Apollo Team Activity Report
It’s been a while since release of GOLD2 in January 2017. Apollo Team has been working hard on different topics in parallel to bring Amiga users a great experience with their current and future Vampire accelerators. Let’s sum up a bit what are working on and what is coming next.
GOLD2.7 – « The number after the point » release
Since GOLD2, lot of work has been made on the 68080 core. Even if we released an experimental and interim build called GOLD2.5 which added support for SDNet and library for developers, core part was still GOLD2.
Right now, Apollo Team is working quite hard on testing GOLD2.7 core which will be a major update since GOLD2. The number is small but the changes are big :
- AMMX2 : AMMX has been improved with a full new set of vector instructions
- Full rewrite of the RTG graphics driver, optimized to get benefits from the AMMX2 instruction set
- Added FastIDE functionnality (to speed up IDE)
- Added hardware sprites support
- Dedicated Kickstart module handles AMMX context switching on the fly
- Added MapROM functionnality (brings EmuTOS/FreeMint/AROS for example)
- Added hybrid software/hardware FPU (with help of FEMU)
- Added HyperThreading support
- Added Bn register (E0 to E23: Data registers, fully 64bits, accessibles by AMMX)
- Added vampire.resource for developers
- Added processor.resource for developers
- Added BANK instruction
- Speed up of memory clock frequency
- MDMA (Magic DMA channels)
- Scanline support for HDMI Lowres modes
GOLD2.7 will be the last core before the awaited GOLD3 core and will be released for Vampire 600 V2, Vampire 500 V2 and the upcoming Vampire V4.
GOLD3 – « Lady SAGA on stage »
In parallel to GOLD2.7, lot of efforts have been put into bringing AGA to the 68080 core. Testing methodicaly every single known AGA games to understand how they work and create SAGA as not only an AGA reimplementation but getting it to the next performance level takes a very very long time.
The beauty behind SAGA is the speed benefit brought by the FastRAM speed to ChipRAM. With GOLD3, any AGA screen is fast. Superfast Workbench in PAL feels like your Amiga was waiting for some new fresh air. GOLD3 removed the handbrake.
GOLD3 will also make life easier for everybody as you will be able to use a single digital cable for both AGA/RTG and audio.
The dream of bringing AGA to all OCS/ECS Amigas is being a reality with GOLD3. Remember when you were young how frustrated you were with your A500 when you couldn’t run an AGA game that your friend with A1200 could ? This time will soon be over.
Team work has the benefit to let us have several open tasks at the same time without having to finish them sequencially. Vampire V4 was designed silently by ceaich while work continued on the core side. Announced in August and still aiming for a general release in Q4’2017, the Vampire V4 will be a next step into the further development of a standalone product.
We were very impressed seeing how mainstream IT websites relayed the information. It means a lot for us and we are pretty confident that the product could bring old users back into the Amiga scene. That coverage has put a lot of pressure on our shoulders but is also very exciting as we are discovering new lands that were never explored until now.
HardOCP : https://www.hardocp.com/news/2017/08/13 ... _late_2017
OSNews : http://www.osnews.com/story/29949/Apoll ... _announced
TheRegister : https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/08/0 ... late_2017/
Hexus : http://hexus.net/tech/news/systems/1087 ... announced/
SlashDot : https://tech.slashdot.org/story/17/08/1 ... -late-2017
HotHardware : https://hothardware.com/news/apollo-tea ... ccelerator
IndieRetroNews : http://www.indieretronews.com/2017/08/t ... -1200.html
Kotaku : https://www.kotaku.com.au/2017/08/there ... this-year/
Tweakers.net : https://tweakers.net/geek/128335/amiga- ... lazen.html
GameStar.de : https://tinyurl.com/y9wyvu35
Mass production also started to bring as soon as possible cards for team members, in order to be able to polish core as much as possible for the initial release. A big stock of parts also arrived to fulfill first deliveries to resellers.
For the record, all details about the incoming product is still available at :
http://www.apollo-accelerators.com/file ... t_v1_5.pdf
Vampire 600 V2
As you might have read on his website, kipper2k decided some weeks ago to stop producing the Vampire 600 V2. We thank him for the good work he did with production during his presence. Without him project wouldn't have been such success.
After kippa left the team, we had to put on hold new V600 order acceptance until we got ready to take over his work. Majsta is catching up with this and an announce will soon be made once he's ready to launch a new batch of Vampire 600 V2 cards.
What’s next ?
Amiga32 is clearly a deadline for us and so we are pushing hard to bring things together and show our work in late October at the meeting. Some team members living near will be there attending the event and able to show off all our goodies. We are all looking forward for this great event
Exciting times ahead in Amiga-land !