jotego wrote:I think an alternative would be to buy the development board as the base system and then build and expansion board with retro-specific stuff of our interest. That way we can get the FPGA at a lower cost.
If it costs $200 just for the chip alone, then yes I agree. Help, I'm starting to have ideas
Add a nice box to "consolize" it and offer external adapters with different purposes. Like a "wing", but instead of just being a board on top, have a open area in the case to slot in a panel with the external connectors, and the rest is connected neatly inside. The switches on the board would be like DIP config, and the buttons could be hidden to keep it simple.
If we reserve 7 GPIO pins we could have up to 128 wings with automatic detection (one pin sends power, and we check the result), and we could reserve a couple of DIP switches to increase this number to 512.
Some wing ideas:
- 2x Atari joysticks or 2x Neogeo Joysticks, MIDI IN/OUT, HDMI, S-Video, RGB (base option, backwards compatible to "MiST 1")
- JAMMA connector to go inside a cabinet
- Cartridge connector for the NES, or Atari, etc.
For the first one, if I'm not wrong we'd still have a few pins left (8 config + 30 joystick + 4 MIDI + 19 HDMI + 3 SVideo + 4 RGBS)
Actually I'm not sure if we need more than 3/4 kinds of wings (think of a template) and each physical board could declare via GPIO what part of the templates it has. That way the cores know if it needs to activate HDMI (for example).
With case and one "wing" I'd imagine the cost would go to $350 at least, but given the extra power over a MiST, it's not too bad I think.
It would be a big exercise to standardize all of it so core authors have some guidelines to follow.