Anybody else heard about a company making new Sega processors back in 2014?

Discussion in 'Sega Dreamcast Development and Research' started by Anthony817, Apr 14, 2018.

  1. Anthony817

    Anthony817 Fiery Member

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    So I was doing a little bit of research on the SH4 and I came across this article.

    https://www.pcworld.com/article/2464620/nonprofit-to-bring-sega-game-console-chips-back-to-life.html

    I do remember people discussing the patents running out for the DC SH4, and with OzOnE's project wanting to recreate new motherboards for DC I wondered if these chips would be of any help or use? They say an SH4 chip up to 1ghz was possible.

    But the question is would something like that even work if soldered to a DC board, and if it did how would games treat it? Would they run too fast potentially? Would saves even work since there is no way to proportionately overclock a VMU to that percentage? I know the Xbox had various upgraded CPU projects created and it seemed to run games better in many cases.

    I know this might be a dumb question but thought it might be good for a hypothetical discussion.
     
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  2. truemaster1

    truemaster1 Gutsy Member

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    wow cool. but the question if the higher speed of cpu make the games run unaturly fast i think yes, even a small overclocking cause that. imagine what 1ghz what will do,
     
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  3. Anthony817

    Anthony817 Fiery Member

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    Yeah, logic would dictate that unfortunately. That was my initial mindset going into this. But still, I have seen 1ghz, and I THINK but not 100% on this, 1.7ghz Xbox systems. Those are pretty substantial upgrades on the base clocked system. So I wanted to get an open discussion on this. But yeah, this is still really great because it is Sega related. They not only did Dreamcast, but also Mega Drive/Genesis and also SH2 Saturn chips. So this really is a good topic because of all the things they are doing or have done. But the validity of using these upgraded chips is still really up in the air.

    I agree, I doubt this might work with upgraded Dreamcast systems, but you never know until you ask.
     
  4. sp193

    sp193 Site Soldier

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    The article says that the devices are based on the old designs, but does this imply that they share the same exterior physical and electrical characteristics? If it's not going to be a drop-in replacement, it's just going to be yet another SH4-based CPUt.
     
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  5. Anthony817

    Anthony817 Fiery Member

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    Yeah great question. I would also like to know things like the voltage usage as well. I wish OzOnE was here to give his take on this. He once spoke about new chips being used for his theoretical new motherboards. I think it MIGHT be these chips he was speaking about, but can't be totally 100% sure.
     
  6. jaunelapin

    jaunelapin Spirited Member

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    On the Xbox it was usually 1.0ghz or 1.4 ghz.

    Some games ran fine, others either didn't at all or ran way fast, there is a *xbe patcher available that worked for most games to run them on an upgraded CPU.
     
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  7. accel99

    accel99 Spirited Member

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    They announced these a while back. It's an initiative to use to expiring super h patents to design CPUs that are open source and compatible with old ones. According to them these guys should be able to run old executables designed for the original ones sh CPUs. They also plan to advance sh family in the 64 bit world in the future because they didn't like how the sh5 went down. I saw these a few years back and immediately thought of the dreamcast. Here's their homepage if u want more detail.

    http://0pf.org/j-core.html
     
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  8. Anthony817

    Anthony817 Fiery Member

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    If that is the case that would be pretty amazing! I also seen something on that page called Segger embOS which is for the SH2/4 chipsets.

    [​IMG]

    Would be interesting to learn a bit more about what that is.
     
  9. Zeigren

    Zeigren Spirited Member

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    I believe he was talking about buying similar SH4 CPUs off of Aliexpress and the like.

    Even if these do make it to silicon it is unlikely to be in a similar package, or to be a complete drop in replacement. However they are available as a core, so it can be ran on an FPGA. So in order to use this in a Dreamcast an all new motherboard would need to be made based around an FPGA. Which would be fun but quite an undertaking.

    Another thing to point out is that an increased clock speed can only do so much, you're just moving the bottleneck from the CPU to some other portion of the system. The best way to do this would be to reverse engineer both the HOLLY and AICA and recreate those in a FPGA or two, then make a new motherboard around all three. That way it can be made using entirely new parts, it could be significantly faster, and you could do things like add more RAM or other shenanigans.

    Segger embOS is a real time operating system, it basically lets you program for a particular architecture without having to do "bare metal" programming but is geared for more time critical applications than say full blown Linux. Like in the case of deploying an airbag which needs to happen within the small time frame between when the collision occurs and before your face smashes into the steering wheel.
     
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  10. Anthony817

    Anthony817 Fiery Member

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    Ah wow thanks for the detailed reply.

    Yeah the new Analogue Super NT is going to be based on an FPGA so it should be able to truly handle everything and run it 1.1 just like the real deal. It is also going to cost about $190, which is significantly cheaper than their NES which used actual recycled chips from real NES systems lol. But from an engineering standpoint I guess it does make sense to go the FPGA route in the future.

    https://www.analogue.co/pages/super-nt/
     
  11. Arcadia

    Arcadia Spirited Member

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    Super NT has been out for quite some time now.
     
  12. Anthony817

    Anthony817 Fiery Member

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    Yeah you are right, looks like it released in Febuary on the 18th.
     
  13. chriz2600

    chriz2600 Member

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    It would really be nice to have a system like this, but I highly doubt, that it is possible with current affordable FPGA technology. Kevtris said here, that he thinks PS1 and Neo Geo are currently the limit, as the complexity raises significantly with newer systems.
     
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  14. Zeigren

    Zeigren Spirited Member

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    The advantage we have in this case is that in theory the CPU would be completely taken care of. So instead of extremely difficult it would merely be incredibly difficult.

    The whole thing definitely would not be cheap. I imagine if/when they release a SH4 core the FPGA for it will probably be pretty pricey, as would the FPGA needed to emulate the beast that is HOLLY. Breaking them up into smaller FPGAs could make it cheaper but would increase the board size and complexity.
     
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