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© 1997-2006
Gareth Knight
All Rights reserved

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MiniMig

Developer: Dennis van Weeren
Project start date: January 2005
Project end date: Summer 2007

The MiniMig is a re-implementation of the original Amiga chipset, used in the A1000 and A500 using modern technology. The motherboard is designed using FPGAs (Field-Programmable Gate Arrays) - a method of programming hardware to operate in different ways, even mimicing the operation of other hardware.

MiniMig is the brainchild of Dennis van Weeren, a Dutch electrical engineer, who developed it as a cost effective method of running Amiga software, without the need to source original Commodore hardware. The project began in January 2005 and has, at the time of writing, reached a stage when it can replicate Amiga 500 environment. On completion of the work, Dennis will make the software available under an open source licence, enabling hobbyists and businesses to develop FPGA-based Amigas.

Hardware

The current prototype consists of Xilinx Spartan-3 FPGA board featuring a 400K gate FPGA, 1MB SRAM, PS/2 interface and power regulators. It is connected to three daughterboards: a processor board fitted with a Motorola 68000 (7.09379 Mhz); a clock circuitry board; and an interface board fitted with MCC flashcard interface, joystick interface, and videodac and audiodac connectors. The Amiga Original ChipSet (OCS) and CIAs are emulated in the FPGA itself. A PIC18LF252 microcontroller sits between the FPGA board and the MMC interfaces, that serves as a method of supporting the FAT16 filesystem. The Amiga Kickstart ROM and floppy disk are stored as image files on the MMC memory card.

The Future

If released, the MiniMig will serve as a fantastic introduction to the world of Amiga. Although it is likely to primarily appeal to the retrogamer market, the hardware may be used as a low-end Amiga desktop machine that can interface with a range of third-party hardware (e.g. genlocks). Subsequent work may also result in the development of ECS or AGA support.

Web Links

MiniMig Wikipedia page
Amiga Hardware - MiniMig page
Announcement of the MiniMig on Amiga.org


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Last Update: 12/12/2006

 

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