Once the new model of MSX comes out...

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Par RetroTechie

Paragon (1563)

Portrait de RetroTechie

27-01-2016, 17:22

Discussions like this have been had before. But there's really just a few things that are clear to me:

  • Build a brand new, basic MSX2+ (including MSX-Music, SCC and flash-based mass storage) around the € 150 mark, and it will sell. Some room for higher price, lower price would bring more buyers. Any 'newfangled' extra's like uber-Z80, OPL4 or V9990 would be icing on the cake, but not really necessary. Other soundchips or V9990 can be added as cartridge by the few people who run software for this. There's countless other extensions like MIDI, digitizers, etc, etc - that's what cartridge slots are for.
  • As for purely FPGA-based or including discrete V9958 / V9990 / soundchip(s) of choice, there's 2 schools of thought there, and room for a new MSX design in either 'class'. For the purely-FPGA approach, solutions exist (like the MIST computer or Arcade Replay board), but one could still try to make a cheaper / more MSX-specific design. For a design including discrete VDP etc, it would basically be starting from scratch.

Other than that, it's really up to the preferences & skills of whoever has the will, vision, and persistence to see through a project like this. Imho the latter is the most important: it takes a LOT of time to design, build, test and sell hardware in any relevant numbers. Especially something as complex as a complete MSX computer. Hannibal

Crowdfunding can help a lot. But you still need a capable and dedicated project leader to bring things to a good end.

Par erpirao

Paragon (1238)

Portrait de erpirao

27-01-2016, 18:03

4x9978 vdp with 4MB each (msx-vr specification)
4 cores z380 at 100mhz
Network Connection
maximum 4GB RAM
at least 4MB of video memory in any VDP , with the possibility of working in parallel
yes! i´m crazy

Par Manuel

Ascended (18404)

Portrait de Manuel

27-01-2016, 22:19

erpirao wrote:

yes! i´m crazy

OK, good that you mentioned that.

Par madscient

Master (193)

Portrait de madscient

28-01-2016, 05:00

Even if any additional feature such like upper CPU, VDP, or sound chip is implemented in the new computer, it will not spread without the emulator implements same feature.
The emulator will be useful for convenience of software developers as "technology preview" or "virtual platform", also for light users to fun casually.
I strongly believe that free emulator gives additional value to the real hardware.
Both of the real hardware and the emulator are very important to get support of many users.
So let us never forget that point of view during prioritizing feature Smile

Par megatron

Resident (41)

Portrait de megatron

28-01-2016, 11:23

Non for profit Crown funding is an option...if you can get enough interest..but you would still need some sort of prototype or prototypes to show that it is serious.

An example design specification is below....purely as an Example !

Design specification...

MSX main board... same specifications as MSX2+..but with a few added features

CPU Z80 (3.58Mhz,7.16Mhz .. even possibly up-to 28.64MHz??)
CTC,SIO,PIO ..CTC and stuff where not in original MSX but are useful.
SRAM 512K
32/64 ROM
V9958 Video VDP with 128K+ VRAM (with circuitry for second VDP ..superimpose )
YM2149 Sound Chip
YM3812 Sound Chip ?
8255 PPI for 72 key MSX keyboard
8255 for IDE interface (for compact flash or Harddrive)
Cartridge slots MSX compliant
Infa Red Tx/Rx option , for wireless comms ??
Microcntroller (Atmega88 etc) for PS2 mouse/keybaord option
Original MSX Ports Tonguerinter, Expansion Ports etc for compatibility.

This, as the above spec shows would simply be a Turbo MSX2+ Could be made for less than $200 !

Then as a later add-on : Z180 Accelerator board (33MHz Z180 = 44MHz Z80 : 12 times faster than 3.58Mhz Z80). could be made for about the same as the Main board ? This would give a significant speed increase even over the Turbo R

Z180 accelerator board:
Z180 CPU 33MHz
768K SRAM
256K ROM
Second VDP..(V9958 or even V9990 ??)
OPNL4 sound ??
Ethernet
6 Serial Ports (RS232) 4 of which could be used as USB ports.. (RS232 to USB adaptors are available on-line)
Additional parallel Ports
Tube Interface to connect to Z80 can be put in either Master or Slave Mode

This is an achievable specification as all the parts (ICS etc) are readily available, the hardest part might be the Video Superimpose facility to allow two video processors.

The Hard part is getting someone to design and build the prototypes !!

Par Dirty Harry

Resident (45)

Portrait de Dirty Harry

28-01-2016, 16:20

There'as three ways in my view to make this become a reality :

1) Design and build the working prototypes yourself (as a team of MSX enthusiasts). Obviously it will need people with good electronics and microcomputer skills. Then Crowdfund the necessary MONEY to do a full production run. Are there people on the forum that could design a Z80 , MSX based microcomputer ?

2) Give a detailed specification to a commercial company and pay them to build several prototypes, complete with full schematics etc etc... this will be costly, but can be done. Many companies will give FREE quotes for this sort of stuff , if they know your serious !

3) Raise a relatively small amount of cash and work in partnership with someone like Eugene (GR8bit) to make a Single board MSX2+ version of his GR8bit system. Then he could sell them commercially. This obviously needs the cooperation of all parties involved ! Clearly the best place to start with this. is to talk to Eugene and see what he thinks ??

Par zPasi

Champion (499)

Portrait de zPasi

29-01-2016, 16:57

megatron wrote:

CPU Z80 (3.58Mhz,7.16Mhz .. even possibly up-to 28.64MHz??)
CTC,SIO,PIO ..CTC and stuff where not in original MSX but are useful.
SRAM 512K
32/64 ROM
V9958 Video VDP with 128K+ VRAM (with circuitry for second VDP ..superimpose )
YM2149 Sound Chip
YM3812 Sound Chip ?
8255 PPI for 72 key MSX keyboard
8255 for IDE interface (for compact flash or Harddrive)

Forget all that crap! Here comes the real specs:

  • Intel Core i7
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950
  • HDMI 4K resolution
  • 7 channel audio
  • 16 GB DDR4
  • 512 GB SSD
  • SATA 3 interface
    etc

Tongue

But seriously, what is the point? I perfectly understand when someone wants to build an MSX1/2(+)/turbo R. These machines really existed back then, and many of us still have them. But why to build something "beyond" Turbo R? If you make it three times faster, and put better graphics etc, it will still be crap by todays standards. But this time it's not even MSX. What is it, and for who?

Par Kai Magazine

Paragon (1418)

Portrait de Kai Magazine

29-01-2016, 20:54

My opinion:
What is it?
A way to evolve the MSX and see what could/should have been if the firm continued, and also a way to preserve our beloved system a few years more.

For who?
For me and all those who want to enjoy both the old software at a faster speed, and to develope new software with more capabilities, better graphics, etc.
An msx2+ with faster cpu, internal opl4 and v9990 would mean a new standard, and many developers (me for starters) would be very happy to create software for this new standard.

Par Kai Magazine

Paragon (1418)

Portrait de Kai Magazine

29-01-2016, 21:06

another way to see it.:
Nowadays, the top hardware you can have on MSX is:
-Turbo-R GT: 250-350 euro
-opl4: 100-120 euro
-GFX9000: 120 -160 euro (no longer manufactured)
-megaflashrom sd or similar: 100 euro

So this hardware amounts to 570 - 730 euro
If all this can be manufactured in one single machine and the cost is below 250 euro, it is an exelent way to have an "all-in-one" machine at a reasonable price.

Just saying...

Par AxelStone

Prophet (3064)

Portrait de AxelStone

29-01-2016, 21:29

What about a RPi2 with bios flashed in order to boot as MSX? I think that MSXVR aproach is looking for something similar to this: backward compatible using some kind of customized openMSX (MSX/2/2+/tR) and native mode working as a full powered RPi2 (ARM quad core, 1Gb RAM, etc). It should be a nice (and cheap) piece of hardware.

@Kai Magazine Are you sure that people is prepared to jump to another standard? Smile I think that nowadays MSX is able to do this jump simply making games oriented to hard disk. This means: great openings like Illusion City of MegaCD, great amount of graphical data... A plain MSX2 has still a lot to say Wink

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