My Gold Card is faster than yours! Well nope it doesn't work.

Anything QL Software or Programming Related.
FrancoisLanciault
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My Gold Card is faster than yours! Well nope it doesn't work.

Postby FrancoisLanciault » Sun Apr 28, 2019 5:04 am

Hi,

I came across a few 68010 chips and installed some of them in my amiga 1000 and 500. I got an instant 5% to 10% speed boost from the better optimized 68010 instructions. More specifically 9,5% boost on my prime number benchmark (see the thread in the hardware section for more information about the benchmark)

So I thought, could the Gold Card benefit from a 68010 ? I ordered a 68 pins PLCC 68010 @ 25 Mhz in order to try it.

I knew it probably wouldn't work as I was aware of the move SR,XX difference between the 68000 and the 68010. But I was curious to see how far the boot process would go. If it would go up to the flashing cursor, I might then be able to load SMSQ/E that have a patch for the move SR instructions.

While waiting for the chip, I read a bit more about the differences between the 68000 and 68010 and between the Gold Card and super Gold Card. I came across Marcel article from November 2018 about the boot process of the Gold Card and Super Gold Card.

From that very well written article, I learned that only the Super Gold Card patches the ROM in order to be able to run software with the move SR instructions. I also learned a basic difference between the two cards: the GC boots the QL ROMs first then passes control to the GC rom in order to patch the OS and finally boot a second time from the patched OS (this is why there are two memory check when powering up a GC equipped QL). The SGC boot with its own ROM first, does the QL ROM patching and then boot the operating system only once.

This is interesting as it insure there will be no move SR,XX instructions executed on a SGC before the patch is applied. But something was not, and is still not clear about the GC/SGC roms: does the Gold Card and Super Gold Card have different ROMs or do they share the same ROM that behave differently when sensing on which card it is running ?

If they share the same ROM, maybe a gold card with 68010 would trigger the MOVE SR patch ??? (Unlikely I know)
If they have different ROMs then the only hope of having a GC with 68010 would be to be able to load SMSQ/E.

Anyway the chip arrived from Spain very quickly. I removed the 68000 and installed the 68010. From the thread title you already know it does not work. The QL does its first memory test, then clear the screen and shows the Minerva logo, but the F!/F2 -F3/F4 window never appears and the QL is frozen. I did not tried with a Sinclair ROM but I expect the result to be the same.

Alright, so the boot process of a minerva equipped QL uses the move SR instruction(s). The next question is: could the QL ROM (Minerva in this case) be modified not to use the move SR instruction ? Or could it be modified to create a patch like on the SGC ?? Modifying the Goldcard ROMs would serve no purpose as the QL start with the OS ROM first... or is there a way I don't see ?

Before closing the subject, I had a look at the Minerva source code. I did not see any move SR instruction in the memory test section. I looked around and finally found some move SR in the ip/init.asm module. It is used to disable the interrupts when polling the IPC. It is probably used elsewhere or most probably in a lot of other module.

I know a 5% speed boost is not worth any amount of work but, just for the sake of discussion, does anybody sees a way to make it work ? What would be simpler, modifying the minerva rom or the goldcard rom ? Having the rev 8 board with SMSQ/E in ROM ?

François


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mk79
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Re: My Gold Card is faster than yours! Well nope it doesn't work.

Postby mk79 » Sun Apr 28, 2019 3:11 pm

FrancoisLanciault wrote:If they share the same ROM, maybe a gold card with 68010 would trigger the MOVE SR patch ??? (Unlikely I know)
Same ROM. But a) a 68010 will not automatically trigger the patch and b) as-is the patch includes 68020 cache instructions.
I know a 5% speed boost is not worth any amount of work but, just for the sake of discussion, does anybody sees a way to make it work ? What would be simpler, modifying the minerva rom or the goldcard rom?
Modifying the GC ROM is trivial, but if the machine crashes before the ROM is invoked then you gain nothing.

Also, Minerva ROM already has a built-in MOVE SR emulator of sorts (ss_base_asm), so I'm not sure what's really your problem here. (The emulator is a bit strange in that it constructs code on the stack, so there might be side effects). You could try replacing it with the emulator from the GC sources.

Marcel


FrancoisLanciault
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Re: My Gold Card is faster than yours! Well nope it doesn't work.

Postby FrancoisLanciault » Thu May 02, 2019 3:47 am

Thank you Marcel for your inputs. I guess this is yet another project in the list of "to do". But if I want to modify the Minerva ROM, first I need to buy an eprom programmer.

François


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mk79
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Re: My Gold Card is faster than yours! Well nope it doesn't work.

Postby mk79 » Thu May 02, 2019 2:56 pm

FrancoisLanciault wrote:Thank you Marcel for your inputs. I guess this is yet another project in the list of "to do". But if I want to modify the Minerva ROM, first I need to buy an eprom programmer.
I suggest the TL866: https://www.kilgus.net/2017/03/05/german-minerva-rom/ it can do most things for just 30€ or so.

Marcel


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Pr0f
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Re: My Gold Card is faster than yours! Well nope it doesn't work.

Postby Pr0f » Fri May 03, 2019 2:50 pm

mk79 wrote:
FrancoisLanciault wrote:Thank you Marcel for your inputs. I guess this is yet another project in the list of "to do". But if I want to modify the Minerva ROM, first I need to buy an eprom programmer.
I suggest the TL866: https://www.kilgus.net/2017/03/05/german-minerva-rom/ it can do most things for just 30€ or so.

Marcel


An excellent choice - if you can, go for the one that has the ISP port option on the edge of the case, as it allows even more devices to be programmed. Mine came with an interesting collection of PLCC and SMD adaptors, allowing some other package variants to be handled too.


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Dave
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Re: My Gold Card is faster than yours! Well nope it doesn't work.

Postby Dave » Fri May 03, 2019 5:13 pm

I have a TL866A with the extra port. It's pretty good and the supported devices list is incredibly long.

Also, they have open source PC/Mac/Linux software.

https://gitlab.com/DavidGriffith/minipro/


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mk79
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Re: My Gold Card is faster than yours! Well nope it doesn't work.

Postby mk79 » Fri May 03, 2019 7:28 pm

Dave wrote:I have a TL866A with the extra port. It's pretty good and the supported devices list is incredibly long.
I have just seen that the TL866A and TL866CS are not in production anymore, there is now a TL866 II+ instead.

Also, they have open source PC/Mac/Linux software.
This is a reverse engineering effort by enthusiasts and [edit]apparently now also compatible with the II+.
Last edited by mk79 on Fri May 03, 2019 7:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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mk79
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Re: My Gold Card is faster than yours! Well nope it doesn't work.

Postby mk79 » Fri May 03, 2019 7:30 pm

Also they have added MCS-51 compatibility to the II but not MCS-48 :( I'd have bought it (again) if it supported MCS-48 (like 8049/8749).


Nasta
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Re: My Gold Card is faster than yours! Well nope it doesn't work.

Postby Nasta » Sat May 04, 2019 11:11 pm

mk79 wrote:Also they have added MCS-51 compatibility to the II but not MCS-48 :( I'd have bought it (again) if it supported MCS-48 (like 8049/8749).


8741/42/48/49 have a rather odd way of reading and writing the internal (EP)ROM, which applies a high voltage to multiple pins at the same time, which the TL866 may not be able to do without an adapter socket. Also, the new version II does not support the required programming voltage of the original specification which was 25V, though newer versions used 21V for the programming voltage and 18V for the extra program strobes on the other (two, if memory serves) pins.


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Dave
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Re: My Gold Card is faster than yours! Well nope it doesn't work.

Postby Dave » Sat May 04, 2019 11:42 pm

But... The 80P50 uses an external ROM, so if you can find those they are always fun to have.

If you can find them!



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