[Coco] A faster "Real" CoCo Re: General Memory Question about speed

Dave R in Illinois lazyhand at sbcglobal.net
Wed Jan 16 18:15:49 EST 2008


-----Original Message-----


> Would this project be based around this? 


> http://members.optushome.com.au/jekent/FPGA.htm 




> Being a CoCo enthusiast I would like to help this project in any way 

> possible. By no means am I a good programmer, but I can help possibly 

> with the hardware aspect of this project. Please let me know how I can 

> become involved in this project. I notice you said " the fest" this 

> spring, I happen to live local to where it is to be held, and will 

> most definitely be attending. 




> Dave 





>I think this is the link I meant to give, at least it's the idea that's 
>feeding my imagination here. :) 


Yes one could be based on that. There are several hurdles to overcome in 
doing so. One would be do we base it on a given FPGA development board 
or go for a dedicated board something like the C-One. A develiopemnt 
board will be in the $150 to $250 range. A dedicated board fully populated 
will be in the $250 to $350 range. All costs for a dedicated board is purely

speculative as it depends on how many one can sell. 

Still the cheapest way to a faster Coco is through emulation on a PC. It 
though is not without its disadvantages. A dedicated board will require the 
efforts of more than one person if a reasonable time frame is to be met. 




After thinking about this last night, I think it would be best we lean
"away" from the development boards, and perhaps scale it back some to lower
parts total/cost. If a simple schematic is made, I can create a pcb or
something else useful for the project.  I have made quite a few pcb's in the
past with great success. I also have local PCB fabricating companies less
then 3 minutes away from home!


I guess the first thing to do would be to hammer out a list of goals here,
then try to accomplish one by one. Sticking to a layout similar to a CoCo 3
would most likely be best in the long run. I was thinking perhaps a CoCo 2 /
3 hybrid. With both a dedicated VDG from the coco2 and the GIME from the
Coco3, with a simple hw based switch. IMHO this makes the most sense, if we
are to go forward; we should also find a way to be more backwards compatible
in the same respect. I would also like to see some sort of flashable bios.
This shouldn't be too hard to integrate, seeing how there are flash
(although not perfectly pin compatible) 28 pin 27c replacements, such as the
Atmel AT29C256. Adapters are available cheaply though, or we could just
design the pcb with it in mind to begin with. :-)



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