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Some Information about 

C O R T E X   D E S I G N

and the upcoming Falcon accelerator


No reason to worry. Even though i'm quite fascinated by the project
currently under development, i'm going to keep this short.
This short note is only supposed to give you a slight introduction into
what Cortex Design currently does, what Tempest is doing right now
and what it will feature when it's done.

First of all, let me say a few words about Cortex Design.
It's obvious to everyone that the old link
is not valid anymore and has been removed because of non-payment.
This and a long time without any updates or changes on the webpage
have caused a lot of people to think that Cortex Design is out
of business once and for all.
But that's not the case. Rumours about Cortex Design finally being
closed have been going around so many times and Cortex Design has
always survived this until now that i have started to consider David,
the head of Cortex Design, immortal.

The facts are this simple:
The contract with CyberSTrider, Cortex Design's ISP that hosted was simply running out and David wanted to
change to anyway - probably including a
change of the ISP as well.
A few problems occured with his new ISP though so that the new
webpage wasn't up and running in time and instead
was disabled instead.
No need to worry though, as soon as the new webpage is available -
David is working on this right now - i'll post it on the DHS-bbs.
So Cortex Design is not out of business, the Eclipse-card is
still available and Tempest is not affected by this either.

So what about Tempest ?
Independantly from Cortex Design, the developer of Tempest,
Sven Karlsson of Istari Software, has succeeded in raising the
money for a so-called 0-series.
This means that a small series of Tempest-prototypes is on the
way for the final improvements on the software - the hardware
should not undergo any more major changes.
The software is of course critical though, Tempest does not only
need a driver like other accelerators do, but a complete 680x0-
emulation to run Atari programs.
But the emulation has progressed quite well, too. It is being
coded on several PowerPC-based systems, mainly an IBM RS/6000 with
a 604 PowerPC processor. It currently features the complete
instruction set of the 68EC030, meaning only the MMU-commands
are missing, additionally it features quite a lot of 68882 FPU-
instructions and also all integer related 68060 commands.
With these specs, the emulation should already be a good basis for
most Atari-applications.
Besides that, the emulation in its final state should also feature
all 68030-instructions (incl. MMU) and all 68882-FPU instructions.
Full 68040 or 68060 is possible, too, but not a primary aim.

As soon as Tempest runs the first Atari applications, benchmarks
will be available on the FMax-page.
According to Sven you can expect a lot of speed. In its fastest
version (200 MHz), Tempest should be able to keep up even with
the forthcoming CenTurbo060 and yet be more compatible - but we'll
see about this when both speeders are done.
Here just a short list of the specs of Tempest:

- 603e PowerPC technology
- Maximum speed 200 MHz
- Up to 256 MB FastRAM
- Solderless installation possible (soldering recommended though)
- Compatible to many busspeeders such as Nemesis
- Compatible to other expansions such as Eclipse
- Highly compatible in the installation with soldering due to
- intelligent emulation, not working step by step but before execution
- Inexpensive, should sell around 200 UKP
- Does not require to recase the Falcon (except if you already have
  an expansion card in your Falcon)

The Paranoid          Paranoia         Think you can handle it ?!
The Lunatic Asylum

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