List of FPGA cores that could be ported to Chameleon hardware

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Don't Panic. Please wash hands.
  • I would absolutely love to see a 128 core, but I know I am in rare company. I'm one of the few people who appreciate the VDC.

    What I would think should be more realistic? A SuperCPU core maybe?

    Yes the VDC properties are nice (though glitch-y), the rest of the 128 architecture is a bit of a mess unfortunately. Building a accurate replica with all the quirks will be a nightmare. And because the Chameleon hardware itself doesn't work on a C128, we kind of try to ignore this topic ;-)


    A SuperCPU comes up quite often in discussions. However if you look realistically there are only a handful of programs that really use the 16 bit instruction set of the 65816 processor. Most of the SuperCPU titles just want the faster speed that is already covered with the existing turbo functionality. Designing a new core for running just two extra programs is a bit meh.

  • A SuperCPU comes up quite often in discussions. However if you look realistically there are only a handful of programs that really use the 16 bit instruction set of the 65816 processor. Most of the SuperCPU titles just want the faster speed that is already covered with the existing turbo functionality. Designing a new core for running just two extra programs is a bit meh.

    It depends how you look at it. I get a good bit of use out of my SuperCPU 128, more than 2 programs for sure :-p.

    A SuperCPU core is not something I'd die on the hill for, but i just see it as long hanging fruit. The hardware is already there. The buttons are already there. SuperCPU are going for cRaZy amounts on eBay, I mean as in $2,500+ for a 64 version to $5,000 for a 128 version on eBay. There are at least 2 different attempts ongoing to clone it, that may never pan out. There's got to be some sort of demand for a clone? Also most other cores are entire other platforms, this is for a 64 expansion.

    Compared to other cores, wouldn't this be much easier? Aren't there open source 65816 cores out there? The SuperCPU core could ignore other 64 core features. Wouldn't it be a long night or 2? ;-)

    I'm not an FPGA developer and just thinking out loud here. How hard would it really be to implement a basic SuperCPU core with no bells and whistles?

  • What I would die on the hill for is an updated Minimig core! Is there any chance of this? I'd love to see a core coming closer to where MISTer is these days. I'd also die for the Minimig core to be mapped to the 64 keyboard!

    -Edit-

    I'll ask robinsonb5 over in the Minimig v2 thread, but last time I asked him he didn't seem too interested in pushing it any further beyond bug fixes.

  • Aren't there open source 65816 cores out there?

    None that I would know of - at least not with the test-depth that you'd require to call it a 65816. Further, almost all programs that are "SuperCPU compatible" don't make use of the 16-bit mode of the processor, so why go to the lengths of testing the CPU in a months-long process if practically no software will use it?


    Seriously, please list the programs that require a SuperCPU - it will most likely be easier to port them to the Chameleon turbo than to make a clone of a hardware that almost nobody has.

  • Hi!


    Tried this core today morning, and it works really well! Most of games I tested were OK, I could play i.e. Prince of Persia and Metal Mutant without issues. Some games did not start, i.e. Alley Cat, some others needed a mouse driver to run properly (Laser Squad, Dune II and Street Rod). I used the CuteMouse, as it's open source: http://cutemouse.sourceforge.net/ Perhaps it would be practical to add it to the boot image. I noticed that autoexec.bat doesn't work, despite adding 'ctmouse.exe' it didn't start automatically during boot. Implementing a decent sound card (Adlib or SoundBlaster) would be nice, but I don't think these exist in FPGA version...


    I think this core is underrated and less-known, hidden in this forum topic, perhaps it would worth to list it on the TC64's wiki or at least make downloadable on retroramblings, as the PC Engine, Minimig and MSX cores are...


    Cheers, and thanks for your efforts: Gábor

  • I think this core is underrated and less-known, hidden in this forum topic, perhaps it would worth to list it on the TC64's wiki or at least make downloadable on retroramblings, as the PC Engine, Minimig and MSX cores are...


    Cheers, and thanks for your efforts: Gábor

    Yes, I shall give it a proper download page at some point - I do want to try and solve the OPL3 emulation problem first, though. (And I haven't done that yet because I got sidetracked into creating, testing and now implementing a vbcc backend for a new CPU - which I hope will find uses in core-porting in future.)

  • Yes indeed - though a 386 is a *much* more complicated beast - not just the 32-bit registers but the MMU. The core is capable of running EMU386 though. I don't know enough about DOS to know whether or not that's useful.


    Yes, that's the original core. I haven't attempted running Windows yet, but I have tried running Breadbox Ensemble (with no luck as yet) and OpenGEM - which does work.


    As I say, I don't really know much about DOS in general, so I've no idea whether my inability to run Breadbox Ensemble was due to me using FreeDOS rather than MSDOS or whether something else is preventing it from running.

    Hi!


    Tried to install the Hungarian version of Win 3.11, but it needs a 386 processor. The one-version earlier Win 3.1's launcher starts, but it complains that the used XMS is incompatible with Windows. Tried to remove the FDXMS286.SYS and uncomment it in the FDCONFIG.SYS as well, but during the next attempt the system froze with an 'installing XMS memory manager' message.


    Otherwise the core runs well, many classic DOS games are playable, i.e. Impossible Mission 2, Stunts, Scorched Earth, Blues Brothers, Prehistorik, Magic Boy...


    Played DuneII hours long, works pretty well, but digitized speech is missing, music seems to be good after resetting several times the sound card (middle button on TC64).

  • Yes the VDC properties are nice (though glitch-y), the rest of the 128 architecture is a bit of a mess unfortunately. Building a accurate replica with all the quirks will be a nightmare. And because the Chameleon hardware itself doesn't work on a C128, we kind of try to ignore this topic ;-)

    How about instead of creating a c128 core, you could just implement a “c128 in C64 mode” core which would mean having vdc available in software like novaterm/striketerm. You wouldn’t create a new machine, but give 64 users the ability to have higher resolution/text.

  • How about instead of creating a c128 core, you could just implement a “c128 in C64 mode” core which would mean having vdc available in software like novaterm/striketerm. You wouldn’t create a new machine, but give 64 users the ability to have higher resolution/text.

    Even ignoring for a moment the relative large amount of development effort for only a handful of programs (while that time could be spend on fixing bugs in the C64 part of the design instead for example). The current architecture simply isn't capable of displaying 80 column text or the required 640 pixels. The framebuffer logic that eventually creates the VGA display only supports 400-ish pixels in horizontal direction (with 16 colors). I did play with ideas like that the past, but for example SID emulation that wasn't planned originally uses up most of the previously unused FPGA logic now. So each time a new proposal like a VDC (or for example SCPU as a recurring theme) it is always a question what can be removed to make room. Answer probably is nothing. I don't want to remove 1541 emulation or SID emulation or the whatever other feature added with good reason to make room for a VDC that only a handful of programs are going to use. Yes you could make multiple cores each with a sub-sets of features, but that will surely disappoint somebody somewhere as (s)he wants VDC plus whatever feature that was axed.

  • Alastair Robinson ported the Rampage arcade core some days ago, download links from Facebook:


    Version 1 hardware: http://www.retroramblings.net/.../Rampage_ChamV1_20200228...

    Version 2 hardware: http://www.retroramblings.net/.../Rampage_ChamV2_20200228...


    ROM file:

    For anyone who's struggling to track down and generate the ROM file, I've just noticed that Gehstock's Mist_FPGA_Cores repo on github contains a suitable ROM file: https://github.com/.../Arcad.../Midway%20MCR%203%20Monoboard

  • Thanks Dr. OG (I thought I recognised your profile pic on FB!)


    I'll create a proper page for the project at some point, with full instructions for the ROM generation - but in short, if icomp are uncomfortable with the ROM being linked to from here, there's now a tool in MIST-land (https://github.com/sebdel/mra-tools-c) that can create the required ROM file from a MAME ROM set - the archives contain the requisite .mra file which tells mra-tools how to translate and merge the MAME ROMs.

  • To be honest, I don't know the legal status of MAME ROMs. Since Github is a platform with good reputation, I'm fine with links to them. However, if you link to shady FTP sites hosted on servers in countries that noone ever heard of, I'd prefer not to see that link here.

  • please lets not discuss copyright matters here. it will only attract the wrong people. i am with jens there... links to reputable sites like github are fine.


    (i will delete parts of the discussion, no offence)