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about Tempest

the PowerPC based Falcon accelerator

If you have internet access, you might have found out: The Fmax and
Tempest pages have not been updated very often in the past year and
it looked like the development around Tempest has stalled.
It did not.
There have been some changes and as usual, those have caused delays.

Like for example the announcement from Motorola to discontinue the
MPC8240 series - which was the processor system that the designer
of Tempest, Sven Karlsson, has decided to use as CPU on the
Tempest accelerator.
Unfortunately, the MPC8241 and MPC8245 series of Motorola are not
100% identical to the MPC8240 so the PCB had to be patched and
tested to work with these two MPCs as well.
The simulations are about to be finished, currently the FastRAM-
subsystem is being checked at higher clockrates (around 75 MHz)
and with those changes, the specs of Tempest have even improved
a little: The MPC8241 is inexpensive and available at clockspeed
up to 200 MHz, the MPC8245 can be clocked with up to 300 MHz.
Both consist of a 603e-compatible CPU core so the software made
for Tempest does not need to be changed in any way.

Besides that, the schedule for post-Tempest development has been
set as well. First follow-up to Tempest will be the Destiny-card,
the one that lets you drive a Tempest-accelerator in a PCI-based
Atari-clone like the Milan and the Hades.
The basic layout of this card is already done so once Tempest is
finished, Destiny itself should follow really fast.
The other adapters, DesTTiny and DeSTiny, allowing TT or Atari ST
users to run a Tempest card in their computer will only be
developed and produced on demand, so once Tempest is done, make
sure you tell us that you want such a card if you do.

Finally, Frontier Systems in Germany have taken over the distribution
of the Eclipse-card, the PCI-adaptor for the Falcon, and lowered
the price massively. Charon of Escape did a lot of testing with the
card (including the ATI Rage2) and after a few problems at the
beginning, he definetly grew to like it and managed to run it with
MiNT as well. This way he discovered a bug in the current beta-release
of fVDI: If running the newest fVDI distribution, make sure you do not
run the RAGE.SYS driver of this distribution but the RAGE.SYS of the
distribution that came with the card. Obviously, the newer RAGE.SYS
has problems with a batch of ATI cards.
If you're interested in Eclipse, have a look at
Currently, several people work on network drivers for Eclipse,
however, as usual, due to circumstances beyond anybody's control,
things move a lot slower than originally planned.

I wish i could give you a reliable time scale about the further
development of Tempest, but i can't. At least the financial part
seems to be solved so that once the development of Tempest is
finished, producing the first series will not require additional
I'll keep you informed.

                                              The Paranoid/Paranoia
                                              of the Lunatic Asylum

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