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Vampire V4 standalone Amiga and all-in-one accelerator announced

by Mark Tyson on 4 August 2017, 14:31

Tags: Commodore USA

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qadke4

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If you ever owned an Amiga, or are interested in alternative OSes and retro computing you might be interested in the following announcement. The team behind the Apollo range of accelerator boards for Amiga computers have a new product in the pipeline called the Vampire V4. This product won't just be made as an add-in accelerator card for existing Amiga computers, it will also be produced as a standalone product with 68080 CPU core and the complete SAGA chipset (AGA compatible).

There will be three flavours of the Vampire V4 produced. The first release will be an A1000/A500/A2000/CDTV model (adaptor required for A600), followed by the standalone system, and finally an A1200 add-in card. If you already have a pending order for a Vampire V600 V2 or Vampire V500 V2+ then you will be able to cancel and pay the difference for a V4 if you wish.

Whichever flavour you are interested in, they are all based around the same core components; an Altera Cyclone V A5 FPGA SoC (28nm) with 512MB DDR3 (up to 1GB/s). The boards support FastIDE with 40/44-pin connectors, Digital Video-out up to 720p@60Hz, dual Kickstart-flashrom (for safety) and microSD storage. Furthermore, the Vampire V4 PCB is bristling with connectors as follows:

  1. IO Header #1
  2. IO Header #2
  3. IO Header #3
  4. Ethernet
  5. USB
  6. USB
  7. DB9 (standalone only)
  8. DB9 (standalone only)
  9. FastIDE 40-pin
  10. FastIDE 44-pin
  11. FPGA
  12. Digital Video Amplifier
  13. Digital Video Output
  14. DDR3 RAM
  15. JTAG Header
  16. MicroSD slot
  17. MicroUSB Power (standalone only)

We don't have any actual pricing but the Apollo team says that prospective Vampire V4 buyers should expect a price hike compared to its previous recent accelerator products, which retail for around the €300 mark.

HEXUS Forums :: 22 Comments

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I mean the product is cool but… that price?!
Hurry up and get the A1200 card out! It seems like forever since the A600 Vampyr came out!

Well done Hexus scoooping this news.
I have been thinking on a Vampire for my A600 for a while now but this looks even better. Mind you one for the A1200 would be a welcome addition if the price is right as current upgrades for the 1200 are pretty expensive. Presently I do have a CF IDE hard drive installed and I managed to source a 2Mb SRam module which goes into the PCMCIA slot on the side of the machine, most games including CD32 work just fine with it, only stuff that causes issues is the games like Monkey Island 2 which is on around 12 discs so not enough ram to preload it.

There is also the Armiga available which is very similar to this but not accelerated and comes in at €189 :

I _still_ love the Amiga despite not having owned one for over a decade now. I'm tempted to splash out, because these Apollo guys seem to have serious technical skills and deserve the support.

What I find impressive is that it's not emulated (the Armiga uses an Arm chip) but implements a real 68060 with an FPGA. You can actually upgrade the CPU and graphics with a download! I'm amazed every time I think about that.

Seems to lack MMU and FPU so far from what I read, and I don't know how much spare space there is on the FPGA for these, but still … could one day just be a download to add them?! Or specialist applications could add entirely new “hardware” such as DSP functions.

I did elec eng years ago, and once thought all computers would be like this. Instead we stalled at 4GHz, slowly added more cores, and shoe-horned in ridiculous instructions into the ugly x86 instruction set.
Daft question, what do you need the Amiga for, this looks like it takes over most of the functions, why not just release it standalone?