If rondos 40 certainly remember the Commodore Amiga and legendary computers that could (and should) change the history of computing forever but eventually ostracized for various reasons. I was proud owner of a 1200 for years, but both this machine and the rest of the catalog were forgotten for almost everyone … except for his most loyal fans.
One of them has done something really impressive: It wanted to expand the possibilities of an Old Friend 2000, but no one manufactured and expansion cards. This user with programming and electronics decided to undertake a unique project, and ended up creating their own graphics card using an FPGA that connected through the port Zorro II of these computers.
Image Source: Google Image
How to make a graphics card from scratch
The MNT VA2000 is the result of an initiative that began in October 2015. After four prototypes that gave various problems its creator, Lukas F. Hartmann, he explained how the redesign last March allowed to display a picture of 1280×720 pixels in 16 bits. That would be just the beginning: a month later accomplish work with the Workbench, the desktop environment Amiga OS, thanks to a Picasso96 driver who had done reverse engineering so that it can use with your own graphics card.
The engineer started working on this project after buying an old Friend 2000 that was limited by not go beyond the original PAL resolution of 640 x 256 pixels at 64 bits. The Picasso graphics cards are now expanding that capacity in tough day to find besides faces – so given its experience in microcontrollers and his work with the Raspberry Pi for which even has developed a “minimal” operating system (there is nothing ) I wanted to try to design and manufacture its own graphics card.
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On the project page on GitHub this expert reveals all the steps you took to develop the project, but also shares the Kicad schemes and files Xilinx ISE / Verilog that allow anyone with knowledge and components needed to play that project and even contribute to improve it. The result may still remain remote graphic modern giants like NVIDIA or AMD, but still amazing, especially coming from a single person who once showed us what someone with motivation can achieve in this segment.