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Gareth Knight
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Eyetech AmigaOne 1.0 Prototype

AmigaOne Prototype

Developer: Eyetech
Development time: October 2000 - September 2001
Original planned release date: December 2000

Eyetech were the first of two businesses to be announced as official AmigaOne developers. Based upon initial announcements and comments three versions of the AmigaOne board were planned that would allow different types of connection:

  • AmigaOne PPC 1200 - connects to the A1200 motherboard via  the edge connector.
  • AmigaOne PPC 4000 - connects to the A4000 via the CPU connector (will be launched if there is sufficient demand).
  • Standalone AmigaOne PPC - the AmigaOne PPC board can be used as a complete system in its own right

The A1200/A4000 connection would allow the use of hardware hitting 'Classic Amiga' applications through 68k emulation and direct use of the AGA chipset or other required components. For example, MIDI, digitisers and other video cards. Eyetech also indicated later plans for an A4000T & A3000D option at a later date. The final product differs from the prototype in several respects. The Classic Amiga connectivity has been moved to a separate PCI card removing the need for three different motherboard types. Instead there is only the third option - a standalone AmigaOne. The absence of commercially available PPC north/southbridge chipsets were available in small (less than 100k production quantities) resulted in the company creating their own design. The final product uses off-the-shelf south & northbridge chips with the only custom logic function being the PCI to A1200 bridge. If the initial board had been launched it would have been much more expensive to recuperate the initial cost of design. There is also less risk of outstanding bugs being present in the custom logic implementation, as it has already been tested by other large corporations.

Hardware

The table below shows the initial hardware specification of the AmigaOne motherboard:

Motherboard Custom designed PPC
CPU 1x CPU slot to take Macintosh-type G3/G4 cpu module
Memory 2x SO-DIMM (up to 512Mb)
Slots 6x PCI
1x AGP
Expansion USB
IDE
CPU Module (for connection of A1200/A4000)
Classic Amiga devices (attached to A1200/A4000 motherboard)

Operating system

The initial AmigaOne announcement came before plans to port the AmigaOS to PowerPC. Instead, the Amiga DE was planned to be the main operating system. This caused some confusion, due to the platform independent design of the environment. Why use PPC when cheap x86 is available? It is fortunate that this choice was made. The announcement that OS 4.0 would be PPC only turned the AmigaOne into an important focal point for the Amiga market. Early announcements indicated the machine would be dual boot, allowing the use of Amiga DE or an emulated version of AmigaOS 3.9. The emulated AmigaOS would have booted directly from the Kickstart ROMs, recognising the G3 as an Amiga acceleratorm while providing access to PCI/AGP peripherals.

Related Documents

Original AmigaOne PPC Timeline | AmigaOne PPC Timeline (27th June 2001) | Amiga One Additional Information | AmigaOne Schematics | AmigaOne, the Predator, GRex and Mediator boards

 

More information on the current AmigaOne can be found on the Eyetech AmigaOne page.

 

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Last Update: 6/3/2002

 


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