Amaranth and the initial state

A project log for Amaranth : PowerPC homebrew computer

Amaranth plans to be a homebrew driven by a PPC603e, a CPU in the PowerPC family of chips

Carson HerringtonCarson Herrington 07/20/2019 at 13:140 Comments

As the first project log, here begins the obligatory 'how and why'.

Is this on hold, is it shelved, what is it?

Amaranth is certainly alive, and is my main hardware project as of now. After more or less finishing my 68030 homebrew Blitz (write-up still pending currently, but here's an old video until then), I wanted to pursue a different architecture. I was sparked to actually do something when I realized that not only could you get PowerPC chips in QFP, but that they actually weren't that bad price wise on eBay.

Right now, I am busy migrating the schematic and the already partially laid out board to a different CPU: the PPC603e. Previously, I was using the PPC601v, which has a 64bit data bus. I only recently realized that there was a PPC chip that supported a 32bit bus, which I decided was much more within the scope of this project. Aside from that, the hardware is more or less finalized, but is by no means set in stone; Certain bits probably will change as I get further into the datasheets.

Here's the full board layout right now:

As stated in the project details, Amaranth is definitely in the design phase for the most part. I created this project page mainly because I have just started actively working on it regularly again, and expect to have a lot more to talk about as a result.