Alpha Phase

The Alpha Phase is fading out...
...there are no devices available for testing in the moment.

This following information is just left here for historical reasons.
Thanks for Your understanding!

As you can read in the Project Details, the preparation for the new prototype is on it's way now. We hope to start production within this year. So the first lot is expected early 2017. Then, after an internal setup and testing phase, it will be possible for a small number of persons to get one of these prototypes. Primarily for testing, but of course also for their personal use.

The features supported by this prototype will be the following:

Full SID Compatibility
  • All registers implemented
  • High quality Audio Filters
  • Exact reproduction of the original 6581 chip sound
Stereo Support
  • Two completely independent SID instances.
  • Register selectable addresses for the second SID.
  • Compatible to existing Stereo SID tunes.

Analog audio input
  • Seldom used but required by some musicians and for special applications.

Paddle support
  • Allows using Paddles or a Mouse with your C64.

JTAG interface for FPGA updates and debugging
  • FPGA developers are encouraged to help with the debugging.

You can become Alpha tester and be one of the first people using an FPGASID!

Ideally you are musician or SID-tune programmer, demo coder etc... . Also "normal" users are welcome to participate. Basically, you should be familiar with the SID chip and it's characteristics.

And you should have the equipment to use a FPGASID. What you need, is a working Commodore computer with a SID socket inside. This can be a C64, a C128, SX64, MAX, C64GS etc. CBM-II machines are currently not supported by FPGASID due to the higher clock rate. Please note that in some rare cases, the SID chip inside your computer is not socketed but directly soldered to the board. In that case you would have to unsolder the SID and put a socket into the board. When you have no experience with such work, please do not do it, because the risk of breaking something is very high.

Apart from the commodore hardware, it would be helpful, if the Alpha-Tester owns a USB-Blaster download cable for Altera devices. This will be required to flash updated FPGA binaries. In case such a cable is not present, I will organize some cables that can be borrowed for the Flash update.

Purpose of the alpha test is to check the compatibility of FPGASID in a broad range of potential applications and hardware platforms. The focus lies on the basic functionality. But of course also smaller bugs should be reported back. Be aware that you will be testing a prototype. The development is not finalized yet and there are still some bugs left to fix. But I will try to keep the hardware platform compatible in a 'final' version. That means that what you will get now, will also be supported by future FPGA binary releases.

And well, yes, the prototype will not be for free. The final calculations are not done yet, but the price will be 'reasonable' compared to a fully equipped Stereo-SID board.