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Everything posted by Mtemal

  1. It’s been over a month since I’ve kicked off this thread. Has anyone built the X8 at this point? Is there a Pi image that runs the X16/X8 to the point where it’s usable? I can run VICE or combian on a pi. Where is the support for this hypothetical computer at this state?
  2. @oldrooster, bga or not anything physical at this point would be great. Perifractic’s case and keyboard design were great step in the right direction and I wish it were economically practical to pull that off. I think this is a very similar example of Apple’s early days where they struggled to differentiate themselves from the masses. To me it’s cool seeing the emulation based advancements but it would be awesome to fire up a physical machine that’s dedicated to the task instead of a multipurpose general computing product. The X8 concept isn’t fully X-16 “compatible “ but until FPGA price points and availability line up with aspirations everything will still stay conceptual. I would love to have a raspberry pi pico 65c02 ROM that could run with a NON FPGA VERA simply because of the difficulty in acquiring FPGAs at this point.
  3. The X8 is a great stepping stone and I hope we see it come to light
  4. @Wavicle thank you for clarifying that. I was hoping for a clever way to use a BGA package without having to increase the complexity of the PCB layer. I think the external SRAM would be needed if the decided to try and pursue a single ICE40UP solution but with a dual ICE40UP it should be possible without an SRAM. The problem comes down to cost. Prior to the chip shortage the ICE40UP was less than $7.00 a chip, I wonder how high the markup will be when the chips slowly start being available again.
  5. @EMwhite I’m not sure if imaginary is the right term. The prototypes exist. The PCB and FPGA files that are available should allow someone to build their own X8 if they have the parts in the BOM. I would be surprised if there isn’t someone running the “X8” on another FPGA solution considering that the Verilog files are in the FPGA folder.
  6. @Tatwi There’s a post from the creator of the PE6502 who recommended the same approach:
  7. I’ve been looking into the Lattice FPGA’s and I think the best step is an 8K type. I think the ICE40HX8K-CB132 is probably a good candidate that will have enough room for a full X-16 FPGA. I dunno if It’s going to require an external RAM chip to handle the X16 banking. I found an introductory course on FPGA’s to familiarize my self with this tech: http://www.ee.ic.ac.uk/pcheung/teaching/ee2_digital/
  8. @ Tatwi ”Anyway, the low price point, compatibility with the X16, and a simple "plug and play" setup, when combined with being The 8 Bit Guy's computer, there is the potential that the userbase would grow from a small number of people with a specific interest into a large group of people who have all manner of interests and capacities.” I think it’s dangerous for the project to pursue price out the gate. The X16 community and dedication to building a new non compatible platform is what makes it special. If the pursuit was cost differentiation then the team would have reduced the X8/X18 FPGA to just be a “compatible” 6502 project like the MiSTer. Instead what we have seen is a dedication to the platform and it’s unique quirks. The development on the X16 emulator alone is one hell of a thing to take note of.
  9. Thanks for the clarification. I like Chip & Dip because it’s easy for me to associate the FPGA variant vs the Physical (PRO) model.
  10. Bruce, with the different tiers “P,E,C” I honestly don’t know what’s what anymore. I dunno which X16 variant ties to the Chip & Dip but it’s pretty clear what the Chip & Dip is vs the FPGA.
  11. And that's the frustrating bit when i comes to deciphering what's next. We don't know if they decided to completely abandon the X8 but it seems like the end goal is the X16 FPGA. Regardless it seems clear that we can expect an FPGA solution before the chip & dip
  12. Exactly. You have to recognize genius when you see it. The VERA / X8 FPGA is an incredible work of art by @Frank van den Hoef. What an excellent gift to the community.
  13. I think its really cool that Frank used STM32F7 MCU in the design to act as a programmer for the ICE40UP5k FPGA. Really clever design. I used STM32F7 MCU's in my racing drones but it is still really cool seeing it used this way. Major Components from BOM: U1 FPGA: ICE40UP5K-SG48ITR50 U2 Flash - NOR Memory IC (16MB): W25Q16JVSNIQ U3 LDO Voltage Regulator (1.2A): LDL1117S33R U4 LDO Voltage Regulator (250mA) U5 Microcontroller: STM32F070C6Tx U6 Wireless Module (802.11 b/g/n): ESP32-SOLO-1 X1 Standard Clock Oscillators: SG-5032CAN Y1 SMD GLASS CRYSTAL: 7A-8.000MAAE-T
  14. Same. Whatever hardware they can get out the sooner the better.
  15. I even made a conceptual PCB Front for the X8 hoping it would be released. just to be clear, I did this in MSPAINT.
  16. I dunno if they have actually abandoned the X8 and dedicated fully to the X16 FPGA. Assuming you are referring to this screenshot from Facebook:
  17. Im not @Scott Robison but I think one perhaps unintended side effect of the X8 is the possibility that it can be programmed to run other 8bit/6502 Machines in FPGA alongside the VERA in FPGA for Video output. Granted that would probably require "erasing" the X8 ROM and assuming the ICE40UP5k could be programmed multiple times means that the X8 platform could be the basis for a truly inexpensive 8bit AIO FPGA machine.
  18. Updated Main post with David's other posts about the X8.
  19. Newark had the ICE40UP5k in stock a couple of days ago in their UK store. Now it looks like its backordered until February 2022: https://www.newark.com/lattice-semiconductor/ice40up5k-sg48i/fpga-ice40-ultraplus-39-i-o-qfn/dp/50AJ3298?st=ICE40UP5K-SG48I
  20. The PCB layout aesthetic reminds me of the PCB that is in my Ti-99/4A Power Supply. I liked that video you linked showing the old acid etching process. I remember seeing it on Hack A Day a few years ago. Looks like it would be well suited for what you are trying to do.
  21. I like the Pi since it can be reliably made into purpose built machines. I use one for [ADS-B tracking](Stratux.me) and one of my PiZero's for adblocking by running [PiHole](https://pi-hole.net/). I also have a PiZero that is my Commodore/VICE emulator. It runs [Combian64](https://cmaiolino.wordpress.com/).
  22. What is that and what can it do?
  23. I spent the past week going through these forums and it was a challenge to make it through all 30 pages of the Official Announcement thread. Lots of ideas in there but I can see why there is so much resistance to the X8. It's not a guaranteed easy path for adapting X8 software to the X16 Chip & Dip and it's got one honking FPGA that seems to do it all. A nice block diagram, the KICAD files and a presentation on how the FPGA core actually works would probably help alleviate some of that apprehension. In one of the threads David mentioned that porting Robots to the X8 should take a couple of hours and that he would post a video once it was done. With all the noise since the change in direction post I get the feeling that project may have been put on the back burner. I really hope the project delivers hardware sooner than later and it looks like the FPGA path is going to be the only way that happens soon.
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