Gadgets 68030 info = Wrong

Gadgets 68030 info = Wrong

Post by David Sma » Thu, 21 Jun 1990 12:42:45



Howdy. At NAMM this week I saw a copy of a message that (apparently)
went through the net while my UNIX machine was offline, and while I
hadn't logged into the Well. It mentioned all sorts of details about
the Gadgets 68030 board -- how it had an 8350 SCSI controller onboard,
and so forth.

        Someone brought it to me to ask if it was true.

        No, it's not. Nearly everything in the note, except for the
"68030", was flat wrong. It's sure irritating to have people do stuff
like this. For all I know, someone saw the MegaTalk writeup, assumed it
was the 68030 board (hunh?) and SCSI I don't know *where* came from ...

        While I've got a working 68030 in the Mega-4 downstairs, it's a
major-league prototype, with the things you assume in a proto -- plug in
adaptor cards, wire-wrap wire running everywhere, and so forth. Spectre is
not yet completely up on the 68030; peripherals still need to be taught
about the higher speed and about caching. (As of today, for instance, the
Spectre can boot and run fine (real quick, too) on the 030, but floppies are
still down, and sound is horrid...) In other words, it's midway through
development, and just not done. To put this in perspective, I imagine about
a case of Diet Pepsi will be enough for Doug to wrap up the 030 part of
Spectre
and put it to bed.

        The 030 has been tested quite a bit, because we have to find out
where the performance bottlenecks are. Both on GEnie and on USENET, there have
been discussions of just this re: the Amiga at 16/25 Mhz. What it boils down
to, if I understand right, is that inexpensive SIMM D-RAM at this point in
time isn't capable of sustaining the 68030 without heavy duty waitstates
above, roughly, 18-20 Mhz.

        Currently the board is clocked at 16 Mhz. (Note word "currently".)

        One problem with posting info to the net is that it tends to be
taken as How The Product Will Be Forever, spread to 18 million user group
newsletters, and so forth -- not as Today's Prototype To Fix A Bug, like
it was meant. But the info in that last spec sheet was so far wrong that
I felt I should let you know before anyone took it as gospel.

        I'd love to find out who made it up.

        We've been doing all the typical, dull, un news-worthy revisions and
revisions and revisions of boards, they all take awhile, sometimes there's
film setup problems, the board shop messes up, and so forth and so on.
It isn't as exciting as rumours, but it's the truth. I hope to get the next
cut of 030 boards (there's like 10 in a run for sample-testing) this week.
Then we can find out if we've addressed the speed issues right and fixed some
other minor snags, none of which are worthy of comment.

        Anywho, that's how it's going, nice and steady.

        I suppose it could happen that we'll find out that the parts just
cost too much, or it's too much drain on the power supply, or it throws
X-rays at you and kills the user, and have to drop the project. But my
feeling is that we wouldn't be spending so much time and money on this if
it wasn't going to pan out ultimately.

        You can ask questions about it, but look, I may not be able to answer
them, because a) the answer could be wrong next week, b) I might want to
save a surprise or two for the rollout, c) it might be an option we haven't
considered yet, or d) it might be something we don't know -- say, a
performance question on a configuration we have not tested.

        Take 'er easy.

        -- thanks, Dave / Gadgets by Small, Ink.

 
 
 

1. Mega STE & Gadgets by Small 68030 SST

Hi All,

        Does the Mega STE work with Dave Smalls 68030 SST Board ???

        If so, When using the 68000 for compatibility mode, can you still
        switch between 8 and 16MHz operation ????

        Alan Hourihane


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