what happened recently
After the first reports from the Alpha testers I prepared a bugfix release to fix the following issues:
The new FPGA binaries are available on the Download Page together with the flashing tool and instructions how to do the flashing.
All participants in the alpha test phase have now received their devices and have started to check the FPGASID functionality. During this phase we will collect all smaller and bigger problems that occur and find appropriate fixes for them. Based on this experience we will be able to release an improved version with all the bug fixes included.The general feedback is very positive so far.
Today I received the first lot of FPGASID_proto1 boards from our manufacturer:
The first lot! As you can see through-hole parts will still have to be mounted manually.
Once everything is built up, flashed and tested, these boards will get shipped to the Alpha-Testers. These poor ones are already waiting for so long now to finally get their test objects...
Before the Christmas holidays I received a first sample of the FPGASID_proto1 boards from our manufacturer. The power-up of this board took quite some time. Maninly caused by a bigger issue with a CMOS-latchup of the output amplifier. But in the end this issue could be solved. After fixing some smaller FPGA bugs the prototype is now up and running. There is no reason why it should not go to the Alpha testers for detailed testing now.
Yesterday I gave the GO to our manufacturer to build up the complete lot of FPGASID_proto1 boards. This will take until mid of February.
The new prototype platform has one main advantage over the old evaluation board based prototype. It does support stereo tunes! FPGASID now incorporates two full SID chips that can be programmed individually. That means 6 voices are available in total, doubling the capabilities of the original SID chip!
A wide support by existing software is assured through a programmable address location of the additional SID.
Here is a short video demonstrating the stereo capability:
This video shows FPGASID playing the stereo SID-tune "Blank Page" by Owen Crowley
It was a tough job to power up the first FPGASID_proto1. But now it is done:Another major milestone has been passed!
Our manufacturer has received the go for PCB assembly now!
Upcoming steps: We expect to get a first sample by mid of December. This will go through a turn-on procedure to check the functionality before the full lot will be assembled.
FPGASID_proto1 PCB as being checked for mechanical compatibility in a C64 main board.
I will write detailed updates more frequently in the German retro-computing Forum 64 for those who can read and understand German.
The alpha test-phase has started with quite some success. Within a few days I found about 15 persons willing to test a FPGASID. Another significant number of people are on a waiting list, still hoping to get one of the leftovers.Thomas is about to finalize the PCB design. A partner for manufacturing has been found. All semiconductor and mechanical parts have been ordered and the last ones arrived from China today.
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