Indivision AGA MK3 for A1200

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Don't Panic. Please wash hands.
  • Will there be an A4000/CD32 version like last time?

    Yes, I'll make an A4000D/CD32 version as well.


    I mean, will it be possible to use 720p resolution with Graffiti color support?

    Please don't confuse Graffiti and Graffity - the latter was a Z2 graphics card that never hit the market. Graffiti was our video card that plugged between the computer and the monitor, changing bitplaned modes into chunky modes - there was never any P96 driver for Graffiti.


    HighGFX will of course work with the MK3.


    I currently have an MK2 installed in my machine and am curious about the MK3. But I am a bit scared of removing the MK2. Can somebody please tell me that I do not need to be scared?

    Just pull it off - it does hold nicely, but it won't hold of you tilt it off.


    Jens you mentioned that there will be the use of High GFX so there is no need for a graphix card. Will this improve the graphics of the games and also the resolution? For example do i benefit with the INDI MK3 better graphics mode on games (such as DOOM) with more detailed graphics or this will only improve the workbench screens?

    Games that don't make use of the Graffiti feature will not show any other resolution that the AGA chipset already supports. HighGFX increases resolution by reducing the vertical frequency down to levels not no real monitor can display - it takes advantage of the Indivision's frame buffer. You could of course think of writing a game that does exactly that, but I would not count on it.

    In my A1200 i have a KA 47 Angle IDE 44 PIN with SD Adapter. Will this be in the way for the Indi MK3?

    That will most likely fit - I've seen pictures where the connector goes "left", so "away from Indivision".

  • Yes Graffiti emulation will be supported on the mk3 with full 18 bit color support. (some of the ECS flicker-fixers only do 12 bit color)

    Now Jens wrote

    "It's currently on the "nice to have"-list, but not on the "promised to be in"-list"


    It is a BIG diffrence maybe its time for full spec of MK3

  • Now Jens wrote

    "It's currently on the "nice to have"-list, but not on the "promised to be in"-list"


    It is a BIG diffrence maybe its time for full spec of MK3

    Ok yes, it would be "nice to have" a purpose for the file named indi_aga_mk3_graffiti.vhd that exists in my firmware development directory. That poor little file, not (yet) promised to exist. Ready to spring into 18-bit action when it is promoted to the other list. I'm sure that will happen once we have the mandatory features stable. Until then just assume I didn't say anything... promised nothing... I was just confused about the Question, yes that is it! I thought you meant a totally other feature with a different name that is on the promised list... yes.. well good that we talked that through, almost slipped a non-existing feature right here in the forum.... whew..

  • Hello, I have finally registered: P


    Thanks for answering but for me it looks like withdrawing from what you previously confirmed, and I am sorry but I am not buying this statement that you confused Graffiti with another function.


    We are how many months one or two before the market debut of MK3 and a bit of a shame that we do not know the full specification and available undisclosed functions.


    I am very pleased with the MK2cr I have, and as for the new version, I have certain expectations. Grafitti is one of them.


    Now, I must admit that I have to think about what to do with the MK3 preorder.


    Thx for info and stay safe for all of you.

  • The reason we don't tell the every feature that is on our todo or planned feature lists, is because there could be technical or planning reasons these features are left out at the last moment, or are delivered in a later firmware update once they are properly debugged. Better to only communicate what we know for sure will work, to prevent any disappointment for our customers.


    Now for Graffiti, it didn't make it to the "for sure" list for some reason, I just thought it did. As aga mk3 is based in large part on the ECS v2 design and that already has Graffiti emulation, so that code was already existing only color depth has been extended from 12 to 18 bits. I already did all that work so that is why I communicated it will be in, not realizing Jens didn't have that confirmed yet. Not sure why though will ask him when he is back from holiday. With all the crazyness in the world at the moment some communication errors are bound to happen. Sorry to see some of that leaked out into this forum.


    Best advice I can give you for your pre-order is read the shop description, that is the product you get for sure.

  • Thanks for the reply It remains to wait if Jens officially confirms this mode or not,


    by the way, not once talking to friends we wondered why Graffiti was in IndiECS and it was not in MK2cr. I understand that it is certainly not a small piece of work to get it finally in MK3 so I keep my fingers crossed.


    btw. is there any changes or the speed of changing gfx mode LACE/PAL

    for example some games like Alien Breed, Agony and many demos have some graphics displayed in Lace and the rest in PAL in MK2cr is a slight delay when switching from one to another.

    Could you write something more about it?

  • btw. is there any changes or the speed of changing gfx mode LACE/PAL

    for example some games like Alien Breed, Agony and many demos have some graphics displayed in Lace and the rest in PAL in MK2cr is a slight delay when switching from one to another.

    Could you write something more about it?

    With the AGA mk3 (like it is in ECS v2) you will be able to share a single mode for both PAL interlace and normal PAL by setting the "double line" option. By default it will double the number of lines on the screen to keep the aspect ratio, but on interlace this line doubling is automatically turned off. So your monitor doesn't have to switch to a different screen resolution and it should be almost instant (like 3 half frames or so). I don't remember exactly what the MK2cr does with interlace, probably load a different image from flash or something, which will take a while yes.


    by the way, not once talking to friends we wondered why Graffiti was in IndiECS and it was not in MK2cr.

    Don't know. I didn't work at icomp at that time, so wasn't involved with creating the specifications for that product. I guess it was on a similar "nice to have list", but never made it into the product. Note: Although I did implement part of the firmware for the AGA mk2, it was in the role as an external consultant.

  • Now for Graffiti, it didn't make it to the "for sure" list for some reason, I just thought it did.

    I didn't have a "confirmed working" status when I left, so I did not put it on the "promised features" list for the exact reason you qzuotet: Avoid disappointment. I'm aware that implementing it with this hardware is MUCH easier compared to the MK2/MK2cr hardware, but again, first things first, then the "nice to have" things.


    I already confirmed to this customer via eMail that you have a pretty free hand in adding things, so if you decide that "today" (whenever that may be) is a good day to port the ECSv2 source to this hardware, feel free to do that. Graffiti was iComp's entry into the Amiga market and therefore has some history to it. However, lack of software for the product also made it kinda useless to thise who didn't use Shapeshifter at the time, so I personally rate this feature "nice to have", but certainly not mandatory. Now if BlackTiger78 explains what's so important about it, what piece of software makes use of the Graffiti hardware, I may learn something new :-)

  • Jens, pwsoft thank you for the answers


    First of all, I wouldn't want to be considered doing any drama because of the lack of graffiti. I think that this is a piece of cool idea very underestimated in the 90s . Programs, games (Warcraft, Settlers II, Prince of Persia 2) or demos that used it showed that in my opinion it can be a booster for ShapeShifter; p


    Macintosh uses chunky pixel modes, which Amiga equipped only with AGA systems must emulate, which decreases the speed of apple emulation. Graffiti, on the other hand, gives what the emulator lacks - the chunky pixel mode.


    But that's all you know, personally I bow to what you do for the Amiga. ;) Thx for that.


    ok but it's enough about Graffiti or MK3 will still heat up during higher modes of operation, or did you manage to gain anything here, right now have a little fan on MK2cr.

  • or MK3 will still heat up during higher modes of operation, or did you manage to gain anything here, right now have a little fan on MK2cr.

    I have my doubts that a fan is really needed for the MK2(cr) version, but if it makes you feel better, you can of course add that. The MK3 version has a more advanced FPGA, so more logic cells that can switch at the same time (and need to, as we have now added a scaler!), so you win efficiency, but lose again by using more of these more efficient cells. So yes, you do get noticable thermal energy, but active cooling is not required.

  • when i set up 1280x1024 after few minutes i have small gfx artefacts points, lines, those are not present when active cooling is on.

    It might be worth examining the cause of this, as it may not be the flicker fixer, but the main board that drifts in timing. Many A1200 main boards require patches to display double-CAS modes correctly, as timing drifts heavily with temperature.


    Since introduction of Indivision AGA in 2008, the problem became appearent, but before that, there was simply no monitor that could display the higher resolutions properly. With Indivision, you "suddenly" have a device to show these screen modes that are flakey, and the quick, but false conclusion is that the flickerfixer is at fault. However, it's not the flicker fixer's fault - the fliciker fixer merely shows a problem of the main board, but that's fixable - either with a pull-up resistor or with an additional capacitor.


    Indivisino AGA MK2 and MK2cr both have a free component pad where you can add that capacitor.


    Indivision AGA MK3 goes one step further and allows switching pull-up resistors and a timing capacitor completely with software, no soldering required. This is currently not advertised, as we only have a single machine that shows the errors - by coincidence, it's Peter's machine, and he reported success on the switchable chipset-patch-components. However, a single positive report is not good enough for advertising a feature; I still regard it as "experimental" and would therefore like to await a few more real-world-cases where the software setting fixes the flickering glitches. At this point, I don't even know if Timm has already implemented these bits in the new config tool, but it'll surely be in the version that's available to the first customers.


    If you post a picture of the glitches that you see without cooling, I can tell if it's chipset-related or flicker fixer-related. You may have a machine that benefits from these experimental chipset-patch components.

  • Hey hm I wonder what you write,

    it's been some time since these little glitches, I would have to dig up the old settings because I do not currently use this resolution


    I will try to reproduce these errors in my free time when I come home in next few days.

    I will try to remember to take pictures than let you know.


    Election days in Poland, plenty to do wish us luck ;p

  • There's a significant amount of A1200s out there who have timing problems not only in modes that were only practical with indivision, but also with 1992 commodore modes like dblpal and multiscan productivity. usually manefesting as graphical corruption on workbench and reproducable crashes in extremely obscure circumstances, for example with one release of one specific game. Symptoms like the workbench corruption often go away with very slight adjustments to colour pallete, that much is known. Sometimes these problems can be so severe that the usual timing fixes only partially help, or fix one symptom but make the others worse. A lot of these machines spent their whole life in pal mode and so problem wasn't found in time to warranty it.


    In these defective machines Indivision helps this problem more than it worsens it, because it obsoletes dblpal and all the other symptomatic screenmodes. But the best fix - short of a different motherboard - is some sort of active cooling on the alice chip.

  • But the best fix - short of a different motherboard - is some sort of active cooling on the alice chip.

    I beg to differ - from what I've found, pulling the CCK clock edges to the right position and adding a Vbb cap has fixed all boards that I have in my collection - and I have quite a few, especially from buying up old Commodore repair shops.


    While Indivision can't do anything on the Vbb cap side (that's best done on the bottom side of the A1200 main board), it can work on CCK and the output pixel clock, which is what's needed in most of the cases.

  • To where does Vbb corrispond and what value cap? I've never heard of that before.


    At any rate, the timing problem shows up as alice heats, so to me it makes more sense to prevent it from doing that than to compensate for the problem it causes outside of the chip. Alice is very hot to the touch, that can't be good for it's lifespan.

  • To where does Vbb corrispond and what value cap? I've never heard of that before.

    Vbb is the negative bias voltage that's generated on all HMOS/HMOS2 chips with a small charge pump. The special thing abot late Agnus chips and Alice (which is the same generation as "late Agnus") is that this negative bias voltage is not only generated on-chip and inside the chip (where it's needed), but also lead to a pin, where this voltage can be stabilized with a capacitor to GND. Today, that's common practise with modern chips, but it was pretty advanced at the time.


    I have measured "roughly -3V" on that pin in normal operation, but the voltage drops considerably on heavy blitter operations (such as the TGTest of AIBB), and the more it drops, the more corruption you see. I got this corruption under control by adding a 10µF ceramic cap on the existing Vbb cap on the solder side of the A1200.


    You'll have to check the corresponding page of the A1200 schematics yourself - or dig up the posting in one of the old threads that I've linked to earlier. I'm on holidays :-)

  • Hi Jens,


    i have a question regarding the HDMI/VGA connector. Is it also possible to mount it to the place where the RF modulator was?

    Right now my expansion slot is used by the Prisma Megamix audio outputs!