Archives of Genesis8 Amstrad Page from 1999 to 2018 about hardware
The engineering miracle of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum
From time to time, an article not about Amstrad computers, well till 1986 when Amstrad bought the computer part of Sinclair Research.
OSNews mentions an interesting article about the making of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, its colour clash and graphics engines like Nirvana+ which allow nice games without this colour clash like Gandalf released in 2018 (see the video below).
An ergonomic keyboard ErgoDox with an Amstrad CPC 464 theme
A possible portable Amstrad CPC with an Odroid GO ?
The Odroid GO is a portable video game console with a LCD screen (320 x 240), battery, direction pad and 6 buttons (easy to build). It uses the ESP32 SOC microcontroller. The builtin firmware emulates old consoles (GB, GBC, NES, SNES, SMS, GameGear and Colecovision). More interesting, it can emulate a ZX Spectrum, MSX both using a Z80. So of course, it could lead to a possible Amstrad CPC firmware.
Everybody know the M4 wifi board by Duke for our Amstrad CPC. The M7-Galaxy board is an extended version of the M4 but intented for the Amstrad GX4000 as the board will interface inside the Z80 socket while le processor is on the board. It features :
disk drive emulation, it emulates the DFC765 chip so all read/write accesses are redirected to a .DSK image like a Gotek or HxC without the need of a FDC chip
RAM expansion, probably 320 Kb + the original 64 Kb
The Zen80 board is similar to the galaxy board, but is used as the M4 board : externally and not internally. It will feature 8MB SDRAM (and MCU with more GPIO's), which would be hard to fit in the internal version without going BGA.
The boards will have an approximative price of 60 euros, there is no preorder at the moment.
Kimo-Hachi, a hand-made MSX, anyone done the same with an Amstrad CPC ?
An interesting information, a japanese engineer built a hand-made MSX computer, not with FPGA but with hard wired general chips, with several main board each one having the role of a fonctionnality of the MSX (one mainboard for video for example).
Doragasu started a project in January 2017 about a ROM board interface with DMA transfert. The project is now a reality :
it can play digital audio with approximately 0% CPU overhead. The limits are the bits per sample ( 8 ) and the maximum sample length (64 KiB). Sampling rate can be configured on the fly, and ranges from 3906 Hz to 50 kHz (and beyond)
it can can transfer data from external ROM to internal CPC RAM at 1 byte per microsecond. While doing DMA the Z80 is stopped, but this is much faster than doing the copy using software routines