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Demos Amiga Demoscene Archive Forum / Coding / AGA Crimes


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#1 - Posted: 11 Mar 2006 01:32
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List what you annoyed you about the AGA chips.

1. After the blitter being 7 years old they still kept the same 16 bit blitter in the new 32 bit Amigas :0( They gave us extra bitplanes but no faster chip to move the data. The architecture was all there for them to make the Blitter 32 bit.

I actually spoke to Dave Haynie on this and he said this:-

> 1. Why was their seven years between the PAD and AGA chipsets, when mainly only the display hardware was 4x the speed ?

When Commodore bought Amiga, their stuff wasn't in such great shape. The
original Amiga chips were not in CAD systems, but based on hand-drawn
schematics. The first step was bringing the technology into Commodore's
system. Then cost reduction for the Amiga 500/2000 in 1987, then the ECS
chips in 1989, and the AA in 1992 (the AAA project was actually started
in 1988, before AA).

That's the nice way of looking at it. The real reason things didn't
happen fast enough is because chip development is very expensive, and
Commodore's upper management decided to give themselves the highest
salaries in the whole computer systems industry (eg, more than the heads
of Apple, Compaq, or IBM were making at the time) rather than invest in
the technology.

> 4. Why was the Blitter and copper only 16 bit the same as PAD seven years earlier in a 32 bit chipset?

See #1. The AAA chipset, which had 32-bit/64-bit features, was in
prototype when C= went under, but never completed.

> 6. Would the Amiga after the triple A have hardware texture mapping ?

No. AAA was designed long before any 3D features were being implemented in hardware. The Hombre chipset, which was in development in 1993/94, as a new architecture (eg, not Amiga compatible) supported hardware 3D functions as well as an on-chip CPU with 3D operations. This one never actually made it to silicon.

> 7. I heard that a new Amiga chipset from Jay Miner in 1986 was going to have a blitter per playfield

Not even remotely. We talked about things like a blitter per bitplane,
and it was actually possible in AAA to run multiple blitters (though
requiring one per bitplane was too restrictive, and it didn't deal with
color very well anyway), but that was not involving anyone from Los

> and also what happend to the AA+?

AA+ was never anything more than a specification. Management decided
there were not enough resources to work on both AAA and AA+, so AA+ was
never actually started.
#2 - Posted: 3 Oct 2006 15:06
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-Horribly suboptimal memory fetch architecture that wastes a lots of bandwidth with more than 4 bitplans. (eg. did you notice that 4bpl shires eats much less memory bandwidth than 8bpl lowres even though the actual amount of fetched data is twice as high?)

-No chunky mode

-No higher resolution modes. (4bpl 1024x768 should have been possible easily..)

-Wasting time on improving the sprites (Is there any piece of software using these features? Ok, this is not entirely the fault of the designers.)
#3 - Posted: 31 Oct 2006 18:50
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Too bad - these discussions are only fun if there is somebody with a counterposition. Looks like most people here are too reasonable :)
#4 - Posted: 31 Oct 2006 19:54
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I'll bite.. wide sprites were very usefull to implement for example masking layers and overlays on chunkycopper and ham8 screens :P An also to superimpose SHIRES labels over LOWRES effects :)
#5 - Posted: 1 Nov 2006 14:29
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I thought 64 pixel wides sprites were usefull as well.

Know matter what you did to the screen with the copper you could always overlay hardware sprites to display your logo etc. Most the 2d based AGA games during the day used them a lot as well, as they were so efficient to use. I think some games used them to add an extra playfield.

The last Amiga chipset in deveopment the Hombre had dropped support for hardware sprites though. In an interview with Amiga chip designer Dr Ed Helper he said this:-

" I talked to enough people to realize that many game developers were unhappy with the sprite hardware. Most said that 8 sprites were not enough. Most also said that the collision detection hardware was inadequate. No matterhow many sprites I would have put in hardware, someone would have wanted at least one more. So I put in no sprite hardware, but put in some blitter modes which made generating scenes with software sprites very easy. There was really only one hardware sprite, for a cursor ".


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