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Amiga set for a long-awaited reappearance

by Scott Bicheno on 10 August 2011, 18:16

Tags: XMOS

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Readers as old as your veteran correspondent will remember the Amiga sub-brand of Commodore computers from the late 80s and early 90s. Apparently the OS used with these machines has been maintained by enthusiasts over the years, and for some time a company called A-EON technology has been threatening to launch a system based on it.

Well it looks like the waiting is over, with OSNews reporting that the AmigaOne X1000 is being shipped to beta testers this week. You can see a spec list here, but among the distinctive features are a dual-core, 1.8 GHz PowerPC CPU, which is made by Apple-owned PA Semi, and a Xena 500 MHz co-processor made by XMOS, which provides the ‘X' in the name. The latter is wired to an expansion slot on the board to enable it to interface with other devices.

XMOS chips are given the generic tag of ‘software-defined silicon', and offer the programmer more scope to define its function via software, rather than having them predefined by the hardware. This gives them a large degree of adaptabilitlity, especially when it comes to interfacing with other devices. There are more examples of the applications here, and we've embedded a video of the CTO explaining some advantages of XMOS chips below.

We would be keen to hear from any members of the community who have an interest in either AmigaOS or XMOS chips, to find out whether this is something the rest of us should be excited about.



HEXUS Forums :: 25 Comments

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I was into my Amiga's back in the day and still have a pair of 1200's (030/28 and 040/40) with a load of other bits and bobs..

I think its fair to say that whatever they do wont be long term or hit the mainstream, my memorys rubbish but I can remember Amiga as a brand floating between commodore, escom, gateway and god knows who else back in the day, I even had a mate who had some weird dev paltform stuff when they were on about putting the aOS on STB's yeeeears ago…
Any success will depend on the uptake by developers to support the platform.

If you can get it to run Office or Office compatible software (OpenOffice for example) then it'll stand a chance. Very few people will want it if it can't do much more than surf t'interweb, as phones, tablets and netbooks can do that, and most of them can run some form of productivity software…..

I'd love to see the brand back with the PD support it used to receive. It was a revolutionary bit of kit in it's day, which lost it's way for whatever reason…..
Ah Amiga I knew ye well.
Music is still pretty good after all these years.
That XMOS chip sounds like an FPGA. Will do some more reading…

Edit: Also that case looks familiar - looks like a Fractal R3. :P