Solution for higher resolutions on STE?

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oehansen
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Re: Solution for higher resolutions on STE?

Postby oehansen » Sat May 27, 2017 11:28 pm

I can't understand why anyone would want a memory mapped graphics engine, where the CPU is used to draw the bloody graphics. In the case of a 68k it certainly doesn't make a heap of sense, really.

A GPU, or a Graphics Processing Unit, is most certainly the way to go ... and of course something that takes ALL graphics away form the CPU ... and basically puts the entire AES into a GPU, so that the CPU doesn't have to do jag shet, except tell some graphics engine to "draw" and "fill", basically speaking. Drawing text, should be the same thing ...

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Re: Solution for higher resolutions on STE?

Postby IngoQ » Sun May 28, 2017 9:39 am

I'd say both is required. Of course you're right, I also believe external GPU and VRAM will be the way to go. Let's not forget that 1024x768x8bp equals 768k RAM. Double for high colour, tripple for true colour.

But if you want backwards compatibility as well, and be it only not to swap displays all the time, you would need to emulate standard graphics as well. And that requires RAM access.

Or maybe you could grab the original RGB signal and route it through the new graphics solution, when in "original mode". When this involves line doubling it also could lead to not needing multiple displays (or converters) as well.
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Re: Solution for higher resolutions on STE?

Postby joska » Sun May 28, 2017 11:37 am

oehansen wrote:I can't understand why anyone would want a memory mapped graphics engine, where the CPU is used to draw the bloody graphics. In the case of a 68k it certainly doesn't make a heap of sense, really.


If you want to use existing software then it does make any sense to NOT used a memory mapped graphics engine. Yes, you can of course use a GPU. I have done so since 1997. But you can't use a GPU alone. Only applications that use nothing but VDI and AES calls will work, and that puts a lot of limitations on what the software can do. Even what appears to be clean GEM applications use sorcery and voodoo behind the scenes to be able to use non-palette bitmaps, because the VDI does not have the necessary features.

Realistically speaking all new hardware will have to be able to work with 20 year old software. Because no-one will create replacements for that software.
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Re: Solution for higher resolutions on STE?

Postby iggydrougge » Sun Jun 18, 2017 2:57 am

Shockwav3 wrote:Then it's not secured properly but instead handled carefully ;)

Depends on the socket. I can literally lift my A600 by the socket of its Furia 020 accelerator card.

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Re: Solution for higher resolutions on STE?

Postby ctirad » Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:35 am

penguin wrote:It was done commercially with the ODIN graphics card which was an external solution and didn't require a Mega or VME bus: http://stcarchiv.de/stm1992/06/odin


Ah, a ROM port solution. I have such an idea ony my mind for many years. A simple, cheap (a small FPGA + SRAM based) plug&play solution that would work on every Atari from the very first 260ST to the TT and F030. Even the driver could be loaded directly from the device at boot.
However, the hard part would be to create a clever way how to transfer data to ROM port as fast as possible and also to address a suitable amount of videoram (1MB at least) and, of course, to make the driver (probably fVDI based, becuase it is opensource).

OR, we could take ROM port only as a base and pass missing lines (reset of the address signals, R/W, etc..) from the inside of the computer to the ROM device via a ribbon cable to make a complete 68k BUS.
Or both ;)

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Re: Solution for higher resolutions on STE?

Postby penguin » Sun Jun 18, 2017 7:57 pm

ctirad wrote:
penguin wrote:It was done commercially with the ODIN graphics card which was an external solution and didn't require a Mega or VME bus: http://stcarchiv.de/stm1992/06/odin


Ah, a ROM port solution. I have such an idea ony my mind for many years. A simple, cheap (a small FPGA + SRAM based) plug&play solution that would work on every Atari from the very first 260ST to the TT and F030. Even the driver could be loaded directly from the device at boot.
However, the hard part would be to create a clever way how to transfer data to ROM port as fast as possible and also to address a suitable amount of videoram (1MB at least) and, of course, to make the driver (probably fVDI based, becuase it is opensource).
Or both ;)


ODIN didn't connect to the ROM port - it connected to the ST monitor port and the VGA monitor. I don't know whether later driver versions improved performance/compatibility.

Would it be possible to replace the Shifter with a FPGA with additional features?
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Re: Solution for higher resolutions on STE?

Postby Greenious » Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:27 pm

penguin wrote:Would it be possible to replace the Shifter with a FPGA with additional features?


Everything is possible... But the real question is, is it a realistic solution?

The answer would be no. There's all sorts of problems replacing the shifter, limited memory bandwidth is one of the bigger obstacles, and adding secondary videomemory would make the finished build require more work and soldering than just about anything else you can think of.

The most viable solution imho would be an alt-ram board, such as the MonSTer, using an FPGA to interface the fastram for the CPU, and using the same FPGA to house a SuperVidel or similar solution, the ram would double as video/fastram.

Another solution would be using the cartridge port, upside would be easy installation. With bankswitching and other tricks you should be able to achieve decent resolutions. Downside would be the speed, without internal modifications you would not be able to benefit from accelerators etc,
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Re: Solution for higher resolutions on STE?

Postby Greenious » Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:36 pm

penguin wrote:ODIN didn't connect to the ROM port - it connected to the ST monitor port and the VGA monitor. I don't know whether later driver versions improved performance/compatibility.


ODIN looks like yet another ISA-port adapter using an ISA graphics card.

Since the picture only shows the topside of the ISA adapter with the graphics card stuck in, I can only speculate how it was connected.

But judging from the "tilt" and that it is supposedly STE only, my guess is that it plugged into the CPU socket. Purely speculation though.

Sorry, external solution for all STs... read to fast. No, I can guarantee you it was not only connected to the monitor port. Likely the cartridge port aswell, if not the cpusocket inside via ribbon cable.
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Re: Solution for higher resolutions on STE?

Postby czietz » Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:56 pm

Greenious wrote:ODIN looks like yet another ISA-port adapter using an ISA graphics card.


The picture in the article above is wrong. What's shown there by error is the ReSolution graphic card, compare with this photo: http://stcarchiv.de/stm1992/06/resolution

This is Odin: http://www.maedicke.de/atari/galerie/di ... ngraka.htm. Or this: http://www.stcarchiv.de/tos1991/10/atari-messe

Greenious wrote:No, I can guarantee you it was not only connected to the monitor port. Likely the cartridge port aswell, if not the cpusocket inside via ribbon cable.


... and from the (correct) picture you can in fact see that it was indeed only connected to the monitor port. It also explains how it is done: One high-res frame was stitched together from up to five frames output via the monitor port. Of course this seriously reduces the update rate of your screen in high-res mode.

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Greenious
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Re: Solution for higher resolutions on STE?

Postby Greenious » Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:10 pm

czietz wrote:... and from the (correct) picture you can in fact see that it was indeed only connected to the monitor port. It also explains how it is done: One high-res frame was stitched together from up to five frames output via the monitor port. Of course this seriously reduces the update rate of your screen in high-res mode.


Yes, I can see that now. And tbh, besides a horrible update rate, the screen must have been prone to various constant glitches aswell. It is demanding already to fill a completely fresh screen every vbl as is, and this solution is counting on it for the stitching to work...
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Re: Solution for higher resolutions on STE?

Postby penguin » Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:41 pm

Yes, the photo is wrong. It was actually wrong in the original magazine too – they accidentally used the photo of the ReSolution card twice.
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Re: Solution for higher resolutions on STE?

Postby leech » Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:30 am

"-Frequenz von 31.5 kHz horizontal / 60 bzw. 70 Hz vertikal"

So does that mean the Odin was a scan doubler as well? We really need a modern one.


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