The old meets the new
The modern FPGAs are so cool! Apart from being a platform to
computers they can also be used to enhance them.
Here is a prototype of an "mini-everything" card. "Everything"
because the FPGAs are so flexible and. Mini because this
particular FPGA has limited resources. It was chosen as the only one in
the (Spartan AN) family with a non-BGA case
that can almost be hand soldered. "Almost" because I can't do it myself
but others can and one did :)
The 4 voltage regulators are an overkill for this particular setup as
only 3.3V and 1.2V are needed by the FPGA itself but there are present
to cover possible needs of the plug-in peripheral boards. The FPGA and
Apple bus voltage converters are the only other active elements. Oh,
and the FPGA is $9 quantity 1 at DigiKey!
With no additional hardware except for a JTAG interface (that you
already have if you do FPGA work) this board can act as an Apple 2 bus
logic analyser. Just use the stock tools from Altium or Xilinx.
The "peripheral board" connector accepts an Altium Nanoboard peripheral.
As a proof of concept here is one with IDE/CF connectors plugged
And an extremely simple configuration using a tiny fraction of the tiny
FPGA makes this device a clone of the CFFA card. It even works ;)
From merely ridiculus to patently
This card has a huge 500,000 gate FPGA. Big enough to implement 3 or 4
complete Apple 2 computers, CPU included.
Here a fancy Altium video i/o daughterboard is mounted. Just because I
have it. For VGA compatible output from Apple the 2 resistors per color
"DAC" produces exactly the same result.
This sandwich acts as a nice video board for an Apple 2 computer. I
first wanted to publish screen shots here, but they are identical to
what my FPGApple produces. No big surprize: portions of the same
The board we hope to offer to the public in the near future will have
an integrated resistor DAC.