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RayeR(R)

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CZ,
17.09.2013, 14:20
 

86duino OpenHW project with DOS/DJGPP support (Announce)

I'm forwarding this topic from DJGPP google group for those interested about new HW for running DOS on it. This project is extraordinary as fully OpenHW/OpenSource project. So all schematics are available. It uses Coreboot+SeaBIOS as openfirmware and it's targetted as DJGPP with arduino 86 libs dev. platform. It's small board like Arduino but based on Vortex86EX SoC with 256MB RAM and PCI-E x1.
http://www.86duino.com/?page_id=11
It allows to connect external VGA module via mini PCI-E. Otherwise it has terminal emulation over serial port. One version is made as small add-on PCE-E x1 card that behaves like fast (6Mbit) UART in host PC so you can directly talk to it via terminal program. It also implements HD audio and the developer just presented patch to WSS and MPxplay. According to this I updated my WSS package and I also added intel PCH 8x series but cannot test it. The developer told that he was successfull with patched WSS and mpxplay. Unfortunatelly it doesn't contains SB emulation via SMI routine but as it's based on coreboot it could be implemented by volunteers with proper knowledges - more easy than on closed source BIOS PC.
The developer also seeks for solution how to run DJGPP building environment on 64-bit OS PC with easy file share with host system so he probably use Dosbox but there are issues with LFN that probably will require individual patching.
Estimated price of the board would be around 50$ (but depends on sales decision).

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DOS gives me freedom to unlimited HW access.

Zyzzle(R)

17.09.2013, 22:36

@ RayeR

86duino OpenHW project with DOS/DJGPP support

Wonderful! Since it is completely open, it should evolve very nicely into a feature-rich product.

To compete with Raspberry pi, he should include 512 MB DDR3 memory, though.

Also, do you have any idea what the power consumption is?

RayeR(R)

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CZ,
17.09.2013, 23:24

@ Zyzzle

86duino OpenHW project with DOS/DJGPP support

> To compete with Raspberry pi, he should include 512 MB DDR3 memory,
> though.

Do you know any DOS apps that really need 512MB? I think it's OK.

> Also, do you have any idea what the power consumption is?

Hm, I cannot find any real datasheet for Vortex86EX but I guess it would be about ~1W, passive cooled so it could compete RPi but it doesn't contain graphics engine that would probably consume much more (as external card)...

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DOS gives me freedom to unlimited HW access.

Zyzzle(R)

18.09.2013, 23:23

@ RayeR

86duino OpenHW project with DOS/DJGPP support

> Do you know any DOS apps that really need 512MB? I think it's OK.

You can never have enough memory :-) I just think including 512 mb will add very little extra expense and give a lot more breathing room. Archivers like 7zip, uharc, and ACE require large amounts of RAM when using large dictionaries, many games like Hexen 2, Quake, etc can utilize and require lots of RAM. Hey, I'd love to try to get MPLAYER running on it! Any excess can be used a RAMDRIVE, of course. It would sure beat the slow access of a USB memory stick or SD drive. Granted, we're talking about a 300 Mhz CPU, and I agree most if not all DOS programs meant for that class of CPU will not "require" > 64 MB, I remember always being starved for RAM back in the days when such a CPU was very fast.

And I would also think power consumption would be around 1- 2 W, but couldn't find the datasheet either.

Ibidem(R)

06.10.2013, 08:08

@ RayeR

86duino OpenHW project with DOS/DJGPP support

> I'm forwarding this topic from
> DJGPP
> google group for those interested about new HW for running DOS on
> it. This project is extraordinary as fully OpenHW/OpenSource project. So
> all schematics are available. It uses Coreboot+SeaBIOS as openfirmware and
> it's targetted as DJGPP with arduino 86 libs dev. platform. It's small
> board like Arduino but based on Vortex86EX SoC with 256MB RAM and PCI-E x1.
>
> Estimated price of the board would be around 50$ (but depends on sales
> decision).

I'd been thinking that sounded neat, but I just ran across something else vaguely similar:
Intel seems to have just come out with a new line of processors-"Quark".
It's a SOC with a 32-bit "Pentium ISA" cpu (586, not sure if it has mmx), running at 400 MHz (fixed speed), and allegedly at ~ 1/10 the power of an Atom; I see 1.9-2.2 W TDP claimed. 512 kilobytes of onboard SRAM--enough to run DOS without any DIMMs...
Along with the new line, they came out with a new board:
the Galileo, which is Arduino-compatible, but with a Quark SOC.
In total, it's 10/100 ethernet (not sure about chipset; may or may not have packet drivers...), 1x mini-PCIe slot, USB 2 host controller & guest connector, RS232 (3-pin jack), JTAG header, optional microSD, 256 MB RAM, and 8 MB NOR flash for storing bootloader, firmware, and "sketch".
The system is 3.3V, but there's a jumper to allow running 5V shields.
It's supposed to be available for ~$60 at the end of November.
Schematics are available, and it seems like you will be able to replace the firmware; it runs Linux, and can be booted from MicroSD. Not sure how hard getting DOS to run would be.


http://download.intel.com/support/galileo/Galileo_Datasheet_329681.pdf
http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/do-it-yourself/galileo-maker-quark-board.html
http://www.anandtech.com/show/7387/intel-announces...-quark-based-arduino-compatible-developer-board

RayeR(R)

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CZ,
10.10.2013, 22:27

@ Ibidem

86duino OpenHW project with DOS/DJGPP support

> Intel seems to have just come out with a new line of processors-"Quark".
> It's a SOC with a 32-bit "Pentium ISA" cpu (586, not sure if it has mmx),
> running at 400 MHz (fixed speed), and allegedly at ~ 1/10 the power of an
> Atom; I see 1.9-2.2 W TDP claimed. 512 kilobytes of onboard SRAM--enough

Nice to see another competitor for reasonable price. I missed why they called it Pentium ISA when it doesn't have external ISA bus or does it have different meaning? I'm waiting for vortex datasaheet, then we can compare power consumption. I don't like fixed clock idea. I think it shouldn't be hard to add one MSR and some logic to program CPU multiplier or set some clock modulation to let user decide what computing power actually needs. Well if static consumption is very low it can achieve it by halting...
Then compared to vortex it doesn't provide sound and use some closed source firmware. Also I like the idea of vortex making the computer as addon PCI-E card but it lacks shared memory mapped area for framebuffer - only console IO :(

---
DOS gives me freedom to unlimited HW access.

Ibidem(R)

12.10.2013, 07:21

@ RayeR

86duino OpenHW project with DOS/DJGPP support

> > Intel seems to have just come out with a new line of processors-"Quark".
> > It's a SOC with a 32-bit "Pentium ISA" cpu (586, not sure if it has
> mmx),
> > running at 400 MHz (fixed speed), and allegedly at ~ 1/10 the power of
> an
> > Atom; I see 1.9-2.2 W TDP claimed. 512 kilobytes of onboard
> SRAM--enough
>
> Nice to see another competitor for reasonable price. I missed why they
> called it Pentium ISA when it doesn't have external ISA bus or does it have
> different meaning?
Xyz ISA = Instruction Set Architecture
In other words, i586-compatible.

> I'm waiting for vortex datasaheet, then we can compare
> power consumption. I don't like fixed clock idea. I think it shouldn't be
> hard to add one MSR and some logic to program CPU multiplier or set some
> clock modulation to let user decide what computing power actually needs.
> Well if static consumption is very low it can achieve it by halting...

Intel engineers have recently been claiming that full speed, then halt,
is the most power efficient approach on "modern processors".

> Then compared to vortex it doesn't provide sound and use some closed source
> firmware. Also I like the idea of vortex making the computer as addon PCI-E
> card but it lacks shared memory mapped area for framebuffer - only console
> IO :(

There's a lot it doesn't provide. I'm inclined to think that if 86duino could sell for less than $80, it would be more for your money than a $60 Galileo.

RayeR(R)

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CZ,
12.10.2013, 14:37

@ Ibidem

86duino OpenHW project with DOS/DJGPP support

> Xyz ISA = Instruction Set Architecture
> In other words, i586-compatible.

Aha... :)

> Intel engineers have recently been claiming that full speed, then halt,
> is the most power efficient approach on "modern processors".

Why then they prefer speed step and turbo mode over clock modulation used before? Also ARM, VIA and other low power platforms offers some variable clock speed. I think they did it because of simplicity of design.

> There's a lot it doesn't provide. I'm inclined to think that if 86duino
> could sell for less than $80, it would be more for your money than a $60
> Galileo.

Yes I think too. BTW last news is that they managed to compile DJGPP crosscompiler under Cygwin that can run under Win x64 and produce DOS binaries for 86duino.

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DOS gives me freedom to unlimited HW access.

Brian_extended(R)

21.10.2013, 23:16

@ Zyzzle

86duino OpenHW project with DOS/DJGPP support

> > Do you know any DOS apps that really need 512MB? I think it's OK.
>
> You can never have enough memory :-) I just think including 512 mb will
> add very little extra expense and give a lot more breathing room.

I've been working with the Vortex 86DX, found that the Phar Lap 7 VMMDRV works well with it... the board has 256MBytes on it. Boot up "DOS 7.1" from Win98se for a base.

RayeR(R)

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CZ,
22.10.2013, 02:00

@ Brian_extended

86duino OpenHW project with DOS/DJGPP support

> I've been working with the Vortex 86DX, found that the Phar Lap 7 VMMDRV
> works well with it... the board has 256MBytes on it. Boot up "DOS 7.1" from
> Win98se for a base.

We used this Vortex SX mini PC with Debian Linux. I booted MDSOS 6.22 and freedost there too for some experiments.

---
DOS gives me freedom to unlimited HW access.

Oso2k(R)

29.10.2013, 22:03

@ Zyzzle

86duino OpenHW project with DOS/DJGPP support

> Wonderful! Since it is completely open, it should evolve very nicely into a
> feature-rich product.
>
> To compete with Raspberry pi, he should include 512 MB DDR3 memory,
> though.
>
> Also, do you have any idea what the power consumption is?

86duino.com list power consumption at 3.3V at 400mA (1.32W). Should be an excellent candidate for running off AA or AAA.

Oso2k(R)

29.10.2013, 22:17

@ RayeR

86duino OpenHW project with DOS/DJGPP support

> > Intel seems to have just come out with a new line of processors-"Quark".
> > It's a SOC with a 32-bit "Pentium ISA" cpu (586, not sure if it has
> mmx),
> > running at 400 MHz (fixed speed), and allegedly at ~ 1/10 the power of
> an
> > Atom; I see 1.9-2.2 W TDP claimed. 512 kilobytes of onboard
> SRAM--enough
>
> Nice to see another competitor for reasonable price. I missed why they
> called it Pentium ISA when it doesn't have external ISA bus or does it have
> different meaning? I'm waiting for vortex datasheet, then we can compare
> power consumption. I don't like fixed clock idea. I think it shouldn't be
> hard to add one MSR and some logic to program CPU multiplier or set some
> clock modulation to let user decide what computing power actually needs.
> Well if static consumption is very low it can achieve it by halting...
> Then compared to vortex it doesn't provide sound and use some closed source
> firmware. Also I like the idea of vortex making the computer as addon PCI-E
> card but it lacks shared memory mapped area for framebuffer - only console
> IO :(

Like RayeR mentioned, the currently available Intel Galileo/Quark datasheets imply a custom "BIOS"/firmware boot system, similar to the BifferBoards <Info Blog and Project Home> that used RDC x86 CPUs. Last week, Mouser had these Galileo boards for $65 on presale <Mouser Info and Mouse Sale>. Today, they're $70. :/ Their datasheets recommend 5V 3A power but supposedly can run/boot 3.3V at 800mA and 5V at 800mA. Oddly, they list Mac OSX as "Compatible Software" but I assume that means host SW.

RayeR(R)

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CZ,
30.10.2013, 01:49

@ Oso2k

86duino OpenHW project with DOS/DJGPP support

> Like RayeR mentioned, the currently available Intel Galileo/Quark
> datasheets imply a custom "BIOS"/firmware boot system, similar to the
> BifferBoards

BifferBoard was hacked to run Coreboot by Rudolf in 201x :)

---
DOS gives me freedom to unlimited HW access.

RayeR(R)

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CZ,
30.10.2013, 01:51

@ Oso2k

86duino OpenHW project with DOS/DJGPP support

> 86duino.com list power consumption at 3.3V at 400mA (1.32W). Should be an
> excellent candidate for running off AA or AAA.

Let's stop guessing. I was notified about released datasheet. It's detailed and include el. spec. https://github.com/roboard/86Duino/blob/master/pcb/cpu_module_128/datasheet/Vortex86EX_datasheet.pdf

Core Voltage | System clock | Core Frequency | Max Power | Typ Power
1.2V (Nominal)|    25MHz    |    400MHz      |    3 Watt | 2 Watt

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DOS gives me freedom to unlimited HW access.

RoBoardLab(R)

30.10.2013, 16:54

@ RayeR

86duino OpenHW project with DOS/DJGPP support

some recent 86Duino progress for reference:

all source codes (IDE and DJGPP firmware) on GitHub (updated everyday):
https://github.com/roboard/86duino

CPU datasheet & all hardware source on GitHub (finished version):
https://github.com/roboard/86Duino/tree/master/pcb

BIOS source code for Vortex86EX can be found in coreboot:
http://www.coreboot.org/


The compiling system is DJGPP + DOSBOX at the moment, and we are studying to use cross compiler versions of DJGPP (Win32 & Linux versions have been done, but Mac version is work-in-progress.)

some former test videos (programs run on FreeDOS):
BLDC motor control: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7R1DzhoONE
HD Audio: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSnc9dXav50
RC servo motor: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJzuHwIVeAs
MIT Processing integration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nklrZVRFFw

:-)

RayeR(R)

Homepage

CZ,
30.10.2013, 19:03

@ RoBoardLab

86duino OpenHW project with DOS/DJGPP support

> some recent 86Duino progress for reference:
Thanks for posting this links. BTW any info when the boards will be available to buy?

---
DOS gives me freedom to unlimited HW access.

RoBoardLab(R)

31.10.2013, 16:40

@ RayeR

86duino OpenHW project with DOS/DJGPP support

> Thanks for posting this links. BTW any info when the boards will be
> available to buy?

The website http://www.86duino.com/ will update availability information if they are ready.
:-)

Oso2k(R)

31.10.2013, 21:55

@ RoBoardLab

86duino OpenHW project with DOS/DJGPP support

Unofficially, I've been told the November/December time frame. Exciting. I got a few Raspberry Pi Model B's (2x256MB and 2x512MB) for sale. :D

RayeR(R)

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CZ,
01.11.2013, 01:26

@ Oso2k

86duino OpenHW project with DOS/DJGPP support

> Unofficially, I've been told the November/December time frame.

Would be a nice xmass present :hungry:

---
DOS gives me freedom to unlimited HW access.

Zyzzle(R)

01.11.2013, 02:48

@ Oso2k

86duino OpenHW project with DOS/DJGPP support

> Unofficially, I've been told the November/December time frame. Exciting.
> I got a few Raspberry Pi Model B's (2x256MB and 2x512MB) for sale. :D

Huh, I never bought a Raspberry Pi because I knew something like it would come along which was compatible with the x86 architecture and therefore would run DOS in realmode! Not to say I wasn't tempted with the pi, but its ARM CPU architecture was the killer for me.

A great Christmas present, indeed with the 86duino. If only I could get one with 512 or 1 GB of RAM instead of 256 mb.

Oso2k(R)

01.11.2013, 17:20

@ Zyzzle

86duino OpenHW project with DOS/DJGPP support

> > Unofficially, I've been told the November/December time frame. Exciting.
>
> > I got a few Raspberry Pi Model B's (2x256MB and 2x512MB) for sale. :D
>
> Huh, I never bought a Raspberry Pi because I knew something like it would
> come along which was compatible with the x86 architecture and therefore
> would run DOS in realmode! Not to say I wasn't tempted with the pi, but its
> ARM CPU architecture was the killer for me.
>
> A great Christmas present, indeed with the 86duino. If only I could get one
> with 512 or 1 GB of RAM instead of 256 mb.

The Pi aint so bad. It's just not great.

Pros
*Cheapest
*Great community
*Works with modern tools and improving all the time
*Awesome GPU for the cost

Cons
*A bit slow if you're application can't/won't utilize the the GPU (NAS, filesharing, ssh login server)
*Board layout is just friggin weird. You have no choice but to hack it. I would have prioritized putting all the ports on one side of the board like the Via APC or laid the ports along two/three sides. I don't know why they chose SD instead of microSD for storage but chose microUSB instead of a vertical USB or miniUSB. Power & Ethernet could have been on one side. HDMI and RCA A/V should be on one side.
*The board is tall for its footprint. I really do hate stacked USB ports. I would have laid three micro usb 2.0 ports side by side since the ethernet is only 10/100 anyways and is emulated over the dang USB chip.
* It's ARM so some of the great x86 code I like doesn't work. I sometimes use stuff from linux asmutils from asm.sf.net
* It's not "completely" open. I'd love to see DSI support and access to the low power GPU mode (it's the boot up mode of the SoC which then transfers control to the CPU).
* Not as low power as one might expect for the processing power you get.

If you really need 512MB RAM on the 86duino, you may be able to make a custom order by contacting soc@dmp.com.tw.

Arjay(R)

01.11.2013, 23:41

@ RoBoardLab

86duino OpenHW project with DOS/DJGPP support-long filenames

> The compiling system is DJGPP + DOSBOX at the moment, and we are studying
> to use cross compiler versions of DJGPP (Win32 & Linux versions have been
> done, but Mac version is work-in-progress.)

Regarding the long filename issues. Perhaps a possible short term workaround, perhaps using DOSBox with a custom bootable FreeDOS image file with long filename support auto loaded via the boot command in a customised config file? Just a quick thought.
http://www.dosbox.com/wiki/IMGMOUNT
http://www.dosbox.com/wiki/BOOT
DiskExplorer
http://www.chrysocome.net/rawwrite
Virtual Floppy Drive

> some former test videos (programs run on FreeDOS):
> :-)
:-)

RayeR(R)

Homepage

CZ,
02.11.2013, 01:42

@ Oso2k

86duino OpenHW project with DOS/DJGPP support

I also already have RPi, it's nice for playing with Linux and quite cheap but yes, there are some drawbacks...
* Display port was messed up (missing one LVDS pair) so it's not possible to connect common LCD to it. Even if, there are no drivers and configuration to enable this output... One choice are smalled displays via SPI/GPIO and other via HDMI to RGB bridge.
* They boasted how much opensource it is but GPU is closed source, you have to pay licenses for mpeg2 decoder and don't have it fully under control. This is why I like 86duino that have coreboot opensource firmware.

---
DOS gives me freedom to unlimited HW access.

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