Re: Hardware-based vs software-based emulation

From: Didier Derny <>
Date: Fri, 17 Feb 2017 13:40:23 +0100
Message-ID: <>
big difference, on fpga emulator I often connect a qwerty ps/2 keyboard...

on my pc I have an azerty keyboard and it will stay the same, so with 
Vice bad mapping, hell to use...

even if it's great piece of software with the bad mapping I'm bored 
after 5mn and discard it :(

(Vice is not the only case, many emulator only have qwerty)

On 17/02/2017 10:50, Marko Mäkelä wrote:
> On Fri, Feb 17, 2017 at 08:47:12AM +0000, smf wrote:
>> On 16/02/2017 10:54, wrote:
>>> Well, yeah.. but that's not the same as the original thing, is it?
>> No, but it would take some pressure off the price of the originals & 
>> it might mean that there is some software worth running.
> The Commodore 65 is essentially emulating the Commodore 64 in 
> hardware.  (OK, it is also a valuable collector's item.) The Mega65 is 
> emulating the Commodore 65 and other 8-bit systems in FPGA hardware, 
> similar to the C-One (and theoretically its sibling C64DTV too).
> I hope this will not escalate into a flame war, but I am curious:
> What is the benefit of implementing the emulation of a full system in 
> VHDL or FPGA, instead of implementing it in software?
> The only reason to use hardware-based emulation that I can think of is 
> the ability to connect original (or compatible) peripherals.
> With software-based emulation, you can use free (as in freedom) 
> software tools, while with FPGAs you typically are limited to the 
> closed-source tools and formats provided by the chip manufacturer.
> If you do not need the connectivity to authentic peripherals that 
> cannot be emulated with simple GPIO, wouldn't it be better to use 
> software-based emulation either on commodity hardware or on 
> hobbyist-friendly hardware such as the Dragonbox Pyra, built around a 
> reasonably open system-on-chip? Or wouldn't it be better to develop a 
> Mega65-style mainboard but implement the emulation in software, 
> ditching the "non-trivial" peripheral ports, keeping only joystick 
> ports and the serial bus? Instead of analog video and audio you would 
> typically get HDMI output that works nicely with modern displays (but 
> admittedly, not at all with an authentic CRT).
> The recently released NES Classic is just an ARM SoC running an 
> emulator. Nintendo has a long history of releasing old titles bundled 
> with an emulator.
> Speaking of authentic peripherals, I wonder if there would be any 
> demand for Atari/Commodore joystick cables or joysticks. I learned 
> some years ago that my joystick cords have become unreliable, and I 
> would prefer to replace the cords with ones that have a molded plastic 
> connector.  (Personally I do not need new joysticks, only new cords; 
> the TAC-2 are virtually indestructable.) If there is interest in this, 
> I could ask a friend who has good contacts to various manufacturers in 
> China. Maybe a small batch could be done for a reasonable price.
>     Marko
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Received on 2017-02-17 13:02:10

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