SuperCPU for the Vic-20

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pixel
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Re: SuperCPU for the Vic-20

Postby pixel » Tue Jul 04, 2017 4:21 pm

Sooner or later I'll probably want one, too. Just don't know when. Would be cool if someone gets VICE to emulate it.
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Kakemoms
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Re: SuperCPU for the Vic-20

Postby Kakemoms » Thu Jul 06, 2017 5:11 am

pixel wrote:Sooner or later I'll probably want one, too. Just don't know when. Would be cool if someone gets VICE to emulate it.


Shouldn't be too difficult once I finalize the settings. Basically you get an extra 6502/65C02 at xx MHz that starts/stops according to either a poke (STA) or an unused opcode by the internal 6502. The extra cpu runs code at some arbitrary point in expansion memory, but has its own zeropage/stack memory. Thus it can handle a large number of instructions at a fraction of the time of the internal 6502. An immediate improvement for Vic Chess if one can change the code to allow for the external CPU.

There are a number of other features that I like to implement, like VGA with resolution enhancement, SDCard, and extra memory. Its all on the PCB, but it takes time to get the Verilog code finished. The intention of VGA would be to play all the old games with better resolution, like what Ludde's FPGA NES did for Nintendo.

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Re: SuperCPU for the Vic-20

Postby Kakemoms » Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:57 am

Ok. After ordering everything I now know approximately what the price must be. Mounting and risk of errors will be on my side, but hopefully there are not more problems than usual.

I will make it available in two versions:

A) "SuperVixen": A low-cost version with the 26KB internal memory (of which 24KB is available on the Vic-20 side) without SRAM and VGA connector. It will also contain the 232 chip for upgrading via USB and third-party software. Price: 79USD + shipping.

B) "SuperVixen+": A costlier version with all parts mounted. E.g. 1MByte SRAM and VGA connector interface mounted (although they will not work initially as some more software development is needed). SDCard adapter is also mounted (but not working initially). Price 129USD + shipping.

Both versions contain the Lattice MachXO3 FPGA which is capable of running up to 40-50MHz, although current proven 65C02 core runs slightly below 30MHz. WDC have an official 6502 IP core for this chip which runs at 75MHz, but it is too costly to even consider for less than 100K units.. Still, only future development will show how fast we can get this chip going.

The SuperVixen+ also has a 25-pin DSUB connector for future expansion. This is not on the SuperVixen, but it can be easily mounted at a later date by someone experienced in soldering.

I will confirm the pricing once all units have been mounted and tested.

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Re: SuperCPU for the Vic-20

Postby Schlowski » Sun Jul 09, 2017 2:06 am

I'm in for the SuperVixen+ - I want everything :D

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Re: SuperCPU for the Vic-20

Postby majikeyric » Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:51 am

+1 :mrgreen:

(really excited by this great project Kakemoms! 8) )

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Re: SuperCPU for the Vic-20

Postby pixel » Sat Jul 22, 2017 12:42 am

Kakemoms wrote:B) "SuperVixen+": A costlier version with all parts mounted. E.g. 1MByte SRAM and VGA connector interface mounted (although they will not work initially as some more software development is needed). SDCard adapter is also mounted (but not working initially). Price 129USD + shipping.

Wow! Guess I need a job. :D

Again, the Germans would have renamed it for their market. :lol: (Look up "wixen".)
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Kakemoms
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Re: SuperCPU for the Vic-20

Postby Kakemoms » Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:33 am

It looks like I can get hold of the new MachXO3 with more memory and LUTs. Essencially its adding to the price and lead time, so if you want this I need a consensus from you (the buyers). Lead time is 8-10 weeks for the new chip.

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Re: SuperCPU for the Vic-20

Postby beamrider » Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:09 am

I'm not in a rush

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majikeyric
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Re: SuperCPU for the Vic-20

Postby majikeyric » Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:52 am

Me neither :)

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Re: SuperCPU for the Vic-20

Postby KilrPilr » Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:42 pm

The more features, memory, etc the better.
Im in no rush either.

Thanks for keeping us updated!

Oh and I want SuperVixen+'s too please!!

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Re: SuperCPU for the Vic-20

Postby Schlowski » Fri Jul 28, 2017 2:49 am

As the others said, more is better, I can wait :-)

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Re: SuperCPU for the Vic-20

Postby Kakemoms » Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:15 pm

Ok, it sounds like many are interested in the improved chip so I have ordered them today. Even with 8-10 weeks lead time on that chip I can start testing the PCB once they arrive (with the previous MachXO3L-6800).

The new chip is about 6 USD more. In Commodore-style, the price tag will therefore be 134.99USD for the SuperVixen+.

The basic SuperVixen will stay at 79USD with the original MachXOL-6800 chip (unless I get many requests for upgrade).

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Re: SuperCPU for the Vic-20

Postby beamrider » Sat Jul 29, 2017 2:47 am

bit of a flyer (and I know nothing of the complexities involved), but could you consider adding an wifi ability via ESP8266, they're very cheap ~$2 ?

[The embedded CPU on the ESP8266 is also quite powerful...]

I love the idea of the unit being able to receive OTA upgrades or give the Vic-20 the ability to easily download OTA straight into cart ram...

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Kakemoms
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Re: SuperCPU for the Vic-20

Postby Kakemoms » Sat Jul 29, 2017 4:58 pm

PCBs have been manufactured, so no change is possible at this moment. :P

Anyway, I have added a general DB25 expansion port with lots of IO pins, +3.3V, +5V and GND, so future upgrades are possible once everything else is up and running... :mrgreen:

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Kakemoms
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Re: SuperCPU for the Vic-20

Postby Kakemoms » Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:12 pm

First peek at the revision A PCB's show that the BGA layout for the MachXO3 is within specs and there seems to be no shorts! :mrgreen: I will measure it more closely tomorrow and use a microscope to examine further.

I have some solder paste, but the new proper one hasn't arrived yet, so I will probably wait with mounting the first board (a test board with MachXO3L-6800). The other boards will be mounted once the new MachXO3LF-9400 arrives. All other components have arrived, so I'll keep you updated on that one.

As for the casing it will be lasercut semitransparent Acrylate with engraved text.
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