Saturday, November 28, 2015

Picture of the Day: Multitasking

Introducing Picture of the Day (POTD) a.k.a.  Progress in Pictures.

A picture of the sonnet card doing multitasking. Running are the dnetc client, pixelomania and landscape. Programs finished during this time were cyberpi and cybermand.

Have fun!

Thursday, November 19, 2015


One of the early goals of the project was to get some specific stuff running on the G3 processor. The WarpDT suite, the MP3 engine for AmigaAMP and the dnetc client (see

It took me the better parts of a week to finally get some results regarding the dnetc client. Of course it is a good thing that for every program I try to run I need to do a lot of bug fixing in the sonnet library, but it can be tiresome sometime :-) On the other hand it gives me more and more insight on the inner workings of WarpOS. Anyway here the first output of the client:

As you can see, the speed is as what is to be expected from a 500 MHz MPC750 processor. It still crashes on exit, but I guess that's for the next week :-)

And yes, I have not forgotten to look at the A1200, but I first want to have this 100% running.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Getting closer to Warp Speed!

The past few months I've told people again and again that the context-switch (the switch between both CPUs) was a major pain in getting to the full speed of the 500MHz MPC750 processor. With the time anything being between 12-20ms. This is a very long time if you take into account that the CyberStormPPC performs a context-switch within 0.5ms (so 25-40 times faster).

With the exchange of the Voodoo3 card with a Radeon card I even noticed the context-switch time going up to 90ms. At first it was a real bummer, then it dawned upon me that something was not right.

Further investigation revealed that the Sonnet was not connected to any interrupt line properly all this time. The interrupt being looked at was actually being triggered by the voodoo card. The Radeon card lacked this interrupt resulting in the longer context-switch time. (Technically, the 12-20ms while using the Voodoo was actually some kind of VBLANK of the Voodoo card, dependent on the actual refresh rate of the screen).

So the code was rewritten to let the pci.library set up the interrupt (no, I don't have the Elbox SDK...) and the following was the result:

This is almost exactly like the context-switch time as found on the CyberstormPPC cards. But what does this mean in real-life performance? Remember Quake doing 28FPS in the previous video at 320x240x8 (with the Voodoo3)? is a screenshot while using the new code (and the Radeon):

This is much closer to the expected performance. For example, Mediator plus Voodoo3 plus CyberstormPPC 233MHz does 30 FPS according to This is all still using software renderers, by the way.

Next up is to try to get it all working in an A1200TX mediator. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Quake revisited

The goal of this project was just to get the sonnet running for doing the heavy lifting next to the 68K. So datatype work, decrunchers, that kind of stuff...

Don't know what went wrong....

Anyway, last time I posted a Quake movie there was no sound and the direct access to the framebuffer (turbogfx option) was not working so it was running using the WPA8 routine from the cybergfx library.

That (and the camera shaking) has been fixed. I even threw in a neat icon to start the Sonnet from the Workbench. So let's look to a timedemo then. Keep in mind that it is still a software renderer, and that the card is crippled due to slow context-switches between the 2 CPUs. For a comparison, see***e.html

Have fun!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Some more games on the Sonnet

Some more stuff is now almost working out of the box. I won't bore you with another movie. Here are non-shaky but nevertheless not so very good quality 'screen'shots.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

More Mandelbrot...

Nah... :-)

This weekend I've been mostly busy to write some experimental routines to capture and handle Amiga hardware access by the PPC. This is the result for now

At the moment there is no sound. This Amiga 3000 does not have a sound card and the sonnet library at the moment does not handle CHIP memory correct (for Paula).

Also it now uses the WritePixelArray8 (WPA8) routine as direct frame buffer manipulations only result in a black screen with occasional flashing. That mode should be a lot faster than the WPA8 method, but I  could't wait to show you a working game.