Introducing the VeriSNES (FPGA-based SNES)

Discussion of hardware and software development for Super NES and Super Famicom.

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jwdonal
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Re: Introducing the VeriSNES (FPGA-based SNES)

Post by jwdonal » Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:38 am

AWJ wrote:Here's something I've always wondered about mosaic and meant to write a test program for but never got around to it: does each BG layer have its own mosaic counter, or are they all tied together?
I would imagine there is just 1 - at least that's the way I implemented it. I mean...it might be possible that there are individual counters...but I doubt it. I don't think it's really meant to be used that way so I doubt they'd quadruple the logic required just for mosaicing. But hey, we're talking the kitchen_sink++ of consoles so maybe there is. Why not write a test ROM and find out? :)
MottZilla wrote:Since apparently SNES consoles are known to have CPU failures, have you considered using your work to use a FPGA as a CPU replacement?
I wrote the code with that idea in mind. The pinouts on my chips are identical to that of the original system. The primary issue to consider would be voltage level translators.
Erockbrox wrote:Will this have SA-1 support or Super FX support?
Yes and yes. SA-1 will be trivial at this point. SuperFX is the real prize. :)

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DarkShock
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Re: Introducing the VeriSNES (FPGA-based SNES)

Post by DarkShock » Thu Jul 06, 2017 7:43 am

Oh man if you ever do SA-1 or Super FX, hope that you can share your code so that ikari can implement those chips in the SD2SNES :)

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MottZilla
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Re: Introducing the VeriSNES (FPGA-based SNES)

Post by MottZilla » Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:51 pm

jwdonal wrote:
MottZilla wrote:Since apparently SNES consoles are known to have CPU failures, have you considered using your work to use a FPGA as a CPU replacement?
I wrote the code with that idea in mind. The pinouts on my chips are identical to that of the original system. The primary issue to consider would be voltage level translators.
Excellent. And the possibility of SA-1 or SuperFX clones is even more awesome to hear.

Erockbrox
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Re: Introducing the VeriSNES (FPGA-based SNES)

Post by Erockbrox » Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:19 pm

DarkShock wrote:Oh man if you ever do SA-1 or Super FX, hope that you can share your code so that ikari can implement those chips in the SD2SNES :)
This is one of my biggest requests, I have an sd2snes and I would love to play the SA-1 games and Super FX games on it. There are also some mario hacks which are SA-1 compatible only, I would love to play these on my console and currently I have no way of playing them on a real console.

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jwdonal
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Re: Introducing the VeriSNES (FPGA-based SNES)

Post by jwdonal » Sat Aug 05, 2017 2:01 am

Well, it's official, I just committed and documented the last core system feature for my FPGA SNES (direct color mode).

I guess now it's time to start working on FPGA PSX. :)

Just kidding, now it's time to start squashing some bugs and implementing other cool features that I've been wanting to add for the longest time!

In other news, I've been giving this a lot of thought and I'm considering starting a Patreon for this project to see if I can make this thing into a marketable product. There is still a TON of work to do, but I think doing something like Patreon would at a minimum achieve to primary things:

1) See if there _really_ is as much interest in a product like this as people claim
2) Keep me motivated to continue working on this project

But before I go down that route I'd like to hear from the nesdev community what it thinks about doing something like this.

Cya!

Zonomi
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Re: Introducing the VeriSNES (FPGA-based SNES)

Post by Zonomi » Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:15 am

If you are doing a Patreon, think well about the rewards.
For example, discount on the future SNES FPGA you'd sell ^_^

retrorgb
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Re: Introducing the VeriSNES (FPGA-based SNES)

Post by retrorgb » Sat Aug 05, 2017 9:53 am

jwdonal wrote:Well, it's official, I just committed and documented the last core system feature for my FPGA SNES (direct color mode).

I guess now it's time to start working on FPGA PSX. :)

Just kidding, now it's time to start squashing some bugs and implementing other cool features that I've been wanting to add for the longest time!

In other news, I've been giving this a lot of thought and I'm considering starting a Patreon for this project to see if I can make this thing into a marketable product. There is still a TON of work to do, but I think doing something like Patreon would at a minimum achieve to primary things:

1) See if there _really_ is as much interest in a product like this as people claim
2) Keep me motivated to continue working on this project

But before I go down that route I'd like to hear from the nesdev community what it thinks about doing something like this.

Cya!
Congratulations, excellent work! I'd absolutely back that Patreon and if you decide to do it, I'll let everyone know about it. Also, if you'd like to explore other ways of getting this made, let me know and I can make some introductions.
Zonomi wrote:If you are doing a Patreon, think well about the rewards.
For example, discount on the future SNES FPGA you'd sell ^_^
Well, the "reward" is supporting a developer that may eventually make a product you'd like to use. I wouldn't expect anything in return after donating...but that being said, early pre-order access would be a nice perk :)
Erockbrox wrote:
DarkShock wrote:Oh man if you ever do SA-1 or Super FX, hope that you can share your code so that ikari can implement those chips in the SD2SNES :)
This is one of my biggest requests, I have an sd2snes and I would love to play the SA-1 games and Super FX games on it. There are also some mario hacks which are SA-1 compatible only, I would love to play these on my console and currently I have no way of playing them on a real console.
Maybe that can be a Patreon tier? If you get past a certain monthly amount, you'd work with Ikari on the SuperFX stuff? That's a long shot and wishful thinking...

adam_smasher
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Re: Introducing the VeriSNES (FPGA-based SNES)

Post by adam_smasher » Sat Aug 05, 2017 10:23 am

I've never been motivated enough to support a Patreon or Kickstarter in my life but a really high quality SNES reimplementation would do it for me.

syboxez
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Re: Introducing the VeriSNES (FPGA-based SNES)

Post by syboxez » Sat Aug 05, 2017 1:06 pm

jwdonal wrote:Well, it's official, I just committed and documented the last core system feature for my FPGA SNES (direct color mode).

I guess now it's time to start working on FPGA PSX. :)

Just kidding, now it's time to start squashing some bugs and implementing other cool features that I've been wanting to add for the longest time!

In other news, I've been giving this a lot of thought and I'm considering starting a Patreon for this project to see if I can make this thing into a marketable product. There is still a TON of work to do, but I think doing something like Patreon would at a minimum achieve to primary things:

1) See if there _really_ is as much interest in a product like this as people claim
2) Keep me motivated to continue working on this project

But before I go down that route I'd like to hear from the nesdev community what it thinks about doing something like this.

Cya!
Conglaturation!

Nice to see a fully functional FPGA SNES developed.

As for interest, have you seen the AVS, NT Mini, and the MIST? I can guarantee that there will be interest in an FPGA SNES. In fact, it could be the definitive way to play SNES, as it would (theoretically) be 100% accurate unlike the 1CHIPs and also have extremely sharp video unlike the 3CHIPs. I say go for it (just make sure it has analog RGB out for us CRT users).

Bonus points for built in flash cart like the NT Mini (SD2SNES is already open source [GPL v2] so a lot of that work is done already) and even more bonus points for SA-1 and GSU support. If you do start going that route, it would be greatly appreciated if you could share that work for the SD2SNES.

Great Hierophant
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Re: Introducing the VeriSNES (FPGA-based SNES)

Post by Great Hierophant » Sat Aug 05, 2017 1:49 pm

In addition to what the previous poster mentioned, I have read disturbing reports that the 3-chip models are not quite as reliable as you might expect, as in chips dying.

syboxez
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Re: Introducing the VeriSNES (FPGA-based SNES)

Post by syboxez » Sat Aug 05, 2017 2:09 pm

Great Hierophant wrote:In addition to what the previous poster mentioned, I have read disturbing reports that the 3-chip models are not quite as reliable as you might expect, as in chips dying.
Yup. I have experienced that myself with one of my 3CHIPs having a burned out VRAM chip. Haven't replaced it yet since I took the cart connector from it to repair my SNES Mini, but I probably will if I can find a new cart connector.

I've heard other reports of dead CPUs and dead PPUs, both of which are not replaceable due to its proprietary nature (aside from FPGA replacements).

93143
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Re: Introducing the VeriSNES (FPGA-based SNES)

Post by 93143 » Sat Aug 05, 2017 3:31 pm

Regarding the PPUs, how accurate are they/will they get? Will edge-case stuff like DMA direct colour or mid-scanline BGMODE changes work the same as on the real thing?
syboxez wrote:aside from FPGA replacements
Exactly.

syboxez
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Re: Introducing the VeriSNES (FPGA-based SNES)

Post by syboxez » Sat Aug 05, 2017 7:35 pm

93143 wrote:
syboxez wrote:aside from FPGA replacements
Exactly.
The only problem is that drop in FPGA replacements for SMD chips might be a bit difficult to make. Even if it were made, I'm not sure how many people would even buy those replacement parts.

Erockbrox
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Re: Introducing the VeriSNES (FPGA-based SNES)

Post by Erockbrox » Sat Aug 05, 2017 9:01 pm

If other FPGA consoles are successful then yours will be too. It's just the nature of the market and the interest people have in these old consoles.

vanfanel
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Re: Introducing the VeriSNES (FPGA-based SNES)

Post by vanfanel » Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:55 am

Hi, I have registered nesdev just to answer on this thread.
I already have a ZX-UNO FPGA board (which is great as has MSX, ZX-SPECTRUM, NES and ATARI 800 cores), a Minimig board (Commodore Amiga 500 + HDD FPGA reimplementation) and others.
What we need is not yet another FPGA board (we have the MIST, FPGA Arcade, etc...) but an open source SNES implementation, so the platform can really live on forever, on any capable FPGA board.
That said, I will contribute to the Patreon *if* an open source implementation comes from it. Have doubts? Look at the ZX-UNO project and how the interest on it EXPLODED literally after the world knew of the open source nature of the project. And it was a ZX-Spectrum, imagine the situation with a SNES reimplementation.

If it's not open-source, it's not of interest really: after the supposedly custom FPGA board has ceased production, we will be in hardware shortage again, and the only ones getting money will be the damn speculators, like vultures devouring a corpse, like they always do.

So, will ot be an open-source core or a custom board with a closed firmware? In the latter case, I think we had enough and don't count on me.
Custom board with open-source core is also good: you get the money, and the world advances towards SNES hardware freedom.

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