Coldfire V5

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PeterS
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Coldfire V5

Post by PeterS »

I learned today that a Coldfire v5 was produced and used in a number of laser printers like the HP Laserjet Enterprise P3015N.

https://www.nxp.com/files-static/traini ... ES_WBT.pdf

http://cpufpu.cz/freescale/coldfire_v5.html

More efficient than the v4 and clocked at 400MHz.

I would really like to see that in a Firebee. I don't think anyone could dispute it's performance advantage :D

vido
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Re: Coldfire V5

Post by vido »

Fastest ColdFire V5 I saw was clocked at 540 MHz. Its not that hard to source them.
The main problem is documentation. If somebody can get documentation for it we can hope to see V5 FireBee one day ;)

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Re: Coldfire V5

Post by PeterS »

Has anyone asked NXP recently. If the Firebee team show them what they have done so far, they might be helpful with documentation.

It sounds like it is at least pin compatible with the v4.

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Re: Coldfire V5

Post by Mathias »

Of course we tried it. And we tried it hard. The problem ist the produced chips are done as a Joint Venture from HP and Freescale. The agreed upon an NDA, so we can get the chips (at least the 400MHz versions easily, the 540 not that often), but no ducumentation at all. So we would have som BGA with about 380 pins and no idea what the chip contains. All our hardware gurus told us there is no chance to find out whats inside the chip (RAM controller, PCI, ...). Asking Freescale resoulted in the info that they got a ARM offensive, and if we really like the V5e we need to talk IPExtreme into licencing the V5 as IPExtremes core customer, so that they can give us a licence for baking our own chips, ... haha, we are talking about millions of cash here!

So the only chance is we get the documentation of the available chips, but no chance from HP, NXP, ... even with contacts. See the old ACP website acp.atari.org for one example of the 8 we´ve tried.
MegaST 4 with Sounddesigner II MegaBus hardware and 56001, Hades 040, MagiC Mac at Mac OS 9 and a FireBee.

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Re: Coldfire V5

Post by jury »

Wow, v5 at 540MHz in FireBee would be very, very, very nice.
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Ok, I'm back on the ground :)

PeterS
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Re: Coldfire V5

Post by PeterS »

A lot of time has passed since their ARM offensive and they might be amenable to selling a small backstock of v5 if they have any.


I don't know if the v5e made it into any printers but some of them can be had for £50-100 on ebay and the cpu could be extracted. BGA mounted ?

[edit] It looks like the v5e was in several HP printers at 540MHz.

Anyone brave enough to put one in a Firebee of evaluation board to find out if it works ?

[edit] I see there was a discussion not long ago about the v5e
http://www.atari-forum.com/viewtopic.php?p=330381

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Re: Coldfire V5

Post by jfl »

Peter, as explained above, the problem is the lack of documentation. I suspect you can't reverse engineer such complex pieces of hardware.

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Re: Coldfire V5

Post by vido »

Yes, you can not just replace V4e with V5e. I believe Coldfires for the HP are custom made. If I remember righr from my long time ago reserch, V5e up to 400 MHz were made by Freescale and 540 MHz V5e were made by HP itself.

I guess right address to find documentation of 540 MHz V5e would be HP or companies doing development for HP.
We even found the people having the documentation and willing to pass it to us, but later they refused to do that as they are under NDA. :(

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Re: Coldfire V5

Post by Mathias »

PeterS wrote:A lot of time has passed since their ARM offensive and they might be amenable to selling a small backstock of v5 if they have any.

I don't know if the v5e made it into any printers but some of them can be had for £50-100 on ebay and the cpu could be extracted. BGA mounted ?

[edit] It looks like the v5e was in several HP printers at 540MHz.

Anyone brave enough to put one in a Firebee of evaluation board to find out if it works ?
Well, these companies are simply not interrested in peanuts like us. It is a business for earning cash, not a company like we may think companies.
They know that they cannot expect more than let´s say in the absolute best case 5digit numbers of sold processors, and thats nothing they care about. See what happened to the 68k. Motorola abandoned the development even when Amiga, Atari and Apple where still in business. No problem for a chip producer that 2 plattforms didn´t manage any transition to any other CPU (like Apple did with the PPC) and dissapeared. So what can we expect from them today with a small community of 50k people – including all the Retro and "Game only" interresteds?

The business is working that way, that you do either buy "ready" CPUs in hardware like we did with the MCF5474 the fastest V4e, or "Intelectual Properties", what means VHDL or Verilog configurations of such a CPU under NDAs for producing your own CPUs or ASICs with your own hardware departement, what is the usual way today for Coldfires which IPs are sold now by Silvaco formerly IP-Extreme. But as a microprocessor these days contains a lot of stuff (see the good article from Vincent: http://firebee.org/fb-bin/page?label=Zo ... ire&lng=EN ) you have to buy and integrate every single part of such a microprocessor, or develop it at your own. As said above MMU, Timers, Interrrup Controller, RAM controller, FPU, … Once you have that stuff inside a huge and very expensive FPGA or FPGA-Farm if you like to achive high clock rates, you need to develop a production process for producing ASICs or real CPUs.

HP did that with Freescale. We have people inside the ACP working in real CPU production (8-Bit) as day to day job. They confirmed us that we have no chance to bake our own chips, or even develop them from bought IP. Additionally there is the problem that Silvaco even doesn´t have the V5 licence to sell it. As said above Freescale adviced me to become lead customer of IP-Extreme and talk them into licencing the V5(e) from them, ...

The 2nd option, using existing chips is more realistic, but also extremely complicated. We do not have any chance to find out what HP included into the existing V5es. In worst case the chip has nothing to do with our existing V4e that we use, except the downward compatible Coldfire ALU. The Firebee board would most likely burn immediatly, if you connect a HP V5 chip to it. ;) Beside the fact, that the chips have different numbers of contacts and simply cannot be connected.
We can buy hundrets of thousands of the 400MHz V5e versions immediatly/right now in Asia from resellers ($8,5 per unit), but there is absolutely no chance to find out what is inside, and what the pins are.

So our only chance would be:
Either to find somebody inside NXP (Freescale) who really likes us and can give us a documentation under NDA from the existing chips, or to find such a person inside HP who can decide that we are allowed to get a documentation of their chip


BTW, producing own chips, even if somebody of us would have $20 to $50 Millions around, would be questionable. We then could produce 68060 as well with similar amount of work.
MegaST 4 with Sounddesigner II MegaBus hardware and 56001, Hades 040, MagiC Mac at Mac OS 9 and a FireBee.

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Re: Coldfire V5

Post by PeterS »

I realise HP are only in it for the money and not interested in supporting our community. They do open source support so there is a slim possibility they might do similar things for hardware. I always believe in asking nicely even if the answer is not necessarily a positive one.

On page 6 of the pdf I posted it says the v5 is socket compatible with the v4, it doesn't say if the same is true of the v5e.

However, would it be unusual to have a v5 that isn't socket compatible with a v5e ?

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Re: Coldfire V5

Post by mfro »

Frankly, I would assume the v5/v5e as used in the HP printers very unlikely as a drop-in replacement for the FireBee.

The v4e as used in the FireBee has lots of peripherials without any benefit for HP's usage in a laser printer: the PCI controller, the FlexBus external interface, a second network interface, four SPI channels and others.

Considering their v5 incarnation to be originally designed as custom chip for the LaserJet, why should they have invested resources into peripherials they didn't have any use for?

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Re: Coldfire V5

Post by vido »

Maybe, because they used V5e in different printers (and maybe other devices) and one version of V5e which would meet all requirement would be cheaper to produce as several different versions?
But I agree with you. I dont think you can just replace the CPU because there could be something in V4e they didnt use at all.
Or maybe 400MHz version produced by Freescale is more compatible as 540 MHz version produced by HP?!?

Anyway ... without documentation we cant do anything.
Somebody can try to track persons in Freescale and HP who had or still have access to V5e documentation. As time passes somebody could decide to give that documentation away. I was not successful few years ago. :(
And I think I found HP outsourced some development to other companies to develop hardware for them ...

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Re: Coldfire V5

Post by PeterS »

There are a few bits and pieces of information but none of it very useful:

http://www.datasheetarchive.com/pdf/dow ... oldFire+v5

https://data.kemt.fei.tuke.sk/Mikroproc ... e-arm.html

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Re: Coldfire V5

Post by vido »

As of information you shared ...
There id V4e DSP capabilities nobody exploited it by now. That could be used for some picture and music deompresion codecs, ...
There are still possibilities to make software running on the FireBee faster.

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Re: Coldfire V5

Post by mikro »

I think Didier has used some of the "multiply and add" instructions in his Aniplayer.

vido
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Re: Coldfire V5

Post by vido »

mikro wrote:I think Didier has used some of the "multiply and add" instructions in his Aniplayer.
Yes, exactly! Mp3 codec in Aniplay is the only software using DSP functionality on the FireBee.

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Re: Coldfire V5

Post by PeterS »

An old document describing the v5 design goals.

https://www.nxp.com/docs/en/supporting- ... &pageNum=1

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