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 Post subject: Any Minimig hacker got time to review a Copper modification?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:32 pm 
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So as WoW is in a lull before the next pvp season I have found inspiration and time to look at my Blipper idea again, and at the current progress rate I hope to have something done by the end of the week. (Hope is eternal?)

I am looking for someone with more Verilog experience than me who is willing to take a look at the code to see if it makes sense, and if there are common parts that can be moved around so they don't pop up over and over.

I guess I have invoked both Murphy and Sod by prematurely opening my mouth...


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 Post subject: Re: Any Minimig hacker got time to review a Copper modificat
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:37 am 
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Famous last words.

The learning curve became a lot steeper as I realized how the same variable can only be assigned in a single always statement. (Took a while to figure out what the compiler was complaining about.)

That is one of nature's ways of telling you to go to bed I suppose...


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 Post subject: Re: Any Minimig hacker got time to review a Copper modificat
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:53 am 
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Hi NorthWay,

can you describe what kind of modifications you have in mind? And, what is a blipper? Thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: Any Minimig hacker got time to review a Copper modificat
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 11:28 am 
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Blipper is basically a list processor like the copper, but driven by the blitter being busy/idle and the CPU feeding it new lists.
I'm trying to graft it on to the current copper.
So far I have added 4 new registers for it
COP3LCH - address high word
COP3LCL - address low word
COP3CNT - control register (stop /restart)
COP3VAL - user value from blipper list (it could just as well have been the current address pointer)(but this is a read register which doesn't fit without changes - need to see what can be done)

I have a state set of {BHOLD, BFETCH1, BFETCH2, BBUSY}.
The list values are basically a copperlist (I haven't added any filtering to disallow non-blitter registers), and if the register field has the low bit set then it halts the processing (and the upper 15 bits can be read from COP3VAL). Writing COP3LCL starts the processing. The blitter going busy halts it.
The logic runs in the copper states that do not access memory (wait and skip). It isn't directly elegant at the moment.

I could upload my non-working attempt, but I see none here in the forum, and I can't find the instructions for doing it to my ISP's homepage.


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 Post subject: Re: Any Minimig hacker got time to review a Copper modificat
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 5:15 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:58 pm
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Location: .de
At the moment I am a bit puzzled... ;)
What will be the purpose of this new Blipper?
Is special software planed to use it?

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 Post subject: Re: Any Minimig hacker got time to review a Copper modificat
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:57 pm 
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boing4000 wrote:
What will be the purpose of this new Blipper?

It is an intellectual exercise mostly.
However, all Next-Gen chip designs have discussed adding something like it. AAA called it copper interrupts.

I thought it is a more or less fundamental design mistake in the original chipset how the copper handles the blitter. Adding the functionality is IMO well withing the scope of the original design, so I'd like to add it as a proof of concept. If it works then people can take an amused look at it, and start thinking about how it might be used when they get to work on a real Next-Gen design.

I'll write a very small demo using this when/if I get it fixed to show it working.


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 Post subject: Re: Any Minimig hacker got time to review a Copper modificat
PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:35 pm 
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NorthWay wrote:
I could upload my non-working attempt, but I see none here in the forum, and I can't find the instructions for doing it to my ISP's homepage.

Got the transfer to work from home. This is my "idea complete", but FUBAR and totally borked Verilog-vise try at adding a blipper: http://home.online.no/~bnost/Copper.v

I'll play some more WoW and let it simmer at the back of my head before I try to fix it.


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 Post subject: Re: Any Minimig hacker got time to review a Copper modificat
PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 4:30 am 
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NorthWay wrote:
This is my "idea complete", but FUBAR and totally borked Verilog-vise try at adding a blipper: http://home.online.no/~bnost/Copper.v

Replaced it with something that Quartus will at least not barf on.

It is UGLY. There is a heap of repeated code, suggesting there should be some better way of doing it.


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 Post subject: Re: Any Minimig hacker got time to review a Copper modificat
PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:19 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:32 pm
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Hi NorthWay,

What do you expect from someone to do? Kind of your code review or help in finding a bug? Thx.


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 Post subject: Re: Any Minimig hacker got time to review a Copper modificat
PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 2:05 am 
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madeho wrote:
Hi NorthWay,

What do you expect from someone to do? Kind of your code review or help in finding a bug? Thx.

Finding bugs would be lovely, but a look at if it is workable at all or if it needs to be restructured (I get some rather stern warnings from Quartus about the parts I added - kinda like not all possible paths set values?).
It got rather much bigger, so if there is some obvious way of collapsing some of the parts that would help.

(I have been pondering at splitting the common flags with the copper part and have just one new section hopefully, or change Agnus.v too to have a Blipper.v module that is called after the Copper and before the blitter in priority.)


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