Visit Atarimax Store


Free-Net Logo
The Atari SIG Historical Archive
Created and hosted by: atarimax.com
[ HOME | GO ATARI | 8-BIT | ST/TT | PORTFOLIO | LYNX | JAGUAR | LIBRARY ]


Article #316 (376 is last):
From: aa399@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Len Stys)
>Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.general,freenet.sci.comp.atari.news,freenet.sci.comp.c64.forum
Subject: Falcon 030 Released #2--Boston
Posted-By: xx004 (aa399 - Len Stys)
Date: Sat Sep 26 13:04:22 1992






Date: 25 Sep 92 23:06:32 GMT
Sender: news@bu.edu
Organization: Boston University, Boston, MA, USA
Lines: 125
Originator: markjl@acs.bu.edu

Thursday, September 24, 1992.

        CAMBRIDGE--The Boston Computer Society's Atari ST User Group followed
up to the previous day's American introduction of the Atari Falcon 030 computer
with a visit from Bob Brodie, Director of Communications, and Bill Rehbock,
Director of Applications Software, of Atari Corporation.  They were in the
company of two Falcon 030's, much to the delight of the user group.

        Basic specifications and configurations were covered as follows:

Configurations: Atari Falcon 030 - (1 meg RAM, no hard drive) = $799.
                Falcon 4/65 (4 meg RAM, 65 meg hard drive) = $1299.
                Also available: (14 meg RAM, (65 meg HD?)) = ???.

Processors: M68030 (16 MHz CPU), M56001 (32 MHz DSP), Blitter (16 MHz GPU),
            and DMA.

DSP specs:  M56001 (16 MIPS or 96 MOPS = Millions of operations per second).

26 pin                          __________[8-bit bus for instructions]
DSP Serial Port                /
---------------=>[Motorola 56K DSP Chip]----------=>(SSI out)
(SSI in)           \
                    \_[RAM] 32kWords, 25 nanoseconds.
                                                      2
            More about the DSP port: a Sony/Phillips I S port (sound DMA)
            CODAC coder (digital to analog (DAC) and vice-versa).  One mega-
            byte per second IN and OUT simultaneously, this allows for expan-
            sion of stereo inputs for digital sampling or additonal MIDI
            ports, etc.

Video:      True 16-bit color = 65,000 colors, VGA graphics.
Video       to older ST monitors (eg: SC1224) with adapter inteface (coming),
Output:     to newer ST and TT monitors, to NTSC televisions, and
            to VGA monitors. 

Upgrades:   Dealers will be able to upgrade a 1 Mbyte Falcon 030 to 4 or 14
            MBytes with a board from Atari (coming).
            The 2.5" IDE hard drive can be replaced easily (for repair/upgrade).

Compatible: Falcon 030 is more compatible with Atari ST software than the
            Atari TT because it has a Blitter.  All 14 Mbytes of RAM are unified
            memory to the video and cpu via MAB bus: thus no TT/ST RAM segments.

Bus specs:  (as best as I can recall!)
            COMBEL / GLUE / Blitter (chips for memory functions) - 32 bits wide.
            VEL (Video chip) via MAB bus - 32/16 bits wide.  (All memory can
                be thought of as a huge video buffer or memory can be accessed
                as video and instructions at the same time, I believe.)
            DMA (handles SCSI II ports, Audio, etc.) chip bus - 16 bits wide.
            M68030 CPU - 16 bits.

TT          Has TT RAM burst mode, can execute programs twice as fast due to
advantages: its 32MHz M68030.  Larger chassis accomidates for expandible VME
            cards, etc.  3.5" Hard Drive can be easily replaced/upgraded, it
            has better potential capacity the the Falcon 030 2.5" HD.

Falcon      Finally has a fan in there! Cheaper than TT.  Has STE enhanced
advantages: 15-pin joystick ports (accepts lightpens) has two pins for analog
            signals?  (Mistakenly left off of the Mega-STEs and TTs.)

Localtalk:  LAN is 100% hardware compatible with AppleTalk LAN (but s/w protocol
            has to follow to use it!).

HD          Yes, they are unlimited on the Falcon.  New Atari HDX tools are
Partitions: coming for the Falcon.

Genlocking: 3rd party GENlock devices exist (Atari used the JRI device).  In
            order to do desktop video overlaying, here's the hardware hack:


            ---=> RGB         ]            
Atari--[OUT]---=> Composite   ]----------=>[Genlock]                 [Video    ]
Video       ---=> Overlay bit ]            [  Box  ]<=---Video-------[Source or]
Signal--[IN]<=--- Vertical Sync     ]<=----[       ]<=---Dot Clock---[Camcorder]
            <=--- External Dot Clock]          /
                                         [to Monitor]

The Genlock Box contains an Analog Multiplexer and Raster Scale Chips.  The
Atari just "paints" an area in "overlay bit" color, which the Genlock box
recognizes and uses the external dot clock to sync the video signal to that
overlay area via the multiplexer which can set each pixel (raster) on the screen.
Thus, the Genlock just patches in the video signal onto the Atari signal and
then outputs it to the monitor.  Some more work (and chips) are needed, so the
image can be scaled and moved around, requiring some more I/O from the Atari to
the Genlock box for true scalable, movable pictures in a GEM window.

On the way stuff:

SLM804 and  Third party companies are already working on DMA to SCSI link to use
SLM605:     the Atari Laser Printers, so Atari has left them to do it.  German
            3rd party company is working on adding buffer RAM into SLM804 inter-
            face for extra performance.

Atari UNIX: is completed, but 030 performance was slow.  When it comes on the
            030 it will be text-based only.  They are waiting for 040 to have
            a full blown windowed Atari UNIX.

FSM-GDOS:   It is really coming!! (November, hopefully.)  Atari worked with QMS
            originally, but that didn't turn out well.  So, Atari approached
            Bitstream.  The new Bitstream Speedo scaler is faster than QMS's
            scaler, will work with Post Script Type I and Bitstream fonts.
            Bitstream fonts are plentiful (800+) and available (like Egghead
            S/W) in IBM-PC 3.5" floppy format, which can be read by any Atari
            floppy drive.  Bitstream is updating their font packaging to say
            Atari compatible.

SUTRA:      (Working title only!) An Atari multipurpose application, much like
            Lotus Works: it has a database, wordprocessor, spreadsheet, etc.

Spectre:    Dave Small has his Falcon 030, he's tinkering!

Frame       Matrix Frame (from a third party in Germany) has achieved eight
Grabbing:   frames per second through the cartridge port, a nice hack.  This
            area will be refined and improved now that the Falcon exists.
Touchscreen:Already exists on the ST, should be further developed on Falcon.

[Aok, that's a summary of everything that happened.  Forgive me for any errors,
 especially the misspelling of Bill Rehbock on the previous BCS General Meeting
 report where Atari debutted the Falcon 030 to the public -- I didn't run the
-- 
\\  This is a copy of the .signature virus, pass it on.
//If you want something interesting to read, finger me.
\\  Internet: markjl@acs.bu.edu.us (Boston University)
//Compu$erve: 72545,1236
-- 
 


Visit Atarimax Store