Friday, January 11, 2013

Hardware considerations

So the idea is to deliver a simple, cheap, hardware base, home-reproducible, and versatile to hack.
Video signals and sound generation and processing will be software-generated, so the exact characteristics (screen resolution, tile-based engine, frame buffer or even 3D raster, number of sound voices) will be defined by kernel software and will evolve as the hardware is pushed by the software.

Kernels are just drivers set to allow simpler game development by abstracting lower level VGA generation (graphics signal generation) in libs.
The aim is to be simple and cheap, while getting up to date hardware (not in the of powerful meaning - that’s not the point, but easy to find and cheap).

The main CPU will be the STM32F4 from STmicro, which is a quite powerful platform to build on.

Running at 168 MHz, 192 kB RAM and 1MB Flash memory, fast DMAs and 32 bit thumb2 cortex M4F instruction set with simd and float instructions, this little beast seem to have what it takes to bring us to the world of homemade snes (not ) ! It’s about 10-15$ also - even if the whole platform will be more expensive, (whole car vs engine).

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