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F18A MK2


matthew180
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14 hours ago, matthew180 said:

To that end, for the MK2, I have started working on porting my HDL to a different FPGA (Efenix Trion FPGAs) which are currently available and cost a lot less (at least half of the cost of the Spartan-6).  This is a large effort because, unfortunately, my HDL did not "just work" during my first attempts to get it ported to the Trion.

 

 

That's the same FPGA the guy working on the VIC-II Kawari (basically the C64 equivalent of the F18A) has chosen to migrate to. Perhaps there's some learnings to take from his porting process?

Edited by TheMole
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On 12/19/2022 at 2:41 PM, matthew180 said:

@JasonE See my last post on pg. 34 of this thread (can't specify the number of the post any more).  I'm working on a mitigation since the MK2 is suffering heavy setbacks due to FPGA availability and probably having to change to a completely new FPGA.

 

Thanks!  Hope to see them available soon.

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On 12/4/2022 at 1:18 PM, matthew180 said:

Spartan-6 FPGAs are still unobtanium.  Xilinx published a letter to their customers (whoever they are) that outlined their product availability over the next year, plus cost changes.  The MK2 uses the Spartan-6 FPGA, and the status is that the current conditions (i.e. unavailable to mere mortals) for the Spartan-6 will continue through 2023.  To add insult to injury, the cost of the Spartan-6 is going UP by 25%.

 

It seems Xilinx is really trying to kill their lower-end FPGA lines and squeeze people out of their older FPGAs, and I think they might be successful here.  I don't want to wait for them, and I'm sure no one else does either, then have to pay 25% more for a part that is already the most expensive on the board.

 

To that end, for the MK2, I have started working on porting my HDL to a different FPGA (Efenix Trion FPGAs) which are currently available and cost a lot less (at least half of the cost of the Spartan-6).  This is a large effort because, unfortunately, my HDL did not "just work" during my first attempts to get it ported to the Trion.  This thwarts my "fast track" idea to getting the MK2 out the door, with updates later to enabled more features.  It seems I have to do all the work now.

 

However, to also try and ease the situation of there not being any F18As out there, I'm working on trying to get a bulk run of an updated F18A board (I'm back-naming it the "MK1").  However, just like people making the original F18A in small batches, we are all struggling to find even the older Spartan-3E FPGA that the F18A uses.  If I can secure enough non-counterfeit parts, I hope to have some MK1 boards available in... depends.  Late January at the earliest I suspect.  I'll make a new thread when I feel the board is ready for a proper announcement, I really don't like to talk about hardware before it is ready (like the mistake I made with the MK2).

 

...

 

New here but been lurking and reading for awhile.  Would be interested in an F18A "MK1" for my 99/4A.  Maybe move it to the Colecovision later on when the MK2 comes out, understanding the pin height difference.  Are you doing any kind of pre order or do we just need to keep an eye out for a new thread?  I have your website bookmarked as well.

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1 minute ago, iiwii said:

 

New here but been lurking and reading for awhile.  Would be interested in an F18A "MK1" for my 99/4A.  Maybe move it to the Colecovision later on when the MK2 comes out, understanding the pin height difference.  Are you doing any kind of pre order or do we just need to keep an eye out for a new thread?  I have your website bookmarked as well.

 

 

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3 hours ago, iiwii said:

 

New here but been lurking and reading for awhile.  Would be interested in an F18A "MK1" for my 99/4A.  Maybe move it to the Colecovision later on when the MK2 comes out, understanding the pin height difference.  Are you doing any kind of pre order or do we just need to keep an eye out for a new thread?  I have your website bookmarked as well.

I'll have them in my store when they are ready.  (mk1 and mk2)  the original design f18a are in my store sporadically AND shift838 is making a batch.. 

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11 hours ago, arcadeshopper said:

I'll have them in my store when they are ready.  (mk1 and mk2)  the original design f18a are in my store sporadically AND shift838 is making a batch.. 

Thanks for the reply.  I've got your store bookmarked.  Looks like a good source.  I'm doing the preorder with shift838 for the F18A. 

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