68060 based QL system?

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Do you want a 68060 based QL system?

No, better improve speed of FPGA based 68K
12
43%
Original Q60 with video updates
5
18%
New 68060 system design
11
39%
 
Total votes: 28
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XorA
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Re: 68060 based QL system?

Postby XorA » Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:25 am

Derek_Stewart wrote:If we are to move forward, then how about impossible solution of using USB keyboards. I say impossible, as there is no solution available.

There is PS/2 to USB converters, which only on some USB keyboard that support PS/2 data/clock signals ( Not sure about).


MiST has a little ARM that does the USB->FPGA conversion. I think the source code is open source.


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tofro
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Re: 68060 based QL system?

Postby tofro » Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:33 pm

Derek_Stewart wrote:There is PS/2 to USB converters, which only on some USB keyboard that support PS/2 data/clock signals ( Not sure about).


Calling them USB converters is maybe a bit much - They will only work with specific dual-mode keyboards that send PS/2 over a USB plug. And those get rarer and rarer (or sellers don't advertise that feature, I don't know).

I am not aware of any affordable solution of an adapter that will convert the output of a "pure" usb HID (fancy name to name a keyboard or mouse) to PS/2. I found one such adapter device once, but they would charge you like 90€ for one. Building one yourself might be a bit tricky, because µCs that support USB host functionality are rare as well.

Tobias


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Peter
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Re: 68060 based QL system?

Postby Peter » Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:32 pm

tofro wrote:I am not aware of any affordable solution of an adapter that will convert the output of a "pure" usb HID (fancy name to name a keyboard or mouse) to PS/2.

I also saw nothing below $70. The USB issue leads to the question "how much emulation do we want on a native hardware?" The Q40, Q60 and Q68 follow a strict non-emulation philosphy. I only used hardware that has a reasonable chance of software support on the 680x0. (I don't find native USB software achievable with reasonable effort, so I added no USB hardware.)

It is always relatively easy to add a second CPU and let it emulate something, e.g. a simple keyboard/mouse from a USB keyboard/mouse, simple mass storage from USB mass storage, a simple network interface from complex TCP/IP (W)LAN, etc. If we go that road, more and more software will no longer run on the 680x0 side, but on the emulation side. The CPU on emulation side will usually be much faster, and more software existing, so many tasks will be a temptation for "outsourcing".

On one hand, I see that without a second, non-680x0 CPU, QL style hardware may never get support for some modern peripherals. On the other hand, dealing with that second CPU is relatively boring, not an interesting challenge for me. There are enough PCs, ARM microcontrollers and Raspberries in this world, and there are enough QL emulators. At some point we may need to say: Sorry this can no longer be achieved with a native system, use an emulator. Not sure where that point is.


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Peter
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Re: 68060 based QL system?

Postby Peter » Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:34 pm

Peter wrote:
tofro wrote:I am not aware of any affordable solution of an adapter that will convert the output of a "pure" usb HID (fancy name to name a keyboard or mouse) to PS/2.

I also saw nothing below $70. The USB issue leads to the question "how much emulation do we want on a native hardware?" The Q40, Q60 and Q68 follow a strict non-emulation philosphy. I only used hardware that has a reasonable chance of software support on the 680x0. (I don't find native USB software achievable with reasonable effort, so I added no USB hardware.)

It is always relatively easy to add a second CPU and let it emulate something, e.g. a simple keyboard/mouse from a USB keyboard/mouse, simple mass storage from USB mass storage, a simple network interface from complex TCP/IP (W)LAN, etc. If we go that road, more and more software will no longer run on the 680x0 side, but on the emulation side. The CPU on emulation side will usually be much faster, and more software existing, so many tasks will be a temptation for "outsourcing".

On one hand, I see that without a second, non-680x0 CPU, QL style hardware may never get support for some modern peripherals. On the other hand, dealing with that second CPU is relatively boring, not an interesting challenge for me. There are enough PCs, ARM microcontrollers and Raspberries in this world, and there are enough QL emulators. At some point we may need to say: Sorry this can no longer be achieved with a native system, use an emulator. Not sure where that point is.

Peter


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Peter
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Re: 68060 based QL system?

Postby Peter » Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:37 am

An intersting announcement regarding 68060 speed on FPGA which I had not seen before:
https://amitopia.com/free-68080-fpga-core-license-by-apollo-team-is-great/

Not that it makes me too optimistic - in the past I never got replies when I emailed the "Apollo team". But if someone succeeds in running QL software (e.g. under Amiga-QDOS or QDOS Classic) on an Amiga with corresponding Vampire card, it may be worth a closer look.


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vezhlys
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Re: 68060 based QL system?

Postby vezhlys » Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:07 pm

Is there enough 68060 supply for new system at the reasonable price? I was collecting CPUs for a while and 68060 CPU prices are quite high currently (at least non EC, LC version). It would really be nice to have even just upgraded design, especially if an option to run Linux remains but I am afraid the cost of the system may drive me away in the end. Improving Q68 seems to be more cost effective solution in current circumstances in my opinion (just not sure if it will attract same amount of people as original Q68).


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Pr0f
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Re: 68060 based QL system?

Postby Pr0f » Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:32 pm

There is that question - what part of the QL is it that you want to improve or keep going forward?

Apple have gone through several processors, and a couple of OS's under the hood in their progression.

Is it the QDOS / SMSQ look and feel that's important, or the allegiance to the Motorolla processor family, and doing a lot with small amounts of memory? I was reading a QL today magazine earlier - it had the annoucement for the proposed Ultra Gold Card - SIMM memory and a 68060. and a multio chip - that didn't materialize in the end.

Not sure I would want a 68060 system, I wouldn't be able to build much in the way of expansions for it, and any speed it may offer I would probably look to laptop / PC or linux/android for that functionality.

I don't know what it was about the QL that appealed - and still draws me to it.


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Dave
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Re: 68060 based QL system?

Postby Dave » Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:12 pm

Pr0f wrote:There is that question - what part of the QL is it that you want to improve or keep going forward?


I have agitated for porting to ARM for many years. It wouldn't be trivial, but it would be amazing.

It's just that we would have to leave so much behind.

Nasta's solution: The big step up in performance came with the '040, so have multiple core '040 systems. The '060 didn't add much except higher clocks at disproportionately higher prices.

I, however, maintain that SBASIC on ARM would be lighting fast, and if you detected 68k assembly, just hand it to an emulator and it would still be much faster than a real 68060.


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Re: 68060 based QL system?

Postby pjw » Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:45 pm

I know it sounds fanciful, but if I had a choice, Id wish to live and play in an ecosystem
that did not involve CLAW (Chrome, Linux, Apple, Windows) or any of that creepy shite.
One would have to be able to do some normal "office" type stuff, as well as browse the Web,
and read email. It would be entirely under user control; no Evil Empire in the background
calling the shots. It would be clunky and unsexy enough to keep out the oinks and the
crooks, but clever enough to attract just the right amount of smart people needed to develop
the system ever onward. And yes, it should be widely "connectable" so the hardware guys
would have something to play with too :)


Per
For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.
- H. L. Mencken
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Peter
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Re: 68060 based QL system?

Postby Peter » Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:21 pm

vezhlys wrote:Is there enough 68060 supply for new system at the reasonable price?

The 68060 It is an obsolete chip, and it is usually expensive. There are bargains temporarily, but there is no certainty to get the same price again for a later batch of PCBs.
Pr0f wrote:Not sure I would want a 68060 system, I wouldn't be able to build much in the way of expansions for it, and any speed it may offer I would probably look to laptop / PC or linux/android for that functionality.

This resembles my own concerns about a new "high-performance" 68K hardware. Emulation on PC will be faster anyway.
Therefore I did not design the Q68 for speed. But the funny thing is, once you have a piece of QL hardware, you think of improving it. ;)
Pr0f wrote:I don't know what it was about the QL that appealed - and still draws me to it.

It is hard to tell, also for me. I'm sure of this: Hardware rocks. Emulation under Windows/Linux is a tool, but boring on its own.



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