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andy_bernstein

ATARI 65XEM + AMY CHIP - CURT'S UPDATE

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Hello,

Curt just updated the Atari Museum with an impressive 57 pages PDF document entirely devoted to the Amy Chip.

Here's the link:

[url="http://www.atarimuseum.com/computers/8bits/xe/xe_protos/65xem.html"]http://www.atarimuseum.com/computers/8bits...otos/65xem.html[/url]

(scroll down to the bottom of the page)

BTW- this chip is made of 37,000 transistors. Would it be possible to reproduce such a chip with today's technology ?

AB.

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I guess it shows once and for all, that the chip 'DID' work, and not the contrary that Atari claimed

The only reason that Atari couldn't get it to work with the ST is because by then Tramiel had decimated Atari existing R & D (pre tramiel) by closing it down or selling it off, unfortunately all the Amy technology was part of Atari's assetts that were either closed down or sold off during the transistion from warners to tramiel (hence no ST version)

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The AMI development disks are located here: [url="http://www.pipeline.com/~jhardie/"]http://www.pipeline.com/~jhardie/[/url] Edited by kheller2

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John Hardie did indeed release the AMY development disks a while ago. Thanks for pointing out the link.

Now, would it be possible to reproduce this chip (even if it's only emulated on a MAC / PC) by using the PDF document from Curt and the Development disks from John ?

It seems that one complement the other.

AB.

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The actual netlists and circuits have been recovered, creating an fpga of the chip is feasible. The disk images are PC test disks, not the actual 8bit disks, I will post those shortly though what use they are without others have the chip...



Curt


[quote name='andy_bernstein' date='Mon Jul 18, 2005 5:24 PM']John Hardie did indeed release the AMY development disks a while ago. Thanks for pointing out the link.

Now, would it be possible to reproduce this chip (even if it's only emulated on a MAC / PC) by using the PDF document from Curt and the Development disks from John ?

It seems that one complement the other.

AB.
[right][snapback]893862[/snapback][/right]
[/quote]

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[quote name='Curt Vendel' date='Tue Jul 19, 2005 5:25 AM']The actual netlists and circuits have been recovered, creating an fpga of the chip is feasible.      The disk images are PC test disks, not the actual 8bit disks, I will post those shortly though what use they are without others have the chip...
Curt
[/quote]
It's great. :cool:
It would be cool to hear the AMY chip sounds/musics! :)
Wow. :thumbsup:

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[quote]The actual netlists and circuits have been recovered, creating an fpga of the chip is feasible. The disk images are PC test disks, not the actual 8bit disks, I will post those shortly though what use they are without others have the chip...[/quote]

Curt,

This is wonderful news.

If indeed an FPGA version is accomplished, it probably could be integrated with real hardware (otherwise, I would be just happy with a virtual AMY to be triggered from ATARI 800MACX).

As a composer, I've been waiting forever for the AMY chip. Now, I'm excited !

AB.

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Curt: can you make some photos of AMY-1 chip on the motherboard in Atari 65XEM?

Please, please, please! ;)

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[quote name='voy' date='Thu Jul 21, 2005 4:19 AM']Curt: can you make some photos of AMY-1 chip on the motherboard in Atari 65XEM?

Please, please, please! ;)
[right][snapback]895596[/snapback][/right]
[/quote]

The XEM is stored away right now, once I move into the bigger office in September and things are sorted out, I'll take a photo of it.


Curt

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And what about this photo? :) Edited by voy

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You just found an easter egg in my post. If You look at 6 up side down will be 9 :grin: (but I don't feel better with that).

 

But seriously speaking - Curt, is there any chance to post some more pictures of 65XEM? (any news about AMY maybe?)

Edited by mariusz

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37,000 transistors - that likely exceeds the combined total of every other chip on the board (disregarding Ram & Roms).

 

I've said it before, the time has passed. There'd be little value in trying to recreate the chip, there's better alternatives as in other synth chips or simply doing a better one from scratch.

There's next to zero compositions ever done for Amy, so even if it popped into existence, it'd be starting from scratch anyway.

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Ok time to give this topic a bump.

Quoted from: Atari AMY - Wikipedia...

Tramiel later decided to sell off the technology, and reached an agreement with the Millwaukee-based company, Sight & Sound. They developed a new version with 32 oscillators, along with a rack-mount MIDI synthesizer based on it. However, as they were preparing to ship the product, Atari threatened to sue them, and the system never shipped.

 

---

I always wondered how Atari could sue Sight & Sound, when in fact they had sold the AMY technology to them in the first place :?

 

Then Sight & Sound makes an even more powerful version for a totally unrelated product and supposedly get sued and issued a cease and desist order. How the heck does that happen? if anyone has more information about this law suit I would love to hear it :)

 

- Michael

Edited by mytekcontrols

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I would have been happy with an expanded Pokey. The technology is simple and it scales easily. A few more options here and there and Pokey could have created a much larger array of waveforms.

 

AMY sounds cool, but it also sounds like something that really needs more than a 1.8MHz 6502 (I've also heard the Apple IIgs had trouble fully utilizing the Ensoniq 5503 chip).

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Great addition to atarimuseum and to the community.

 

 

I would have been happy with an expanded Pokey. The technology is simple and it scales easily. A few more options here and there and Pokey could have created a much larger array of waveforms.

 

AMY sounds cool, but it also sounds like something that really needs more than a 1.8MHz 6502 (I've also heard the Apple IIgs had trouble fully utilizing the Ensoniq 5503 chip).

 

Hmmm... not exactly the response I expected when I asked...

 

I always wondered how Atari could sue Sight & Sound, when in fact they had sold the AMY technology to them in the first place :?

Maybe in this new year I have become invisible :P

 

- Michael

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Hmmm... not exactly the response I expected when I asked...

 

That's just me having a couple beers and thinking out loud. :)

 

There's a Sight and Sound company in Milwaukee that seems to specialize in satellite TV installation. Probably not related, but somewhere there's public records about the original company.

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Was this Amy to be included on the motherboard along with the Pokey and other chips? Everyone would like to had keep the computer backward compatible with the Atari 8-bit line.

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Was this Amy to be included on the motherboard along with the Pokey and other chips? Everyone would like to had keep the computer backward compatible with the Atari 8-bit line.

 

I'm sure. Pokey provides too many other functions to eliminate it.

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That's just me having a couple beers and thinking out loud. :)

 

There's a Sight and Sound company in Milwaukee that seems to specialize in satellite TV installation. Probably not related, but somewhere there's public records about the original company.

 

Too bad you're so far away, else I might have joined you :grin:

 

I dunno why, but I just got very curious about this perceived lawsuit against S&S because in my mind it really didn't make any sense. And when Googling it just seems like everybody quotes essentially the same information as curt gave on his site...

 

Quoted from: Atari Museum/The Atari 65 XEM

The AMY chip and technologies wound up in the hands of a Milwaukee based audio design house called Sight & Sound. The company was able to not only decipher the workings of the AMY, but created a newer and more powerful version which they intended to market. However Atari suddenly reappeared on the scene and initiated a law-suit that apparently was so frightening that many of the former S&S employees that have been interviewed for the research on the AMY chip would only talk under anonymity. The AMY chip, its technology and its enhanced replacement would not only never be used by S&S, but Atari never utilized the technology either.

 

And from: Wikipedia/Atari AMY

Tramiel later decided to sell off the technology, and reached an agreement with the Millwaukee-based company, Sight & Sound. They developed a new version with 32 oscillators, along with a rack-mount MIDI synthesizer based on it. However, as they were preparing to ship the product, Atari threatened to sue them, and the system never shipped.

---

 

I'm just not buying it, and would really like to hear the real story about what happened. Because if we look at what can be found it breaks down into 3 things...

  • Atari sold the 'AMY' technology to S&S
  • S&S improved said technology (twice the # of oscillators) and were to incorporate this into a MIDI synthesizer product
  • Atari threatens to sue S&S, and they are so frightened that they drop everything and run off and hide too scared to talk about it

If you look at item #2, S&S is not trying to sell a computer or a game system, but something entirely outside of the normal Atari market. And if you combine this with item #1, this would seem perfectly inline with what someone would do when buying tech from someone else even if there were a 'non-compete' clause attached as a condition of the sell. So this leaves me totally baffled as to what grounds would justify a lawsuit (or threat of such).

 

Yes I suppose I can try to look up public records and such, and/or try to contact S&S for more info (assuming they are still not so scared to talk about it), but I was hoping that someone here might have a clue and save me the trouble.

 

Is this simply an Urban Legend :?

 

BTW, has anyone at S&S ever been interviewed for a podcast?

 

- Michael

Edited by mytekcontrols

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