- Sep 29, 2019
As a maker (currently working on a small DIP sized MCU PCB), I must say that I was absolutely blown away by the fact that this guy (Matthew) has managed to fit all of that on a DIP40 size PCB!Ther is an other similar project – FA18 MK2 in the making that replicates the venerable TI9918A in an DIP40 package ( here is an Image http://codehackcreate.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/f18a_mk2_f17.jpg) including 512k SRAM and DVI/HDMI out that can replace failing chips in the ColecoVision, MSX ComputersTI 99/4 and many others. Its already the 2nd incarnation and at the moment in prototyping stage preparing for production.
This MK2 version features an SPARTAN-6 LX9 with 512k SRAM, has the pinout of the TI9918A and 14 free GPIO pins available as the RAM is onboard and thus the corresponding pins are free. That module could easily host the VERA firmware I think.
It appears from his forum discussion that the production delay is related to finalising the VHDL / Verilog coding of his TMS9918A implementation?
ie. That the PCB hardware implementation itself is perhaps complete and verified?
If this is the case, I'd agree that it would be very interesting to further explore his schematic and PCB implementation, with a view towards implementing an alternate DIP40 sized retro video design (I'm not a bit fan of the 9918A itself). Do we know if his schematic / PCB design is available as open source?
As you suggest, specifically, an implementation of VERA in a DIP40 module (and supporting HDMI output!) would be quite a *significantly useful* piece of "retro computing" hobbiest / maker hardware! It would certainly seem to make for an optimum DIP40 socket sized module for the Commander X16 PCB design!
Perhaps you should start a new discussion thread, to give more focus to this interesting DIP40 module (and it's potential).