New case design and setting a schedule

A project log for Tomodachi X2

A modern retro system, compatible with the C64, C128 and MSX2+.

Maya PoschMaya Posch 08/28/2019 at 19:180 Comments

With the PCB I/O layout close to being finalised, a mock-up of the case for the system was created that should give some idea of what the final product should look like:

Rough dimensions for the case are: 340x190x120 mm  (WxDxH). The final look will likely differ from these preliminary renders, but it should give some idea of what to expect there. The 'Legend of Nyan' MSX cartridge is not included with the final product (unless sponsored to become a real game, of course).

Alice update

Sharp eyes may have noticed that the specifications for "Alice" have been changed slightly. The internal communication bus has been firmly set to be AXI4 (AMBA 4), with the internal CPU core being the Plasma, MIPS I-compatible core which is currently being ported to ECP5 FPGAs. While some may lament the loss of RISC-V as a feature, this change should provide the fast prototyping and stable development toolchain that the project can use to get it finished.

Remaining schedule

Barring any major setbacks, next month should see the integration of the individual parts of Alice, followed by the integration of the Super-IO chip and other components external to the FPGA. This will initially be done on breakout boards to ease development.

Following this, the schematic for the PCB will be finalized for prototyping. This should happen later this year, with possibly final integration and assembly testing following before the end of the year. That should conclude the PCB development and with it most of the FPGA core development.

Finally, next year should see the development of the final case design, the integration of the PCB and the progress towards towards actually getting the whole package produced, the progress of which will most likely depend on the demand and the resulting budget.