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kevtris

FPGA Based Videogame System

Interest in an FPGA Videogame System  

668 members have voted

  1. 1. I would pay....

  2. 2. I Would Like Support for...

  3. 3. Games Should Run From...

    • SD Card / USB Memory Sticks
    • Original Cartridges
    • Hopes and Dreams
  4. 4. The Video Inteface Should be...



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Hey Kev,

 

I was fumbling around Youtube and couldn't find it.

Do you have a working NES FPGA core? I imagine it would be quite similar to the Gameboy core. NO doubt you have it, I just couldn't find it.

Not trying to thread crap, but there is the RetroUSB AVS coming out very soon to tide NES fans over until the Zimba 3000 becomes a thing.

 

I also wanted to shout out to Kevtris for his awesome contributions to the community. Zimba3000 will be a day one purchase for me, even if I didn't pick up your GameTech NES mod. :D

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Fixed, my name has little to do with it. lol

Whoops! :dunce: Did you help design it, or are you merely just a licensed reseller/installer?

 

Reason I ask is because all the videos I've watched regarding the HDMI NES mod have Game-Tech branding.

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Whoops! :dunce: Did you help design it, or are you merely just a licensed reseller/installer?

 

Reason I ask is because all the videos I've watched regarding the HDMI NES mod have Game-Tech branding.

I pestered Kev in to making it happen and helped where I could, mostly on the installation end of the mod.

I am selling the kit for him so he can concentrate on other projects like the zimba3k etc.

My brand is not on the kit anywhere other than in the list of ppl he thanks, but yeah I did a lot of vids about it. Kevtris did some too...

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I pestered Kev in to making it happen and helped where I could, mostly on the installation end of the mod.

I am selling the kit for him so he can concentrate on other projects like the zimba3k etc.

My brand is not on the kit anywhere other than in the list of ppl he thanks, but yeah I did a lot of vids about it. Kevtris did some too...

So you are the distributor behind it. Sorry I got you guys mixed up. Was it you or Kevtris who were the face of all those long videos discussing it's progress?

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So you are the distributor behind it. Sorry I got you guys mixed up. Was it you or Kevtris who were the face of all those long videos discussing it's progress?

We both talk about it, you just have to watch a vid on my channel or his that is only the one of us in it and you'll tell us apart I guess.

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It's been a little while, and I've been busy but in the last week or so I have managed to reverse engineer the Game King and the Core Store delivered today on an FPGA implementation.

 

Actually it took about 4 days to reverse engineer and another 2 to get it going on the FPGA. Also, I have built that hardware I threatened to build earlier, namely the cartridge emulator system.

 

The docs are here:

 

http://blog.kevtris.org/blogfiles/

 

 

Here's a video of how I reverse engineered the Game King using my new rig:

 

Okay, so now that my ISP download limit is reset for another month, I was finally able to watch your latest videos.

 

Your cartridge emulator is pretty cool stuff! Will it be useful for reverse-engineering the Genesis and Super-NES later, or do you already have all the tech docs you need to create the cores for those 16-bit consoles? :)

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Yes, in fact last night I designed an SA1 cartridge board for it so I can reverse engineer that a little. I will be designing a "normal" SNES cartridge board as well, and possibly a superfx one. I will probably design a genesis board as well and then send the whole mess in to get fabbed. I have also made a gamate cart board, and a gameboy one that will be fabbed too.

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Yes, in fact last night I designed an SA1 cartridge board for it so I can reverse engineer that a little. I will be designing a "normal" SNES cartridge board as well, and possibly a superfx one. I will probably design a genesis board as well and then send the whole mess in to get fabbed. I have also made a gamate cart board, and a gameboy one that will be fabbed too.

Oooh, exciting! One crutch with SNES gaming is the FX and SA-1 chips. No current flash cart is capable of emulating these expansion chips. SD2SNES got most of the obscure chips out of the way, yet some of the best and most popular games used FX and SA-1 which are totally unplayable on real hardware without tracking down an original game cart.

 

Can't wait to see the SNES FPGA get tackled. :twisted:

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Oooh, exciting! One crutch with SNES gaming is the FX and SA-1 chips. No current flash cart is capable of emulating these expansion chips. SD2SNES got most of the obscure chips out of the way, yet some of the best and most popular games used FX and SA-1 which are totally unplayable on real hardware without tracking down an original game cart.

 

Can't wait to see the SNES FPGA get tackled. :twisted:

 

Does that mean SD2SNES could use the same FPGA configuration and get those chips too? That would be awesome.

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Only if Kevtris agrees to share it! icon_twisted.gif

We just need to politely pester him about it constantly.

 

Although I don't know if Verilog for Altera FPGAs is the same as Verilog for Xilinx FPGAs.

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We just need to politely pester him about it constantly.

 

Although I don't know if Verilog for Altera FPGAs is the same as Verilog for Xilinx FPGAs.

Can files and source code not be converted from one chip vendor to the next?

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Can files and source code not be converted from one chip vendor to the next?

No idea. Nowhere near knowledgeable enough to write verilog. I'm more of a software guy, so I know nothing about hardware design.

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Can files and source code not be converted from one chip vendor to the next?

From what I've seen it's possible but can be a pain. Verilog itself is the same but the problem are vendor-specific libraries.

Most common functions are available on both sides, but it takes a bit of work to figure out a mapping.

 

In any case it isn't impossible given how many cores from the FPGA Arcade Replay (Xilinx) have been already ported to Altera systems.

Edited by Newsdee

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This device looks really nice. Thanks for pointing this out to me Pixelboy :)

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@Kevtris: noticed you haven't posted in a while. Hopefully you're working on something big. Love to hear any updates when you get time to post. Take care...

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With 285 votes, I think we can reach the following conclusions:

 

1) HDMI first and foremost, so having two models (cheaper HDMI-only version, and version with expanded video options) would seem to be the best path to success.

 

2) SD card support will be a must. I would say cartridge adaptors will be appreciated if they become reality, but I can picture many people buying the Zimba 3000 without such adaptors (i.e. playing ROMs from SD cards only). I would even go as far as saying that if Kevtris ditched the expansion port on the Zimba's main board to cut down on production costs, I don't think it would make much of a difference, as long as all games could run from SD cards. (But I'm still hoping for proper cartridge adaptors myself.) :)

 

3) Kevin better put the 16-bit cores near the top of his to-do list, because people will be clamoring for them even though they'll have plenty of 8-bit cores/games to keep them busy.

 

4) The price should be in the 150$-199$ range if possible, but if the price ends up being something like 225$, I don't think people will mind terribly, especially with everything the Zimba 3000 offers.

 

All this to say that I'm still hoping to see the Zimba 3000 become reality within the next two years. :)

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Someone asked me this question about this device:

 

Surely this is just emulation, correct? What will this do that you can't do with an android box or a Raspberry Pi?

 

I'm not sure how to answer this. I think it is quite a bit better than just emulation, but how should I answer this? Please advise. I think this is a very nice device that's in development, and I want to have good answers to these questions! :)

Edited by KAZ
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Ah, no, this is far different from emulation. This would be hardware execution of the code. The hardware is inside of a programmable microprocessor called an FPGA. FPGA's are now available with dependability such that instead of just being used to test the validity of a chip's design in real world it can be used as an actual re-programmable chip beyond the mere prototyping stage of Integrated Circuit design. In the past, it would lead to the final creation of a specific 6502 chip variant, or Intel X86 variant after verifying the output occurs as expected on an FPGA, often at a slower rate.
But now, the FPGA's are speedy devices and quite capable of fully implementing the execution structure of older processors these game systems had inside, and can be rewritten by a controller to be different chips for different system's games.
You could consider it MORE AKIN to a Cyrix x86 or AMD x86 chip versus the Official Intel one.
The developer reverse engineered much of how the processor works and implemented it in their prototype and made their own processor (i know ofcourse AMD has a full Intel license, but, back in the day... things were grayer). You installed Windows on that hard drive and ran it on that Non Intel processor. But Windows itself was running, windows wasn't being emulated and the chips were real, but, they may have arrived at the same results in different ways in hardware. Here, the FPGA is the non original chip and each cartridge is Windows. It's still compatible hardware running real code, no emulation.

So, AS SUCH, clock timers and other odd issues which come up difficult to address in emulation can be just implemented properly in hardware and not be such a headache.

Someone asked me this question about this device:

 

Surely this is just emulation, correct? What will this do that you can't do with an android box or a Raspberry Pi?

 

I'm not sure how to answer this. I think it is quite a bit better than just emulation, but how should I answer this? Please advise. I think this is a very nice device that's in development, and I want to have good answers to these questions! :)

Edited by RupanIII
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I was under the impression the VDP was similar in design with obvious changes done for BW operation. I am aware of the CPU differences, but those chips are well documented.
Much like how the Coleco , MSX and SG1000 play parts round robin.
If the VDP tech wasn't somewhat similar in design then I am misinformed. Not the spec's exactly but their design.

 

By what metric? The NES and GameBoy aren't even remotely similar architecturally, and don't even use the same processor architecture (6502 vs Z80)

Edited by RupanIII
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Someone asked me this question about this device:

 

Surely this is just emulation, correct? What will this do that you can't do with an android box or a Raspberry Pi?

 

I'm not sure how to answer this. I think it is quite a bit better than just emulation, but how should I answer this? Please advise. I think this is a very nice device that's in development, and I want to have good answers to these questions! :)

I would say:

 

FPGA: Replication of the original hardware on an electrical level. The electrical signals in the FPGA can be the same as the emulated system, therefore the replicated hardware can be made to act 100% like the original hardware.

 

Android box or Raspberry Pi: A microprocessor with a program (the emulator) that is working very hard to emulate all the parts of the original hardware. Like a juggler who holds many balls in the air.

 

Besides that, the FPGA of kevtris has a configurable clock so even that element acts like the one in the original hardware (possibly eliminating audio and video timing issues). Something impossible on other hardware (Android etc.). Even the HDMI upscaler is directly tied to the emulated system so latency is brought to a minimum.

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FPGA is a simulation of the target hardware. There isn't any replication per'se. It will be only as good as the reverse-engineer process. Most FPGA implementations lack the amenities of software emulators like Stella, MAME and Altirra. Perhaps that will change or become equal in this project.

 

But FPGA does have the advantage in that it can have many pathways going at the same time. Parallel.

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