Emulated HArdware 68000

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elliot
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Emulated HArdware 68000

Post by elliot »

I have seen that there are projects such as this;

http://tech.webit.nu/pistorm-a-68000-cpu-replacement/

Would this work in an ST? Also, does this mean you can make all instructions for the 68K single cycle? This would be a massive increase in speed for very little and not push the Mobo chipset at all.
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Re: Emulated HArdware 68000

Post by TheNameOfTheGame »

Don't forget Buffee https://amitopia.com/new-buffee-amiga-a ... 1000-mips/. IMO it has the potential to be even greater than the pistorm as far as performance benefits.

Its design goals are as a platform-agnostic drop-in replacement for the 68000 (with optional 68030 mode).
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Re: Emulated HArdware 68000

Post by AdamK »

This would not be a massive increase in speed, because limiting factor is bus speed. On 8MHz bus you'd get about 125% of original CPU speed. If you'd increase bus speed, CPU speed (with PIStorm) would also increase).
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Re: Emulated HArdware 68000

Post by shoggoth »

@Adamk, unless you have some kind of equivalent to alt ram. Then it's a massive increase in speed.
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Re: Emulated HArdware 68000

Post by joska »

Which PiStorm has. I can confirm that the increase in speed on my A500 is *very* noticeable :)
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Re: Emulated HArdware 68000

Post by Mikerochip »

It won't work. There's some stuff it doesn't need on the Amiga, that the ST needs. It's closer to booting now that _Bnu has an ST, but, it's not there yet.
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Re: Emulated HArdware 68000

Post by elliot »

Okay but potentially these are a pin for pin replacement for a 68K?

So yes I agree that doing 150 NOPs will make no difference, however, on a DIVS which can take up to 150ish cycles then (on that instruction) it is 150times faster - the BUS speed makes no difference right?

I agree that some apps will have minimal increase but some could be huge. Even if it is 125% then I will take a 25% speed increase for what £50ish.
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Re: Emulated HArdware 68000

Post by czietz »

elliot wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 2:32 pm So yes I agree that doing 150 NOPs will make no difference, however, on a DIVS which can take up to 150ish cycles then (on that instruction) it is 150times faster - the BUS speed makes no difference right?
But -- maybe aside from some dubiously designed benchmark -- no program will use mainly DIVS instructions. Accelerators for the ST without fast RAM (or at least a generous amount of cache) are massively limited by the bus speed in realistic applications. For example, have a look at the "STE w/ 32 MHz accelerator" in the CoreMark result table: https://github.com/czietz/coremark/wiki/Results. A +300 % clock speed increase only results in about +30 % performance increase.

However, I would expect that if the PiStorm was ever made to work on an ST, it would use part of the Pi's memory as full-speed alt-RAM. Therefore, all applications capable of running from alt-RAM would be much less constrained by bus speed. (In the table, you'll find a CoreMark result for the PiStorm, as well, albeit on an Amiga(!) running EmuTOS.)

As others have already pointed out, the Atari makes use of more features of the 68k than the Amiga, which typically means that Amiga accelerators do not work on the Atari without further adaption.
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Re: Emulated HArdware 68000

Post by joska »

Apart from the hardware challenges, a big issue with the PiStorm on the ST is that there is (atleast not yet) no way to switch back to a cycle exact 8MHz mode, which means that a lot of games and almost all demos will simply not work correctly.
czietz wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 3:27 pm However, I would expect that if the PiStorm was ever made to work on an ST, it would use part of the Pi's memory as full-speed alt-RAM.
Yes, it would be pointless without it. A CPU accelerator with no fast-RAM or cache is of very little value on an ST. Benchmarks will show a small increase in speed but real life performance would be pretty much the same. The increased speed is only noticable in some marginal cases, e.g. less frameskips or slowdowns in some games.

Btw. PiStorm has more uses than just accelerating the CPU. On the Amiga it also offers similar features as the CosmosEx on the ST - "harddisk", networking, shared folders, RTC and mouse and keyboard input. In addition to this it has a "graphics card", using the Pi's GPU.
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Re: Emulated HArdware 68000

Post by DarkLord »

If they can't get the PiStorm to do a "fall back" mode where legacy software can be
run then it's useless, as far as I'm concerned. Just IMHO.

Totally agree about caches/ALT-RAM. I can turn the cache off on my AdSpeed
accelerator in my Mega ST4 and you can feel it.

A possible accelerator with a GPU for enhanced graphics!? Quit teasing us Jo. :)
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Re: Emulated HArdware 68000

Post by Cyprian »

My PAK68 and TF636 also can't be switched to ST compatible cycle exact mode.
I can live with that.
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Re: Emulated HArdware 68000

Post by DarkLord »

Cyprian wrote: Wed Jun 16, 2021 4:20 pm My PAK68 and TF636 also can't be switched to ST compatible cycle exact mode.
I can live with that.
??? My Pak 68/3 does a "fall back" mode to a plain TOS v1.4 and a 68000 CPU.

With the flick of a switch and a reboot, I can run everything I've thrown at it
so far, that wouldn't work on the 68030. Honestly, that's not been much...

Yours doesn't do this?

(or are we talking about 2 different things - "fall back" vs "cycle exact")
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Re: Emulated HArdware 68000

Post by Cyprian »

@DarkLord my fault, it seems my memory is fussy
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Re: Emulated HArdware 68000

Post by DarkLord »

Cyprian wrote: Thu Jun 17, 2021 12:00 pm @DarkLord my fault, it seems my memory is fussy
No problem. Geez, have you seen how many times I get things wrong on the forums?

(gotta be a record if anyone was counting) :)

The option on the Pak 68/3 to completely (if I'm reading the documentation right) drop
back to a standard ST machine, 68k@8mhz and TOS v1.4, was one of the biggest draws
for me when I was first looking at what kind of accelerator board to put into my STacy.

I only wish they had took things as far as the AdSpeed developers did. The AdSpeed will
actually allow you to create a list of software for it and when you run anything on that
list, it will automatically change to the settings in the file for that software.

So if you had software that needed to run at 8mhz, no cache...no problem. Put it in the
list and the AdSpeed auto changes it's settings.

I've always wondered, as technologically advanced as some of the newer boards coming
out are, why they haven't adopted this approach. Of course, I'm sure I don't have all
the information and showing how naive I am.(and I'm sure they are concentrating on
just getting them working on an ST first). I can dream though. :)

PS. Oh, guess I'm getting way off topic here. Apologies.
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Re: Emulated HArdware 68000

Post by masteries »

Despite PiStorm is a great project, a great accelerator + GPU board for a non speculative cost...

really you are not on Amiga world anymore...
the PiStorm scenario is more similar to use an artificially limited Raspberry computer,
where the Amiga 500/500 Plus keyboard and mouse are still in use, and probably the audio part

More interesting is an easy modification to provide 4 MB chip RAM to an Amiga 500 / 500 Plus
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Re: Emulated HArdware 68000

Post by stormy »

masteries, your view on this would be more correct if it emulated the entire machine and chipset, which it doesn't. A good example is the Vampire - it was all fine when it was just accelerating the cpu, but as soon as it started doing the AGA chipset as well - like you said - not in 'Amiga world' anymore.

If it is just emulating a cpu, giving instructions in/out of that 64-dip socket on the motherboard, it is still purely 100% Amiga. (the CPU is not Amiga) Amiga is the chipset.
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Re: Emulated HArdware 68000

Post by shoggoth »

I'd much rather keep the original CPU and have the PI work as a GPU + network interface. Or smthn smthn.
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Re: Emulated HArdware 68000

Post by joska »

masteries wrote: Thu Jun 17, 2021 3:34 pm really you are not on Amiga world anymore...
the PiStorm scenario is more similar to use an artificially limited Raspberry computer,
where the Amiga 500/500 Plus keyboard and mouse are still in use, and probably the audio part
It only replaces the CPU, nothing else. But I do agree to some extent, I'm no big fan of software emulation either. But what's kosher emulation and what's not? Connecting a microcontroller to the ACSI-port and having it running a program pretending to the ST that there's a harddrive connected, isn't that software emulation too? ;)

Anyway, there's a lot of interesting stuff that can be done with this hardware, and I will for sure have a lot of fun with it.
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Re: Emulated HArdware 68000

Post by masteries »

stormy wrote: Thu Jun 17, 2021 3:42 pm masteries, your view on this would be more correct if it emulated the entire machine and chipset, which it doesn't. A good example is the Vampire - it was all fine when it was just accelerating the cpu, but as soon as it started doing the AGA chipset as well - like you said - not in 'Amiga world' anymore.

If it is just emulating a cpu, giving instructions in/out of that 64-dip socket on the motherboard, it is still purely 100% Amiga. (the CPU is not Amiga) Amiga is the chipset.
I also read that this device also provide a GPU replacement,

But really I am the type of people not happy with accelerators, with all respects
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Re: Emulated HArdware 68000

Post by joska »

masteries wrote: Thu Jun 17, 2021 8:33 pm I also read that this device also provide a GPU replacement,
No, it's not a replacement, all the original chipset is still available. It does not emulate the Amiga chipset but implements a new, more capable "graphics card".
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Re: Emulated HArdware 68000

Post by masteries »

joska wrote: Thu Jun 17, 2021 8:00 pm
masteries wrote: Thu Jun 17, 2021 3:34 pm really you are not on Amiga world anymore...
the PiStorm scenario is more similar to use an artificially limited Raspberry computer,
where the Amiga 500/500 Plus keyboard and mouse are still in use, and probably the audio part
It only replaces the CPU, nothing else. But I do agree to some extent, I'm no big fan of software emulation either. But what's kosher emulation and what's not? Connecting a microcontroller to the ACSI-port and having it running a program pretending to the ST that there's a harddrive connected, isn't that software emulation too? ;)

Anyway, there's a lot of interesting stuff that can be done with this hardware, and I will for sure have a lot of fun with it.
Its not an emulator, its a controller such the original one present on a Megafile. There is a technological change on the storage medium, however if the storage is a tape, a magnetic circular surface, a magneto-optical one, or a erasable ROM... its only a problem for the controller that needs to obey the computer's orders. xD
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Metal Slug for Atari STE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMrdjrrtxWo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgW6Fc5Jli0

Low Cost Hard Disk for Atari ST/E (now it reaches 650 KB/s reading and 375 KB/s writing):
https://www.atari-forum.com/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=40018
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qn9IwKo-EoA
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