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13.Jun.2019
Mirandor (Kommentar)


FPGA-Amiga clone: MiSTer
It is not a new development and so far on amiga-news.de the FPGA-Amiga clone MiSTer was only mentioned by the hint (German) to a corresponding report on Obligement. Consequently our reader 'Holla' has introduced the product of the Russian developer Sorgelig in the German comment area.

MiSTer is an adaption of MiST to a more powerful FPGA, equipped with a faster ARM processor and a HDMI port (scaling usually to 1280x720 pixels at 60 hertz; VGA and analog audio output available with a daughter board). MiSTer is based on the DE10-Nano board produced by Terasic.

Major improvements compared with the MiST board:
  • Altera-Cyclone-V-SE-FPGA with 110.000 LE (41.500 ALM) and 5.570 KBit Block-RAM
  • ARM-Cortex-A9-Dual-Core processor with 800 MHz
  • HDMI video and audio port for connecting to modern monitors or television
  • 1 GB DDR3 RAM, available for the ARM processor and the FPGA
  • High-speed connection between process core and FPGA because both are in the same chip
  • ARM-Linux supports many I/O devices and file systems
  • Board is produced by a major producer in series and is available for a fair price of 130 US-Dollar (110 for students/professors)
By using a more powerful FPGA, more powerful systems can be created. It is also possible to add more support of ARM. The firmware is not limited by the available RAM or the code size. It is even possible to emulate some parts of the system with ARM side which is not available in the FPGA (a so called hybrid emulator).

MiSTer can extend the DE10-Nano board by several optional daughter boards. Circuit diagrams and Gerber files are available for download:
  • SDRAM board: Already with this additional board almost all cores can be used. The small board is plugged into the GPIO-0 port of the DE10-Nano board. Although the DE10-Nano has a fast DDR3-RAM, it cannot be used for the emulation of a retro EDO-RAM due to its high latency and the shared usage together with the ARM side.
  • I/O board: This board is plugged into the GPIO-1 port of the DE10-Nano. It provides a VGA port, analog audio output (3,5-mm jack plug), digital optical audio output, keys and LEDs. This board is recommended if VGA is more used (instead of HDMI) or the MiSTer is supposed to be installed in a case. It is also useful for developing the cores since compiling is faster for VGA (HDMI scaler code takes about twice the time for compiling).
  • RTC board: This board is plugged into the LTC port and provides a realtime clock. The clock can be also synchronized via Internet, without this expansion.
  • USB-Hub board: This board adds a 7-port USB-hub which is placed under the mainboard.
Additional to more than 20 systems (see Obligement article), MiSTer emulates all classic Amiga systems except the CD³² based on a 68000, 68010 or 68020 processor with 88 MHz. Kickstart 1.2 to 3.1 are supported, the OCS, ECS and AGA chipset with PAL and NTSC output as well as diverse memory configurations with 512 KB chip-RAM to 24 MB Fast-RAM. Aditional to virtual disk drives and harddrives e.g. also scanlines can be simulated and Amiga mice and joysticks used like common USB input devices. (snx) (Translation: dr)

[News message: 13. Jun. 2019, 21:11] [Comments: 0]
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