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What if? Designing "Geneve 2020". Cool 3D views!

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Posted (edited)


What if you had the opportunity to buy a new version of Geneve, call it Geneve 2020.

 

  • It would have the TMS99105 6-MHz CPU with 16-bit memory.
  • It would have the V9958 VDP (maybe even two of them) with NTSC, PAL, RGB, SCART out. Or F18Mk2 could be plugged in.
  • There would be 2MB of static RAM built in (no need for expansion memory cards.)
  • It would have PS/2 mouse and keyboard connectors. Maybe USB mouse/keyboard.
  • It would be software and hardware compatible with MDOS and the PBOX disk controllers. It would support GPLMODE.
  • RS232 could be built-in, with a pair of real 9902s.
  • Speech would be from a real TMS5220 with digital output to the sound mixer. Speech ROM would be mapped to RAM pages for you to load and edit.
  • The gate array ASIC would be replaced by an FPGA and be reprogrammable. The FPGA would provide sound chip cores, wavetable and FM synthesis.
  • There would be SD card storage on board, maybe even two. This would require support in MDOS.
  • MDOS would boot from SD - practically instant on.

 

AND here's the idea that got me started. It would fit inside an existing 99/4A console, replacing the motherboard, the power supply, everything but the keyboard. Of course you could still plug in an external keyboard. There would be a back panel of ports, so just one rectangular hole to cut in the case. With 2MB memory condensed to just one chip, I think there is plenty of room for everything.

 

Weirdly, that's the idea that's really got me fascinated: putting it inside the console.

 

It would support the side port for use with all PBOX cards that are Geneve compatible.

 

It could even have a cartridge port.

 

ARGUABLY, this is way past the market window for such a thing. But it would be a really cool novelty to fit inside an existing computer. No emulation, just real hardware!

 

I've already worked on most parts of it in the past. I built a TMS9995 microcomputer with memory, 9901, and sound. I've built the FPGA to interface with all the 4A signals. I made a schematic for twin 9958. I've written a FAT32 filesystem (in FORTH) for SD card storage.

 

HOWEVER, I've already got all those projects eating my time. Hence the name, Geneve 2020, because I couldn't possibly do more than imagine it until then. (EDIT: I did put in a lot of hours.)

 

REFERENCE
https://atariage.com/forums/topic/204509-geneve-2-phoenix/

 

INDEX specifications - design of Geneve2020

 

Design Principles

System Block Diagram

Pictures

   3D motherboard

Clarification

9995 I/O Co-processor

  earlier spec

SRAM or DRAM 32MB

Privilege layers, memory protection
Sound system and MIDI
Parallel Port and Hacker Board
Speeds and Turbo

 

Prototype modules

DRAM

9995 Co-processor

 

General Progress

Some sub-projects

 

Edited by FarmerPotato
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Posted (edited)

i'm afraid the Geneve 2 Phoenix is a dead beast for now.  The last I heard from the developer was a few years ago and he had a stack of boards to be built but had some issues to work out.

 

I asked back then for the FPGA code to see if there was a possibility to compile it and get it working on a MiST or MiSTer box.  The developer said he would send it to me but never did.  I have since tried to contact him at least 5 times  with no response.  So i'm not too hopeful that this project will ever be seen completed.

Edited by Shift838
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What if you had the opportunity to buy a new version of Geneve, call it Geneve 2020.
 
  • It would have the TMS9995 or TMS99110 cpu.
  • It would have the V9958 VDP (maybe even two of them) with NTSC, PAL, RGB, SCART out.
  • There would be 2MB of static RAM built in (no need for expansion memory cards.)
  • It would have PS/2 mouse and keyboard connectors.
  • Speech and maybe upgraded sound would be an option (TMS5220 and copy of TMS6100 as EEPROM.)
  • It would be software and hardware compatible with MDOS and the PBOX disk controllers. It would support GPLMODE.
  • RS232 could be built-in, with a pair of real 9902s.
  • The gate array ASIC would be replaced by an FPGA and be reprogrammable. The FPGA could even provide some unique functions like sound chip cores.
  • There would be SD card storage on board, maybe even two. This would require support in MDOS.
  • MDOS would boot from SD - practically instant on.
 
AND here's the idea that got me started. It would fit inside an existing 99/4A console, replacing the motherboard, the power supply, everything but the keyboard. Of course you could still plug in an external keyboard. There would be a back panel of ports, so just one rectangular hole to cut in the case. With 2MB memory condensed to just one chip, I think there is plenty of room for everything.
 
Weirdly, that's the idea that's really got me fascinated.
 
It would support the side port for use with all PBOX cards that are Geneve compatible.
 
It could even have a cartridge port if you really wanted it to.
 
ARGUABLY, this is way past the market window for such a thing. But it would be a really cool novelty to fit inside an existing computer. No emulation, just real hardware!
 
I've already worked on most parts of it in the past. I built a TMS9995 microcomputer with memory, 9901, and sound. I've built the FPGA to interface with all the 4A signals. I made a schematic for twin 9958. I've written a FAT32 filesystem (in FORTH) for SD card storage.
 
HOWEVER, I've already got all those projects eating my time. Hence the name, Geneve 2020, because I couldn't possibly do more than imagine it until then.
 
REFERENCE
https://atariage.com/forums/topic/204509-geneve-2-phoenix/
 
I'm good for one :)

Sent from my LM-G820 using Tapatalk

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10 minutes ago, arcadeshopper said:

I'm good for one :)

Sent from my LM-G820 using Tapatalk
 

I've considered using the schematics, once I'm caught up with other things, to recreate the board and then populate it with all new components, except the components like the gate array, that at this time is not duplicated. But if a FPGA or a programmable chip should be devised, and come to fruition, then that would be something worth having. I believe it's a good idea, as long as it keeps compatibility with a Geneve, and TI in GPL mode. I want at least one.  

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I think it is a great idea having a new Geneve. One thing I would love though that it is a PEB card or at least have a PEB adapter card so that it fits in the PEB.

 

Count me in, even if it would mean console only.

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One caffeine-fueled evening and night later...

 

mainboard_pcb.thumb.png.cceeadd2df5f2657bc25d30dbc725895.png

 

PCB rough layout of major chips

 

mainboard_3d.thumb.PNG.60f276883ecd673f106c87d4b1cd3888.PNG

 

Mockup of all the ports. Feel free to comment on where the ports are.

 

Features of note:

 

  • TMS9995
  • 2 MB fast SRAM
  • Twin V9958 with RGB output
  • Two TMS9902 RS232/1/2 DB25, also PIO
  • MSP430F2433 coprocessor handles USB and other I/O
  • FPGA (very tiny chip) with more processing power than anything
  • Two ATARI joystick ports, electronically configurable to TI
  • 4A keyboard connector plus PS/2 mouse/keyboard (miniDIN6 when I find the 3D model)
  • One USB-A port
  • External power brick to DIN-3
  • MIDI IN/OUT DIN-5
  • Stereo In/Out with 44kHz DAC
  • FORTI-2 sound system on FPGA
  • Oops I forgot the two SD card slots
  • Cartridge port
  • Pbox 44 pin port likely. Where to put it?
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I’ve been poring over Yamaha CX5M photos and schematics, mostly for the VDP circuits. The Yamaha V9938 and V9958 video chips were developed for the MSX2 home Computer standard. CX5M was the music MSX.

 

This puppy here turned out to be a music workstation. It may have enough processing power to emulate 4 voices of DX7 sound. 

 

 

 

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Why is there no ROM?

 

The boot code will be stored in the 8 pin serial EEPROM next to the FPGA.

 

There is a 20-pin TI MSP430 microcontrolller acting as the startup executive. It’s next to the USB port. it is also the USB and PS/2 I/o controller. 

 

On powerup, the TI MSP430 will hold the 9995 in RESET until the FPGA initializes. Then the FPGA  copies  the boot code from EEPROM into system RAM and initializes the page table. Finally the main CPU RESET is released. 

 

The boot code and FPGA image can be updated using the 6 pin AVR programmer port or the USB port.  This is controlled by the TI MSP430 next to the USB. 

 

To re-flash the MSP430, it can be removed and stuck in a TI LaunchPad ($4.30 on sale). But that will be for bug fixes only.

 

Its a silly amount of support power. Say the TMS9995 runs at 16 MHz overclocked. The TI MSP430 16-bit core also runs at 16 MHz. Meanwhile the FPGA clocks at 100 MHz and can run a soft core CPU. I tried not to outclass the TMS9995 by TOO much. 

 

 

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I'd actually prefer a TMS99105. Not sure which chip is closer to Unobtainium right now...

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4 hours ago, FarmerPotato said:

One caffeine-fueled evening and night later...

 

mainboard_pcb.thumb.png.cceeadd2df5f2657bc25d30dbc725895.png

 

 

I would say that it would be nice to interface with a PEB, even if it meant using a cable and plugging into a set of pins, if you aren't going to add an edge connector? But I like the concept. 

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Well, if it is Geneve related, I would always be interested. 😊

 

As far as understanding the system, what does dual 9958's give you over a single 9958?

 

Myself, I would prefer something I could slap into an over the counter PC power supply case.  I've definitely have to have the standard PC keyboards with no disrepect to the TI keyboard.  Then, have an interface with a card that could plug into the PEBox.  I forgot what Cecure called it, but have ram where MDOS could be copied into it for quick booting unless your boot loader code will fetch MDOS from an SD card.


Beery

 

 

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19 hours ago, FarmerPotato said:
  • It would have PS/2 mouse and keyboard connectors.

Honestly, I'd eliminate the PS/2 mouse and keyboard connectors entirely.  Those connectors are getting a little harder to come by.   A USB connector, which is already on the PCB would allow users to attach any of the readily (and locally available) wireless keyboard and mouse combinations. 

 

PS/2 Keyboard

PS/2 Mouse                                         Wireless USB Keyboard & Mouse 

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1 hour ago, BeeryMiller said:

  I forgot what Cecure called it, but have ram where MDOS could be copied into it for quick booting unless your boot loader code will fetch MDOS from an SD card.


Beery

 

 

Are you talking about the PFM+. I have that on my best Geneve and love the speed of booting(when I get it working right again).

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1 hour ago, RickyDean said:

I would say that it would be nice to interface with a PEB, even if it meant using a cable and plugging into a set of pins, if you aren't going to add an edge connector? But I like the concept. 

It definitely needs that edge connector. Or a less bulky bridge cable. 

 

One way is to add the jedimatt42 connector. Or both.  There might even be a way to fit the TIPI card. 

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, mizapf said:

I'd actually prefer a TMS99105. Not sure which chip is closer to Unobtainium right now...

TMS99105AJDL is still available ~$33 USD or "kits" with support chips from China. I got one from https://www.ebay.com/itm/1PCS-Microprocessor-IC-TI-CDIP-40-TMS99105AJDL/401500435633 a while back to put in Stuart's project PCB.

The TMS99110 seems unobtainum though ...

 

Doug

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1 hour ago, --- Ω --- said:

Honestly, I'd eliminate the PS/2 mouse and keyboard connectors entirely.  Those connectors are getting a little harder to come by.   A USB connector, which is already on the PCB would allow users to attach any of the readily available wireless keyboard and mouse combinations. 

 

PS/2 Keyboard

PS/2 Mouse                                         Wireless USB Keyboard & Mouse 

PS/2 is on there because it’s relatively easy.  Still piles of the connectors in China. But different footprints.

 

The USB port is a stretch. I just found out that a $2 MSP430 comes in a config that supports USB not just serial.

 

the other main way I know to get USB is to throw in an 80 MHz ARM Cortex M0 with a big ol software stack generated in a wizard. I know I’m mixing old and new here, but I feel like that’s too far. 

 

I don’t know yet what’s involved in supporting USB hubs either, so maybe it will need two USB driving MSP430s for keyboard plus mouse. 

 

Internally, there will be I2C bus to share input device bytes among chips. The FPGA will unify any keyboard inputs (USB, TI, PS/2) and present it to the 9901 as TI keyboard pins, as well as present the raw keypress bytes to MDOS. So stuff like custom keyscans in 4A software would just work.

 

Similarly, the joystick ports will go through the FPGA, which will detect TI or ATARI 2600 pinouts by probing. It could even scan 2600 paddles. This might not work, because diodes. The FPGA will present TI pins to the 9901 for scanning in the usual way.

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, BeeryMiller said:

  I forgot what Cecure called it, but have ram where MDOS could be copied into it for quick booting unless your boot loader code will fetch MDOS from an SD card.


Beery

 

 

The idea is to use the EEPROM for booting, then scan the SD card for SYSTEM/SYS.   it’s possible MDOS could fit in EEPROM but I don’t think the average person wants to update an EEPROM. Updating an SD card on FAT32 is easy. There are a lot of ways it could  work. 

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25 minutes ago, helocast said:

TMS99105AJDL is still available ~$33 USD or "kits" with support chips from China. I got one from https://www.ebay.com/itm/1PCS-Microprocessor-IC-TI-CDIP-40-TMS99105AJDL/401500435633 a while back to put in Stuart's project PCB.

The TMS99110 seems unobtainum though ...

 

Doug

I grabbed the 9995 for convenience.  I'd definitely consider 99105. I just finished a bus interface to make the 4A side port look more like a 99105 to the FPGA. 

 

The "kits" are a way to get most of the parts like V9958, VRAM. One of those sellers advertise "ask us what you want in your kit." 

 

 

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2 hours ago, BeeryMiller said:

As far as understanding the system, what does dual 9958's give you over a single 9958?

 

 

See this thread: 

 

 

Twin 9958 could superimpose, giving you another graphics and sprite plane. Or two monitors.

 

I called it "Gemini".

 

One path I explored was to make Gemini modular and fit into the console 9918 socket. 

There would be a one V9958 or twin V9958 option. Video connectors would all be modular, with the same 12pin ribbon cable header.

 

It's not too much of a stretch to make Gemini a separate PCB option here, with a connector. You might even want a way to drop in a 40 pin F18A mk2 instead! 

 

I don't know yet how to build in a solution to convert 15kHz RGBs to a modern VGA. Otherwise you're stuck with 15KHz monitors (Samsung 910MP for one) that are getting scarce.

 

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, BeeryMiller said:

Myself, I would prefer something I could slap into an over the counter PC power supply case.  I've definitely have to have the standard PC keyboards with no disrepect to the TI keyboard.  Then, have an interface with a card that could plug into the PEBox.

 

Making the PCB modular, with separate PCB for mainboard, video, and port risers, would increase the chance of doing this. Like a laptop is made now. It does make it harder to secure to the 4A case if it's in multiple pieces. Maybe it all bolts to the RF shield.

 

A PC power supply seems like overkill, but I see your point.

I think one SATA power connector would be sufficient to power the whole thing. 

Edited by FarmerPotato

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On 7/31/2019 at 8:46 AM, --- Ω --- said:

Honestly, I'd eliminate the PS/2 mouse and keyboard connectors entirely.  Those connectors are getting a little harder to come by.   A USB connector, which is already on the PCB would allow users to attach any of the readily (and locally available) wireless keyboard and mouse combinations. 

 

PS/2 Keyboard

PS/2 Mouse                                         Wireless USB Keyboard & Mouse 

 

I spent some time studying USB chips. The TI MSP430 chips that advertise USB, only have device mode drivers. I need a host controller mode to use a mouse and keyboard. At minimum, low speed 1.5MHz for HID. There is a free Verilog core for USB 1.1 that does 12Mhz full speed at https://opencores.org/projects/usbhostslave . But it may exceed the resources on my FPGA. If it's doable at all, then multiple ports won't be an issue. It would be nice to have MIDI over USB; adaptors from USB to DIN-5 are kind of silly. (I built DIN-5 MIDI on an AVR and my friend bought the iPhone adaptor. All my gear is USB. Hmm.)

 

On the other hand, PS/2 keyboards and mice are very easy devices that send a few bytes at a time on a serial wire.  They are still available new all over (see newegg.com) and everybody can find a used one. I found plenty of the connectors on eBay. So I am more likely to write code for PS/2, but build in some USB ports and hope to tackle USB in the future. It looks like 2 PS/2 plus 2-3 USB-A fit into my plan.

 

Sheesh, this thing is taking over my imagination.

 

Thanks for the feedback. I will incorporate all suggestions.

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No problem!  I'm always full of suggestions! 😁  Sometimes though reality gets in the way of 'wants'.  I like everything as wireless as possible.  OMG, this legacy stuff requires a lot of cables, power supplies, power strips, etc.  One of the things I really like about the TIPI for example, excluding all the extra capabilities is all the bloody cords and cables it eliminated.  I have one... ONE, power cable going to that thing in the P-Box and it eliminated all of this...

 

521201675_TotalMess.thumb.JPG.c14432ce52e06bd12e1102d4d7e0acd1.JPG

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On 7/31/2019 at 12:55 AM, retroclouds said:

I think it is a great idea having a new Geneve. One thing I would love though that it is a PEB card or at least have a PEB adapter card so that it fits in the PEB.

Ditto.  I'd want it to be a PEB card so I can leave my main TI-99 untouched and stock (other than the VGA out that is).

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