Re: FPGA/CPLD different approach

From: Nate Lawson <>
Date: Wed, 4 Sep 2013 21:07:52 -0700
Message-Id: <>
Old fab != cheap fab. Most of the expense in ASICs is overhead, not fab demand.

I'd recommend Actel, which is lower power and nonvolatile.


On Sep 4, 2013, at 7:48 PM, Justin wrote:

> I agree with Gideon, there are fools like me who will spend a lot for toys that make retro hardware more enjoyable or convenient in the modern world.  I would still pay too much for a decent auto-switch split composite/RBG-I -> DVI or HDMI converter so that the 128 could be used easily with modern displays.  That post about trying to replicate the missing chips for the C65 not too long ago is an obvious opportunity for FPGA equivalents.  Then again, 110nm fab is so old and power inefficient now that you might actually be able to get chips in low quantities made at old foundries that are still in operation.
> Justin
> On Sep 4, 2013, at 3:45 PM, Jim Brain <> wrote:
>> On 9/4/2013 11:50 AM, Bil Herd wrote:
>>> I hadnít thought about  power consumption (yet)  as I guess I hadnít really come to terms with the fact that something useful for someone restoring old systems would really need the (exact) same footprint (TED) and reasonable power, etc.  I was hung up all the way back at cost as I donít know what is considered to be too expensive, but I know what I consider to be too expensive and the different scenarios seemed kind of costly. Also  I tend to think about its use to an engineer or for experimentation out of habit.
>>> I assume that $100USD is completely out of line for a chip emulator just to pick a price, I assume itís cheaper to find a system on Ebay, etc, but then are there chips that just canít be gotten any more?  Are there systems that are irrevocably unusable without some chips of the category we are talking about?
>> At the Midwest Gaming Classic this year (2013), The F18A ( was on display, and I believe it sells for ~USD$90.00.  I thought it was a bit pricey, but not too bad, because:
>> 	ē It offered the original composite output and added VGA output
>> 	ē It removed a number of original IC limitations.
>> 	ē It offered new modes not available in the original IC
>> A few years back, when I was conversing with Gideon (of 1541 Ultimate fame), I told him I had shied away from some projects due to sales cost.  He said not to worry, because people in the hobby will pay a significant premium for good content.  
>> So, while *I* might think USD$100.00 or 200.00 is too much for the hobby, there is a large subset who does not.
>> Jim

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Received on 2013-09-05 05:00:08

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