Friday, 19 December 2014

Xmas update

Work is continuing, albeit slowly, on the flash cartridge.

The schematics are all-but-complete, according to my colleague. The SRAM for a pseudo 'bitmap' mode has been included as well. I still need to discard a few debug pins on the design as the FPGA pin count has been exceeded on the CHR board, but otherwise it's all good.

I've created the FPGA design, the NIOS, and the software project for programming the flash. The FatFS module for reading from SD card has been compiled-in and it seems the EP3C16 will be adequate for the task (on-chip RAM being the critical resource). The prototypes will be loaded with the EP3C40 in any case.

Layout schedule will depend on the availability and the motivation of my colleague. Assuming he gets bored over the break, we might have something ready for review in January!

In the mean-time, I've acquired a 'sacrificial' (faulty palette but otherwise fully operational) AES console which turned out to be a bit of a Frankenstein. The case is for a 5V model but the motherboard is clearly a 10V design. But I have confirmed it powers up and runs a game.

I also acquired Metal Slug 3 for the MVS, which means I now have episodes 1-3, and I'm eyeing off 4 for a decent price on eBay right now. Of course this is for The Project, and not for playing (or for the sake of collecting). Right!


  1. Great to see you are still working on this :D. I havent made many comments but allways checking ;). Wich software are you working in (CAD)? Wich FPGAs are you currently planning to use? (I know you wrote about some units in the beginning of the project but it has changed som during its course). Any protos / photos of the flashcart or some specs for us to see? :D

  2. Using Altium Designer for the PCB, and the FPGA is mentioned in this post.

    When the layout is done I'll post a pic of the 3D rendering! Next post - when there's something interesting to report, I'll detail some of the specs.

  3. Aha I see! Oh, I saw the EP3C40 but I thought you meant that the prototype PCB would have that one, (and then I assumed that the Final could have another?)
    But I realise I might missread that..

    Anyway, any particular reason for choosing the cyclone III when VI and V are availible?

    Looking forward to see some 3D rendering!! :D
    Keep up the great work!

    1. man just got an dejavu.. I asked the same thing when you had the Cyclon V as the choosen one in 2013.. sorry, didnt remember. But Cyclone III might be the cheaper alternative ofcourse. And then again they are for 2 different projects som that pretty much answers my own question i guess.. BUT If price for the flashcart is not the reasen, then please let me know if there were any specific reason for the III ;)