V500 V2+ Are we there yet?
Date: Monday, November 21 2016 @ 17:22:30 UTC
Topic: Amiga FPGA accelerator
Again, have no idea how many times I have redesigned Vampire 500, now I m done. Am I happy with latest design, well NO. Don't get me wrong design is nearly perfect, that nearly is what's bothering me. What I could do better, let's say lot of things but let's face it I ll be rude once more and say that this is best accelerator that is done so far for Amiga 500. What I wanted is to leave SDRAM as something we use and go for Mobile DDR. That design is done last year but never released, again have no idea why. To tell you the truth I didn't know what I was doing in last 3 years with Vampire 500 design. It was never clear to me what to do. Should I leave SDRAM, add Ethernet or WiFI, build card who don't connects directly on top of old CPU, use different FPGA. In fact, as we progressed with the apollo-core I have realized that my oldest design was good enough for the job. Hey, more than 100MIPS rock solid accelerator and I was thinking about what could be done better. For about one year I had bunch of Vampire 500 PCB laying around, not thinking at all that someone will be interested in those cards. As you know my pre-order lists for other accelerators were smal,l then interest from the community started to rise at the huge rate so I got scared asking myself only one question. If there is so much interest for V600 V2 what will happen to the version for Amiga 500. Constantly I was receiving lot of mails where people asked me about other models and that was definite prove that demand will be huge. Since I said that I won't run pre-orders anymore all will be handled much differently. When I solder enough cards I ll run one batch, send it to the people then run another. Waiting time will be reduced and we could cover the market in a fair way and I won't be in heavy pressure like before.
Strange thing is that lot of people lately tried to advice me how to handle stuff. Don't you think that I m capable of ordering 1000 cards pre-assembled in China on my own? Don't you think that I can pay the man who will send them or open a company, hire nice secretary to answer phone calls. Those who knows me, knows well that I m not shy or incapable of talking to the people and doing business. Right word at right place, business. I won't run it, this will remain underground project, one man in the basement doing hand soldering forever. If you could understand the feeling when you create every single card using your hands and bring it to the life. Each one is special, each one is connected to me, no matter where is it now in the world. It is piece of me forever. Each one have it's own story. For each one I burned my finger at different place. I would lost that feeling if I build them any other way. Simply it won't be the same for me. As you know all huge project were born in basements created by stubborn persons. Me and my Pick and Place machine working as one last few days, cards looks better than ever and everyone will get them in awesome package. When? Keep watching at amibay!
Vampire 500 V2+ differences over V2 version:
1. Rework on internal layers that will probably enable higher clocks.
2. Modification on headers <->DIL to support much better connectors who will ensure stable connection to the Amiga motherboard
3. Tiny improvements on video-out again regarding internal layers
4. I/O expansion header with support for WiFi module(AP, client mode) (WiFi module drivers not developed yet, but in future maybe they will be:))
5. Logo update
Vampire 500 V2+ is 100% compatible with Vampire 500 V2 version.
More pictures in Read More, Pictures, Files... section of this article.