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it's fun to play on the F. P. G. A.

FPGA emulation vhdl verilog

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#51 Beer Monkey OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:30 PM

Maybe you tried, but see if those TVs have any processing you can switch off. Sometimes it's called Game Mode (turn on to disable processing) but older TVs/other brands name it differently or may need switching off each effect.

 

Interestingly, for years I couldn't figure out why the Game Mode setting on my 2008 Pioneer Kuro plasma didn't reduce lag.  I discovered recently that what it does is correctly display 240p signals!  Easily confirmed by the drop shadow test in the 240p test suite...



#52 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:56 PM

Am I correct in assuming that, on a cheap-consumer-grade FPGAs, the pinch point for classic gaming simulation is both quantity and speed of memory access?

#53 phoenixdownita OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:36 PM

Am I correct in assuming that, on a cheap-consumer-grade FPGAs, the pinch point for classic gaming simulation is both quantity and speed of memory access?

Given you usually have enough GPIO pins to drive PSRAM or SRAM that sits outside the FPGA not sure what you are getting to.

It depends on the board design not just the FPGA, the FPGA has block RAM for many purposes, and if you need little of it (like for the system RAM/VRAM) and rely on "carts" for the actual ROMz support then you're good, if you want to use instead non carts to load the ROMz then outside RAM is the solution given size requirements (in the case of PSRAM you can get 55ns http://www.mouser.co...si-pseudo-sram/ and that is ~18MHz access, quite fast for classic gaming direct ROM access, if you like SRAM you can get 10ns [100 Mhz access] but in small sizes http://www.cypress.c...221596/download )

Just to complete the SD2SNES flashcart uses a MT45W8MW16BGX PSRAM chip to hold "teh romz", you can peruse the datasheet here

https://www.micron.c..._cr1_5_p26z.pdf

(and random access time is 70ns)

The turbo everdrive v2 uses a PSRAM chip made by ISSI (v1 used flash instead), the MegaED v1 instead used SDRAM 48LC8M16 (I guess the genesis access patterns are slow enough)



#54 Newsdee OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:23 AM

Am I correct in assuming that, on a cheap-consumer-grade FPGAs, the pinch point for classic gaming simulation is both quantity and speed of memory access?

I would say no. The ZxUno is the cheapest "consumer friendly" boards out there and is not too expensive at ~70 EUR. Latest version has 2MB of SRAM which was mostly added to run the XT x86 core (and also the previous 512KB chip became harder to source).

The size of FPGA becomes an issue for some designs (e.g. the AGA core doesn't fit in the ZxUno and almost fills up the MiST), but there is still room for growth in current offerings.

Also note that neither of these boards implement HDMI upscaling; Kevtris mentioned that the necessary circuit eats up quite a bit of FPGA capacity. His solution is to use an external upscaler (just one that ships with the PCB instead of a fully separate unit).

Edited by Newsdee, Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:28 AM.


#55 retro_fan OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 19, 2017 3:51 PM

Another cool FPGA video:

 



#56 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 19, 2017 4:06 PM

LOL



#57 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:21 PM

School's in session!

 

 



#58 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:30 AM

Hot damn! I had an FPGA when I was a kid back in the 70's!

 

For those of us that played with those RadioShack 100-in-1 projects kits.. Those were FPGAs for kids! You got a big-ass cardboard "chip" with various parts mounted in a wood box. You thought of a circuit and wired it up. Or you "loaded" a descriptor from the project manual like so, 1-3, 14-15, 28-17, 54-18-10.. and so on. What a simple visual language. Sometimes you even drew it out on paper first.

 

Some kits even came with ready made rudimentary Logic Elements in the form of a "visible I.C." or a LS00 Quad NAND-gate. Analog signal processing wasn't forgotten either, you had a variable capacitor and resistor, Microphone and Speaker, and a light bulb and light sensor. But you had to build your own oscillator or you used your finger on a Morse-Code key to tap in a clock. Great times!

 

science_fair_electronics_kit.jpg dsc_2352-edit.jpg EPKIC.jpg 200_1_Electronic04.JPG



#59 Newsdee OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:56 AM

FPGAs are digital breadboards basically. The cool thing of the open source boards is that you can try your hand at customizing them. Here's some tutorials based on the MiST:
https://github.com/m...rials/readme.md

#60 retro_fan OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 21, 2017 5:26 PM

Building a CPU on an FPGA series:

 



#61 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:10 PM

Hot damn! I had an FPGA when I was a kid back in the 70's!
 
For those of us that played with those RadioShack 100-in-1 projects kits.. Those were FPGAs for kids! You got a big-ass cardboard "chip" with various parts mounted in a wood box. You thought of a circuit and wired it up. Or you "loaded" a descriptor from the project manual like so, 1-3, 14-15, 28-17, 54-18-10.. and so on. What a simple visual language. Sometimes you even drew it out on paper first.
 
Some kits even came with ready made rudimentary Logic Elements in the form of a "visible I.C." or a LS00 Quad NAND-gate. Analog signal processing wasn't forgotten either, you had a variable capacitor and resistor, Microphone and Speaker, and a light bulb and light sensor. But you had to build your own oscillator or you used your finger on a Morse-Code key to tap in a clock. Great times!
 
attachicon.gifscience_fair_electronics_kit.jpgattachicon.gifdsc_2352-edit.jpgattachicon.gifEPKIC.jpgattachicon.gif200_1_Electronic04.JPG

I had the 200-in-1 back in the day. It inspired me topursue electronics in college.

#62 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 22, 2017 12:47 AM

I learned everything I know about electronics by playing with those kits.



#63 retro_fan OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 2, 2017 3:38 PM

I would really like to see FPGAs being used to save prototype hardware. Can you image that this little gem (a bit NSFW) would be lost for future generations?!

 

 


Edited by retro_fan, Sun Apr 2, 2017 3:39 PM.


#64 Kismet OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 2, 2017 4:13 PM

Hot damn! I had an FPGA when I was a kid back in the 70's!

 

For those of us that played with those RadioShack 100-in-1 projects kits.. Those were FPGAs for kids! You got a big-ass cardboard "chip" with various parts mounted in a wood box. You thought of a circuit and wired it up. Or you "loaded" a descriptor from the project manual like so, 1-3, 14-15, 28-17, 54-18-10.. and so on. What a simple visual language. Sometimes you even drew it out on paper first.

 

Some kits even came with ready made rudimentary Logic Elements in the form of a "visible I.C." or a LS00 Quad NAND-gate. Analog signal processing wasn't forgotten either, you had a variable capacitor and resistor, Microphone and Speaker, and a light bulb and light sensor. But you had to build your own oscillator or you used your finger on a Morse-Code key to tap in a clock. Great times!

 

attachicon.gifscience_fair_electronics_kit.jpgattachicon.gifdsc_2352-edit.jpgattachicon.gifEPKIC.jpgattachicon.gif200_1_Electronic04.JPG

 

I had the newer 1987 version of that 200-in-1 kit (bottom right) that had the plastic knobs and 6 AA battery holders but no lid. The model shown looks distinctively 70's (It's the 1981 model.) That's how I learned to read electronic schematics when I was 8. Apparently they still make them http://www.elenco.co...oject__lab=Mjg1. Made in Taiwan.



#65 retro_fan OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 25, 2017 2:30 PM

I will leave this here:

 

ZX Spectrum Next -- a new machine, fully compatible with the original computer, and packed with improvements and expansions.



#66 retro_fan OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 25, 2017 2:35 PM

LOL, they're using the Raspberry Pi Zero as an accelerator! :) "We added the option to add a Raspberry Pi Zero as a slave co-accelerator board, taking the Spectrum Next to a whole new level. In other words, with a Raspberry Pi Zero slotted into its place, the Spectrum Next can use the RPi memory, CPU and GPU to do its bidding. Imagine what demosceners can do with this… An OpenGL ZX Spectrum? Who knows!"


Edited by retro_fan, Tue Apr 25, 2017 2:35 PM.


#67 phoenixdownita OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 25, 2017 3:37 PM

LOL, they're using the Raspberry Pi Zero as an accelerator! :) "We added the option to add a Raspberry Pi Zero as a slave co-accelerator board, taking the Spectrum Next to a whole new level. In other words, with a Raspberry Pi Zero slotted into its place, the Spectrum Next can use the RPi memory, CPU and GPU to do its bidding. Imagine what demosceners can do with this… An OpenGL ZX Spectrum? Who knows!"

Great but then why do I need the ZX spectrum Next at all?

Instead of the ZX Spectrum Next using mem/cpu/GPU of the RPi the reverse is better ... use the FPGA on the ZX S+ from the Pi .... but then again there are cheaper and more powerful alternatives.



#68 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 25, 2017 3:40 PM

Building a CPU on an FPGA series:

 

 

This video is more about the inner workings of a cpu, not converting one into FPGA.. blech!



#69 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 25, 2017 3:44 PM

LOL, they're using the Raspberry Pi Zero as an accelerator! :) "We added the option to add a Raspberry Pi Zero as a slave co-accelerator board, taking the Spectrum Next to a whole new level. In other words, with a Raspberry Pi Zero slotted into its place, the Spectrum Next can use the RPi memory, CPU and GPU to do its bidding. Imagine what demosceners can do with this… An OpenGL ZX Spectrum? Who knows!"

 

It would be interesting to see what demosceners do with a blank FPGA all by itself.



#70 gulps OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 26, 2017 4:27 AM

 

 

Maybe the Next takes the concept from the ZX-Uno (it has a lower Spartan6 FPGA):

 

ZX-Uno

http://zxuno.speccy.org/index_e.shtml

 

 

But they add the HDMI output! That would be great! Awesome!

 

 

 

LOL, they're using the Raspberry Pi Zero as an accelerator! :) "We added the option to add a Raspberry Pi Zero as a slave co-accelerator board, taking the Spectrum Next to a whole new level. In other words, with a Raspberry Pi Zero slotted into its place, the Spectrum Next can use the RPi memory, CPU and GPU to do its bidding. Imagine what demosceners can do with this… An OpenGL ZX Spectrum? Who knows!"

 

 

I see at the MiST a project that the RaspberryPi is used as modem for the Amiga core. I don't known if the FPGA can handle memory and GPU from the RPi or only used as GPU accelerator as the Amiga AGA.

 

If is the same (or upgraded with same compatibility) Spartan6 used at the Mist (XC6SLX9-2TQG144C) would be a nice alternative :)



#71 retro_fan OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:21 PM

We definitely should watch this project:

 

RetroArch FPGA - cores are beginning to run!

 

I think this piece of information is related:

 

"I'm currently working on a prototype zynq design (targeting z-turn 7020 for now) for the libretro/RetroArch project, where the PS will run the normal RetroArch application under Linux, but there will be some custom drivers to interface with the PL side, so that we can have a mixture of hardware cores (like fpganes), software cores (existing libretro-compatible game cores that will run solely on the PS) or hybrid game cores (a mixture of hard and soft IP) and let RetroArch control all of it through its usual interface." bparker06

 

Check out the whole thread: Has anybody used Zynq for FPGAgaming?



#72 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:05 PM

The only issue I see here is lack of consumer-ready hardware that's pervasive and installed everywhere. But otherwise, pretty neat.



#73 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:35 PM

We definitely should watch this project:

 

RetroArch FPGA - cores are beginning to run!

 

I think this piece of information is related:

 

"I'm currently working on a prototype zynq design (targeting z-turn 7020 for now) for the libretro/RetroArch project, where the PS will run the normal RetroArch application under Linux, but there will be some custom drivers to interface with the PL side, so that we can have a mixture of hardware cores (like fpganes), software cores (existing libretro-compatible game cores that will run solely on the PS) or hybrid game cores (a mixture of hard and soft IP) and let RetroArch control all of it through its usual interface." bparker06

 

Check out the whole thread: Has anybody used Zynq for FPGAgaming?

 

The only issue I see here is lack of consumer-ready hardware that's pervasive and installed everywhere. But otherwise, pretty neat.

 

Pretty soon small FPGA cores will come standard in the latest Intel and AMD CPUs. They will get bigger quickly if past CPU cache inflation is any indication, and the prevalence of FPGA will make standalone chips like those used in the AVS and NT Mini much more affordable with time. When the hardware becomes commonplace, it will already have community support. This cannot be a bad thing.

 

I don't know if Windows 10 will allow user level access to the cores, but Linux certainly will. Windows is already well down the crapper anyhow.



#74 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:06 AM

What's concerning is FPGA has been built into many many netbook processors already. But, they are used to replace a lot of the motherboard circuitry - thus leaving nothing for the user to play with. The concept isn't new. It just hasn't been expanded and opened to consumers. In the data center it's different. Your sorting/querying/routing algorithms are programmable by you - and exceed the general-purpose CPU's performance.



#75 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:15 AM

In thinking about Windows 10 and beyond. I wonder if MS really cares. I mean the PC is a dying platform. And intel just axed some of their lower-cost consumer oriented chips. The datacenter + mobile is where hot developments are happening. So I don't blame MS if they don't evolve Windows any more.

 

It's a far cry from the 1990's and dot-com era, where everything revolved around traditional PC architecture. All the frenzy of getting it to work and live up to the promise of a brave new internet. All the hype and hoopla surrounding "Pentium" and "Windows".. That's all gone forever.

 

I know and socialize with many households that have abandoned the PC long ago.  Tedium, slow speed, driver issues, and non-sticky settings that constantly change are the number two reasons people have shifted to mobile. Number one being technical details. No one wants to fart around inside their tech anymore!







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