1 (edited by WoS 2014-01-13 00:10:28)

Topic: Technical (project) overview for the FPGA-DIL board

This board is designed to exactly replace higher-complexity digital (custom) ICs in an (up to) 42pin DIL package, mainly in the arcade/coin-op domain.

The active device is an Xilinx Spartan II FPGA. It is available with 15k, 30k, 50k or 100kGates, it provides on-chip memory, it is directly 5V tolerant and has also some LEDs and an oscillator for flexible use and debugging purposes (e.g for logic analyser functions). A standard jTAG adapter allows also in-circuit development and debugging.

In comparison to (a few) other products out there it does not use level shifters on the pins (and thus it has a much better electrical compatibility especially for open-drain configurations) and is very small (it has nearly the footprint of a DIL device).

These devices can be programmed with Xilinx ISE (up to v10.1) tools. Verilog and VHDL can be used for development.
A manual/datasheet is available as well: http://pin4.at/download.php?file=FDIL42_v2_manual.pdf
Some examples are there: http://pin4.at/pro_misc.php#fdil

To get one of this boards, please contact Wolfgang or Mike for further information. We currently set them up manually and order only very small quantities, thus the price of a board is 50 Euro plus shipping. In case interest increases and volume rises, it could get down in price.

This replacement projects are available (copyright owners in brackets):
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  Namco 50xx (Wolfgang, WIP)
  Namco 51xx (Wolfgang)
  Namco 52xx (Wolfgang)
  Namco 53xx (Wolfgang)
  Namco 54xx (Wolfgang, WIP)
  Namco 62xx (Wolfgang, WIP)
---------------------------------------------------
  Konami 1 (Arnim)
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  Motorola 6802/8 uP + tracer HW (Wolfgang, WIP)
  Fujitsu mb8840 series uC (Wolfgang, WIP)
  Fujitsu mb8850 series uC (Wolfgang, WIP)
  CBM CIA 6526 (Wolfgang, WIP)
  Customer specific development (Mike)
---------------------------------------------------

Please contact me or reply here if you know further projects not on this list.

/WoS

Re: Technical (project) overview for the FPGA-DIL board

I have a few projects in mine - one immediate!  I will contact you via email.

Re: Technical (project) overview for the FPGA-DIL board

oh pants, I had better finish building some more then.

Re: Technical (project) overview for the FPGA-DIL board

Hello Wolfgang( one of my all time favorite names ever!)

Mike linked me to this thread. I would like to know if we can take the Address, Data and I/O chips from the Astrocade
hardware( which is BTW both the same in the arcade and the HVGS home system) and pop these on similar devices.

I would really think that the Spartan family is over kill as these chips are not that hi density.

Perhaps I can work along you folks and fix a few things I noticed in the Astrocade code ( if there is a need to fix them at all)
and possibly fit these on much smaller chips and possibly bringing down the price of these as well?

There are a lot of non-functional Astrocade arcade boards as well as home systems that are collecting dust only
because these chips are no longer available.

Let me know what I need to do and what you need to help get this going if you are interested.

I have an Astrocade system update I am currently working on....IE a 50mhz Astrocade System
which will fit right inside an original Astrocade Console. If all goes according to plan, this new
system will run all original software and add many new powerful features. This however may not
require FPGA but I thought I mention it. smile

Re: Technical (project) overview for the FPGA-DIL board

Hi, I don't really know what these custom chips do and I don't own an Astrocade to check myself. Just had a quick look to some schematics and I think you are probably right.

The FDIL will fit for sure, it can handle much more complex stuff. But as Mike said, it is quite expensive, I can't say if it is worth going this way.

But it would need a closer look to check thoroughly, best to do an initial implementation and test synthesis to check out the required gate count.

I'd guess it could need a bit larger CPLD which also has more I/O. But these larger CPLD do not fit neither on the existing FPGA nor on the existing CPLD boards - a new PCB development would be required, too.

Btw, I don't have any assembled FDIL boards left for now, would need to set up fresh ones - maybe Mike still has some left.

We also had some thoughts to go to newer FPGA types, but these do not support 5V directly. So the BOM is reduced for these parts, but new parts like level shifters have to be added and making the layout even more complex. There are such boards on the market already, these can cope with even larger complexity (x2 to x5) at the same price. But as you said, these chips weren't that complex that this is really required...

So your approach to replace the whole board sounds to be the more useful and flexible one.

/WoS

Re: Technical (project) overview for the FPGA-DIL board

The astrocade chips are a pain as they have an analogue element as well as digital. two customs also produce sound. The video chip kicks out a rather weird variation on component video, one chip handles analogue inputs (although I don't think any of the arcade games use them) plus you have the SC01 speech chip.

each custom chip replacement would basically need it's own board with discrete components to implement the analogue feature, which would put the cost up to the point where it's probably easier (and cheaper) to replace the entire board with a replay (or custom board) and it is something I'd also started looking at.

I have some working Gorf sets here, so along with the astrocade code hope to create something suitable (multigame anyone ....?)

as a sideline, I did quite a lot of the work on the Mame driver for Gorf, Wizard of Wor, Space Zap, Robby Roto etc.

7 (edited by Gorf 2016-08-22 16:54:53)

Re: Technical (project) overview for the FPGA-DIL board

Macro wrote:

The astrocade chips are a pain as they have an analogue element as well as digital. two customs also produce sound. The video chip kicks out a rather weird variation on component video, one chip handles analogue inputs (although I don't think any of the arcade games use them) plus you have the SC01 speech chip.

each custom chip replacement would basically need it's own board with discrete components to implement the analogue feature, which would put the cost up to the point where it's probably easier (and cheaper) to replace the entire board with a replay (or custom board) and it is something I'd also started looking at.

I have some working Gorf sets here, so along with the astrocade code hope to create something suitable (multigame anyone ....?)

as a sideline, I did quite a lot of the work on the Mame driver for Gorf, Wizard of Wor, Space Zap, Robby Roto etc.

Hi Macro,

I think a small 8 channel A/D chip would go a long way to help. I wrote the 1st code for MAME...to be more accurate,
I was writing a stand alone that I gave to someone to add into MAME. It would be nice if they gave me a little credit
for that....they did originally but over time forgot about me.  sad Oh well. smile

I know a lot of you folks really advanced the original code I supplied for the astrocade MAME emulator originally. I was
aimed at the home system when I gave the code to whomever it was...had to be a dozen or more years ago. Frank I think his name was. Someone added the pattern board emu-code and I have not been part of that for well over a decade now. I would really like to see someone properly emulate the sparkle circuit that does things like the shields in Gorf. I am still not 100% on how they do the backdrop star field, but I remember Bob Ogden telling me that is was a separate circuit.

Please keep me posted and I will help you where I can. Neither VHDL nor Verilog is something I have much experience with. I bought a Spartan 3E dev board years back and never really got my head around it. Too many years doing sequential code did not help with the fact that VHDL and Verilog are parallel. I am also electronically savvy to a point so I thought I would be a natural at it. Unfortunately, there are tutorials that approach it from an overly technical point of view and do not really consider us novices. I do however understand the astrocade hardware mostly from a software POV pretty well.

I'd love to see what you have in mind and how your progress is going. I know the Astrocade code Mike J did eliminates some important things like the four RAS lines needed to properly address the system RAM to use it in an authentic circuit so that would also have to be dealt with.

I think a MB replacement for the home system would be smashing idea. One that would also consider the other 3 banks or RAM so that hi-rez games could be done....perhaps add the pattern board circuit with the sparkle and backdrop star circuits. A truly and fully arcade compatible that can use all the old game carts as well.

Steve

Re: Technical (project) overview for the FPGA-DIL board

Subscribing to this thread just in case anything comes of an FPGA replacement for the two Bally customs.

I have 2 dead Gorf (U15 on the CPU board is bad on both) that I plan on investigating at some point.

My working theory/hope is that the video processing part of the IC seems to work. Both produce full stable color but the data pathways seem to be dead. I'll know more when I get around to benching the boards.

Re: Technical (project) overview for the FPGA-DIL board

Hey gamefixer...the old customs were definitely not the most stable chips...lotsa heat and all. Would like to see these done CLPD or small FPGA module with some other stuff. I do realize the issue with the analog parts but a few small chips could deal with that I bet. Maybe a pic or some other processor like that to emulate them could be useful.

Re: Technical (project) overview for the FPGA-DIL board

Hey all, any chance this could be made to support Namco custom 27? I've a Pacland PCB with a custom 27 that has died. It's a 42 pin DIL package and converts the clock signal into many other clock signals including HSYNC, VSYNC, VBLANK etc. Is it possible?

Re: Technical (project) overview for the FPGA-DIL board

The module could do it, but I haven't written the code for that one.
Looking at the schematic, it looks like it's just the h/v counters, simple.

I could have a guess at it, or you could lend me your board to test it.