collective consciousness of classic & retro gamers. They might have been around for 10+ years with single arcade game implementations, but those were demos and proof-of-concept projects. First now these rigs are they becoming practical gaming devices.

 

 

 

My NES PowerPak has been going strong for over nine years, and it uses a Xilinx Spartan XC2S30 FPGA.  



#1280 Guspaz OFFLINE  

Guspaz

    Star Raider

  • 62 posts

Posted Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:41 PM

Yes, but a Xilinx Spartan XC2S30 only has 216 logic blocks and still costs $13 even today. Unless I can't compare Altera logic elements to Xilinx configurable logic blocks, that's 0.7% the size of the FPGA in the NT Mini. Or maybe 972 logic elements? Hard to tell which is which, but either way, the thing is tiny.


Edited by Guspaz, Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:42 PM.


#1281 kevtris ONLINE  

kevtris

    Dragonstomper

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  • 506 posts
  • FPGA Whisperer
  • Location:Flyover, USA

Posted Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:33 PM

New firmware friday!    This time, I have added Gameboy and GBC.  The GBC is sorta buggy, I basically bolted the GBC stuff on top of the GB and then ran out of time to debug it.  So don't be surprised if the GBC is fairly buggy.   Like before, save RAM is supported, so when you exit a game that has it, you will be prompted to save.   And like before this can be turned on/off.

 

Be sure to read the release notes in the new /GB and /GBC directories.   You will need the bootstraps (bioses) for the two systems.

 

And yes, you CAN run gb games on the gbc if you wish to use the colourized palettes.   In the future I might add the ability to load a custom GB palette, but for now it's fixed.   PAL on HDMI is supported, and PAL analog will be, but I sorta kinda forgot to add it.  So analog outs are NTSC only at the moment.

 

http://blog.kevtris....re_verJB1.2.zip

 

Enjoy!



#1282 Wolf_ OFFLINE  

Wolf_

    Moonsweeper

  • 260 posts

Posted Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:35 PM

New firmware friday!    This time, I have added Gameboy and GBC.  The GBC is sorta buggy, I basically bolted the GBC stuff on top of the GB and then ran out of time to debug it.  So don't be surprised if the GBC is fairly buggy.   Like before, save RAM is supported, so when you exit a game that has it, you will be prompted to save.   And like before this can be turned on/off.

 

Be sure to read the release notes in the new /GB and /GBC directories.   You will need the bootstraps (bioses) for the two systems.

 

And yes, you CAN run gb games on the gbc if you wish to use the colourized palettes.   In the future I might add the ability to load a custom GB palette, but for now it's fixed.   PAL on HDMI is supported, and PAL analog will be, but I sorta kinda forgot to add it.  So analog outs are NTSC only at the moment.

 

http://blog.kevtris....re_verJB1.2.zip

 

Enjoy!

Jesus. So much for a new core every few months. You are freakin killin it man!



#1283 Namdor OFFLINE  

Namdor

    Space Invader

  • 28 posts

Posted Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:38 PM

Thanks Kevtris!

#1284 roaringchicken OFFLINE  

roaringchicken

    Space Invader

  • 17 posts

Posted Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:26 PM

New firmware friday!    This time, I have added Gameboy and GBC.  The GBC is sorta buggy, I basically bolted the GBC stuff on top of the GB and then ran out of time to debug it.  So don't be surprised if the GBC is fairly buggy.   Like before, save RAM is supported, so when you exit a game that has it, you will be prompted to save.   And like before this can be turned on/off.

 

Be sure to read the release notes in the new /GB and /GBC directories.   You will need the bootstraps (bioses) for the two systems.

 

And yes, you CAN run gb games on the gbc if you wish to use the colourized palettes.   In the future I might add the ability to load a custom GB palette, but for now it's fixed.   PAL on HDMI is supported, and PAL analog will be, but I sorta kinda forgot to add it.  So analog outs are NTSC only at the moment.

 

http://blog.kevtris....re_verJB1.2.zip

 

Enjoy!

 

Great gift for a rainy weekend!    Thanks Kevtris!   


Edited by roaringchicken, Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:28 PM.


#1285 genfuyung OFFLINE  

genfuyung

    Star Raider

  • 90 posts

Posted Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:31 PM

New firmware friday!    This time, I have added Gameboy and GBC.  The GBC is sorta buggy, I basically bolted the GBC stuff on top of the GB and then ran out of time to debug it.  So don't be surprised if the GBC is fairly buggy.   Like before, save RAM is supported, so when you exit a game that has it, you will be prompted to save.   And like before this can be turned on/off.

 

Be sure to read the release notes in the new /GB and /GBC directories.   You will need the bootstraps (bioses) for the two systems.

 

And yes, you CAN run gb games on the gbc if you wish to use the colourized palettes.   In the future I might add the ability to load a custom GB palette, but for now it's fixed.   PAL on HDMI is supported, and PAL analog will be, but I sorta kinda forgot to add it.  So analog outs are NTSC only at the moment.

 

http://blog.kevtris....re_verJB1.2.zip

 

Enjoy!

MAN I WISH THESE THINGS WOULD COME BACK IN STOCK



#1286 Pixelboy OFFLINE  

Pixelboy

    Quadrunner

  • 7,703 posts
  • Location:Montreal, Canada

Posted Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:33 PM

New firmware friday!    This time, I have added Gameboy and GBC.  The GBC is sorta buggy, I basically bolted the GBC stuff on top of the GB and then ran out of time to debug it.  So don't be surprised if the GBC is fairly buggy.   Like before, save RAM is supported, so when you exit a game that has it, you will be prompted to save.   And like before this can be turned on/off.
 
Be sure to read the release notes in the new /GB and /GBC directories.   You will need the bootstraps (bioses) for the two systems.
 
And yes, you CAN run gb games on the gbc if you wish to use the colourized palettes.   In the future I might add the ability to load a custom GB palette, but for now it's fixed.   PAL on HDMI is supported, and PAL analog will be, but I sorta kinda forgot to add it.  So analog outs are NTSC only at the moment.
 
http://blog.kevtris....re_verJB1.2.zip
 
Enjoy!


Okay, now I really can't wait to receive my NT Mini. :)

I didn't know the Game Boy had a bootstrap. All the GB emulators I've ever tried didn't require anything special to run. At least I think so... :ponder:

EDIT: So the GBC core is somewhat buggy, eh? Well, that will give GBC lovers a reason to try all the ROMs and document all the glitches. :D

#1287 Fafner OFFLINE  

Fafner

    Star Raider

  • 56 posts

Posted Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:39 PM

Is it possible to save resolutions for individual cores?
So Game Gear will boot into 5X while leaving my NES to boot up at 4X?

Edited by Fafner, Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:39 PM.


#1288 genfuyung OFFLINE  

genfuyung

    Star Raider

  • 90 posts

Posted Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:50 PM

New firmware friday!    This time, I have added Gameboy and GBC.  The GBC is sorta buggy, I basically bolted the GBC stuff on top of the GB and then ran out of time to debug it.  So don't be surprised if the GBC is fairly buggy.   Like before, save RAM is supported, so when you exit a game that has it, you will be prompted to save.   And like before this can be turned on/off.

 

Be sure to read the release notes in the new /GB and /GBC directories.   You will need the bootstraps (bioses) for the two systems.

 

And yes, you CAN run gb games on the gbc if you wish to use the colourized palettes.   In the future I might add the ability to load a custom GB palette, but for now it's fixed.   PAL on HDMI is supported, and PAL analog will be, but I sorta kinda forgot to add it.  So analog outs are NTSC only at the moment.

 

http://blog.kevtris....re_verJB1.2.zip

 

Enjoy!

Will there be a GBA core? That would be so much easier than trying to figure out how to use GBI on the gamecube and getting that hdmi modded etc etc



#1289 tagis72 OFFLINE  

tagis72

    Combat Commando

  • 2 posts

Posted Fri Feb 17, 2017 9:01 PM

Will there be a GBA core? That would be so much easier than trying to figure out how to use GBI on the gamecube and getting that hdmi modded etc etc

 

the GBA system is a 32 bit system. not going to happen on the NT Mini. 



#1290 z3razerviper OFFLINE  

z3razerviper

    Space Invader

  • 12 posts

Posted Fri Feb 17, 2017 9:47 PM

 

For 2. have you tried holding the button combo down for ~2 secs? And is the controller plugged into port #1? (definitely required for wireless adapter b/c only port #1 gets power while system is off; not sure about wired controllers in other ports though)

I was being stupid I kept holding down A and select button like the manual said but after the post i realized it was really B and select cause a was mapped to B on the nes 30...doh



#1291 TheRedEye OFFLINE  

TheRedEye

    Moonsweeper

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Posted Fri Feb 17, 2017 9:47 PM

I like how most people in this thread are like "will it do PC Engine/GBA/Other Cool System" whereas I'm sitting here going "WHEN IS THE SUPER VISION CORE COMING OUT??"



#1292 GAME1213 OFFLINE  

GAME1213

    Combat Commando

  • 6 posts

Posted Fri Feb 17, 2017 9:51 PM

For those that want the black and white palette for GB games instead of the green, just load the game in the GBC core and press B+Left on the start up screen.



#1293 Dweezicus OFFLINE  

Dweezicus

    Space Invader

  • 16 posts

Posted Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:17 PM

Just loaded the new update, and none of the gameboy games would load. Kevtris has been mentioning you need to supply your own bios in a very cryptic manner. I own a lot of game boys, so I legally own the bioses (correct me if I'm wrong) to the systems I want to run on my Mini. Could someone please help steer me in the right direction how to either extract a bios from a gameboy or find one digitally?
I tried to find one in a quick google search, and all I came across was a Gba bios. Also, if I did have a bios, would it go in the system/cores folder or in the GB folder?

#1294 phoenixdownita OFFLINE  

phoenixdownita

    River Patroller

  • 2,813 posts

Posted Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:25 PM

Sorry for being a newb, but how does 9000 gates even cover the NES? I imagine the smallish 2kbyte CPU RAM and 2kbyte PPU RAM would need a minimum 32768 gates considering there are 32kbits spread across two chips for memory alone? And I think really 64k gates because you need two NOR gates (simple latch and hold flip flop circuit with set and reset inputs) for each single bit of storage if I remember my digital electronics. More when you add on address circuitry.

R-S_mk2.gif

https://en.m.wikiped...p_(electronics)

 

Or perhaps I am confusing the definition of a "Logic Element" with the concept of a "logic gate..."  :P

It's 9K Logic Cell not gates.

 

https://en.wikipedia...iki/Logic_block

 

I believe Xilinx6E now uses 6-LUT and not 4-LUT [fractured in 2 3-LUTs] as exemplified here.

FPGA_cell_example.png



#1295 phoenixdownita OFFLINE  

phoenixdownita

    River Patroller

  • 2,813 posts

Posted Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:43 PM

....

 

Well this is one thing that annoys me greatly about Xilinx.  They like to describe the size of their chips in "Gates".   But they don't define what a "gate" is.  Is it an inverter? 2 input AND? 2 input OR?  Also, I heard that they count gates that you can't even use for logic, like the configuration hardware.   Comparing xilinx's chips based on the number of "slices" is a better "apples to apples" compare.  

They stopped using gates for quite a while, past the Spartan 3 (or 3E) I believe.

 

Anyway if you wanna have a chuckle about how nonsensical most of those numbers really are spend 5 minutes reading:

http://www.eejournal...-marketingmath/

 

Xilinx comes out a bigger loser than it should be as both of them (Altera and Xilinx) have played this useless game for too long.



#1296 kevtris ONLINE  

kevtris

    Dragonstomper

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  • FPGA Whisperer
  • Location:Flyover, USA

Posted Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:51 PM

Is it possible to save resolutions for individual cores?
So Game Gear will boot into 5X while leaving my NES to boot up at 4X?

it should save scale factors like that per core.  What it won't save is the resolution, like 1080p or 720p.  those are global across all cores.



#1297 Fafner OFFLINE  

Fafner

    Star Raider

  • 56 posts

Posted Sat Feb 18, 2017 6:42 AM

it should save scale factors like that per core.  What it won't save is the resolution, like 1080p or 720p.  those are global across all cores.



Gotcha!
Thanks!

#1298 eyeon OFFLINE  

eyeon

    Combat Commando

  • 6 posts

Posted Sat Feb 18, 2017 9:50 AM

Awful lotta single post members signed up just 2 congratulate you Kevtris... Kudos, u earned it!!!

I was about to create an account to do just that, but apparently I've been a member since 2010. But yes, amazing work Kevtris! I bought this just to play NES, which it does flawlessly, everything else is just an amazing bonus. Can't wait to see what's next, but judging by the core menu on the 1.2 update, I have a pretty good idea. ;)  



#1299 cacophony OFFLINE  

cacophony

    Chopper Commander

  • 166 posts

Posted Sat Feb 18, 2017 12:36 PM

...Can't wait to see what's next, but judging by the core menu on the 1.2 update, I have a pretty good idea. ;)  

 

??? 2600 / 7800 ??? 



#1300 Great Hierophant OFFLINE  

Great Hierophant

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Posted Sat Feb 18, 2017 12:46 PM

If or when the cores for the Atari 2600, 5200, 7800, Odyssey2, Intellivision and Colecovision are released, how will their analog lo-fi color signals be processed?  The NES generates composite color inside the chip, not RGB and the Nt Mini outputs the exact same composite signal that the real NES does.  From what I can tell, the Atari consoles and the Intellivision also generate color in the composite domain.  The Odyssey2 and Colecovision seem to generate color in the RGB or YPrPb domain.  

 

Also, I know that there are no plans to bring a computer core like the C64 to the Nt Mini, but for the C64 I would wonder if the chip would be capable of it.  After all, there is the C64 GS.  More specifically, if a low pass filter of the FDS is beyond the capabilities of the current FPGA, what about the SID's low, high and bandpass filters?







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