Author Topic: Hardware upgrade? ARM/MIPS  (Read 4507 times)

Quickman (OP)

  • Posts: 220
Hardware upgrade? ARM/MIPS
« on: October 22, 2015, 11:47:57 pm »
 Hi! new here

 I love the zero, but was devastated when I came across the other day n64/PSX  are seemingly a no go. Which had me wondering, is there anyway to upgrade the hardware maybe with a different processor that could still work with Linux in order to port over already working/glitch free emulators for such? I assume this would change the whole architecture and so call me foolish for even asking. However, I became really curious, and like I said, I love the zero. Would love to modify it to be my complete favorite piece of gaming hardware. Figured this would be the place to ask. Really just want to see if something like this were even remotely possible. Again, I'm just spit balling and I have no idea what this would entail.  However, there are no stupid questions, just stupid people, am I right?

-stupid people


Edit: I should clarify too, I was not trying to start a post in regards to advice of where to seek n64/PSX emulation on other devices. Again, like I said I love the zero (size, screen, button mods, battery life, etc.) and I'm just curious if I can make it do this.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2015, 12:01:57 am by Quickman77 »

Senor Quack

  • Posts: 223
Re: Hardware upgrade? ARM/MIPS
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2015, 12:43:29 am »
Nope, the SoC chip is soldered to the board. Even if you possessed a BGA rework station, the next chip in that generation of SoCs is a completely different size, even if it were pin-compatible (which it is not, as it has more pins). And you can just forget about swapping an ARM chip in, that's not how it works, man.

The real issue is that this is a MIPS device, not an ARM. ARM is much much more common and has more of a history in handheld gaming devices and cellphones. Therefore, there are not yet any PSX/N64 dynarecs written for MIPS. If they do get written, you'd likely find PSX would run well on the GCW Zero, as its CPU was 32-bit and ran at a pretty low clockrate. N64 is more demanding to emulate. Noone can yet say with much certainty how well N64 will run on our device, if and when it does get a dynarec.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2015, 12:57:43 am by Senor Quack »

Quickman (OP)

  • Posts: 220
Re: Hardware upgrade? ARM/MIPS
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2015, 01:49:41 am »
Nope, the SoC chip is soldered to the board. Even if you possessed a BGA rework station, the next chip in that generation of SoCs is a completely different size, even if it were pin-compatible (which it is not, as it has more pins). And you can just forget about swapping an ARM chip in, that's not how it works, man.

The real issue is that this is a MIPS device, not an ARM. ARM is much much more common and has more of a history in handheld gaming devices and cellphones. Therefore, there are not yet any PSX/N64 dynarecs written for MIPS. If they do get written, you'd likely find PSX would run well on the GCW Zero, as its CPU was 32-bit and ran at a pretty low clockrate. N64 is more demanding to emulate. Noone can yet say with much certainty how well N64 will run on our device, if and when it does get a dynarec.

Thank you so much

Oh well


care16la20

  • Posts: 178
Re: Hardware upgrade? ARM/MIPS
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2015, 12:36:17 pm »


Btw, PSX right now is definitely NOT a "no go"

Quickman (OP)

  • Posts: 220
Re: Hardware upgrade? ARM/MIPS
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2015, 07:58:56 pm »


Btw, PSX right now is definitely NOT a "no go"
Very cool!

Just grouped it together on accident with an n64 emulation post I saw yesterday. Psx would be cool. N64 would be pinnacle ;)

Quickman (OP)

  • Posts: 220
Re: Hardware upgrade? ARM/MIPS
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2015, 08:11:34 pm »
@Senor Quack thanks again for the detailed reply. I had a feeling there'd be problematic soldering and whatnot, but I was too anxious and curious to not ask. Also, you said "if and when" n64 got a dynamic recompilation,  but that is to say solely IF somebody were working on it. Correct me if I'm wrong, (which is the reason why I started this post to begin with) I thought Nintendo 64 emulation was canceled for the zero and currently no programmers were interested in giving up that much time/brainpower just to see if it maybe works.  Are you saying there are still people working on this? Just curious. I could've read your words wrong. Thanks again for all the knowledge!

opt2not

  • Posts: 203
Re: Hardware upgrade? ARM/MIPS
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2015, 08:12:06 pm »
N64 would be cool. Psx would be pinnacle ;)
FTFY.
I never cared for N64. Crappy graphics, bad controller interface. Plus the N64 library isn't as robust as the PSX.   

Quickman (OP)

  • Posts: 220
Re: Hardware upgrade? ARM/MIPS
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2015, 08:17:34 pm »
N64 would be cool. Psx would be pinnacle ;)
FTFY.
I never cared for N64. Crappy graphics, bad controller interface. Plus the N64 library isn't as robust as the PSX.
Haha!  Don't tangle my words, friend! I guess it just comes down to childhood. I had a Nintendo 64, and I never had a PlayStation. Which I guess in some way shape and form (nostalgia aside), it would be awesome to dive into A NEW childhood with PSX. ;)

so let's just say it would all be 'pinnacle' to me.

Quickman (OP)

  • Posts: 220
Re: Hardware upgrade? ARM/MIPS
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2015, 07:16:02 pm »
@opt2not also, I do agree with you on the n64 library of games. But there are just a very few gems I'd absolutely love/wish to see on the zero.

Senor Quack

  • Posts: 223
Re: Hardware upgrade? ARM/MIPS
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2015, 09:21:58 pm »
@Senor QuackI thought Nintendo 64 emulation was canceled for the zero and currently no programmers were interested in giving up that much time/brainpower just to see if it maybe works.  Are you saying there are still people working on this? Just curious. I could've read your words wrong. Thanks again for all the knowledge!

If there is someone working on it, they likely wouldn't announce they are until it is well-close to completion. Firstly, writing a dynarec is incredibly difficult to do. It is one of the most challenging tasks a programmer could attempt, and so either a PSX or N64 dynarec is challenging enough. Secondly, anyone intelligent enough to write and debug one (I am not) would easily see that our system would be pushed to the very limit and probably beyond emulating the N64. Consequently, any person attempting work on either would have little incentive to say anything. At best, they are setting others up for disappointment.

So, just keep your expectations in check and if something great happens, give the person your utmost appreciation and respect.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2015, 10:04:27 pm by Senor Quack »

Quickman (OP)

  • Posts: 220
Re: Hardware upgrade? ARM/MIPS
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2015, 10:21:10 pm »
@Senor QuackI thought Nintendo 64 emulation was canceled for the zero and currently no programmers were interested in giving up that much time/brainpower just to see if it maybe works.  Are you saying there are still people working on this? Just curious. I could've read your words wrong. Thanks again for all the knowledge!


So, just keep your expectations in check and if something great happens, give the person your utmost appreciation and respect.

 Absolutely! Well put

care16la20

  • Posts: 178
Re: Hardware upgrade? ARM/MIPS
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2015, 11:47:21 pm »


Btw, PSX right now is definitely NOT a "no go"
Very cool!

Just grouped it together on accident with an n64 emulation post I saw yesterday. Psx would be cool. N64 would be pinnacle ;)


If the currently "crappy"  available "beta" emulator I made it run:

Crash Team Racing (few graphic glitches)
Z
Final Fantasy 7
Warcraft 2
Red Alert
Transport Tycoon
Railroad Tycoon 2
Parasite Eve
Jet Moto
Theme Park

... and about a 20 more games that I like so if it's get a little polished/optimized, it's definitely a good start point ...

Ryvan

  • Posts: 55
Re: Hardware upgrade? ARM/MIPS
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2015, 03:10:47 am »
Nope, the SoC chip is soldered to the board. Even if you possessed a BGA rework station, the next chip in that generation of SoCs is a completely different size, even if it were pin-compatible (which it is not, as it has more pins). And you can just forget about swapping an ARM chip in, that's not how it works, man.

The real issue is that this is a MIPS device, not an ARM. ARM is much much more common and has more of a history in handheld gaming devices and cellphones. Therefore, there are not yet any PSX/N64 dynarecs written for MIPS. If they do get written, you'd likely find PSX would run well on the GCW Zero, as its CPU was 32-bit and ran at a pretty low clockrate. N64 is more demanding to emulate. Noone can yet say with much certainty how well N64 will run on our device, if and when it does get a dynarec.

Pardon me if I misunderstand, why do you even need a dynarec here? I was pretty sure the N64 was a MIPS processor in the first place. I get that the hardware may not be completely compatible, but shouldn't it be easier to work with than ARM, at least in theory? Is there any specific blog/article/detail on why it wouldn't be relatively simply to get a N64 emulator working on the Zero? Or is it just that there isn't a MIPS N64 emulator of any sort, necessitating substantial ground-level work?
« Last Edit: October 25, 2015, 03:12:50 am by Ryvan »

Senor Quack

  • Posts: 223
Re: Hardware upgrade? ARM/MIPS
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2015, 03:45:52 am »
Pardon me if I misunderstand, why do you even need a dynarec here? I was pretty sure the N64 was a MIPS processor in the first place. I get that the hardware may not be completely compatible, but shouldn't it be easier to work with than ARM, at least in theory? Is there any specific blog/article/detail on why it wouldn't be relatively simply to get a N64 emulator working on the Zero? Or is it just that there isn't a MIPS N64 emulator of any sort, necessitating substantial ground-level work?

No harm in asking.. Emulating even a 32-bit CPU from a game console has signficant overhead most never think of. An N64 emulator would have to process so much more than that, it would easily be spending five times as much either calculating or, waiting on calculations. as the other. The graphics alone are a whole nother story

There's a lot more to writing an emulator, whether it be a dynarec or not, than most people realize.

And, no, there is no MIPS dynarec to base off of, unfortunately, at least not yet..
« Last Edit: October 25, 2015, 04:26:27 am by Senor Quack »

Malleus

  • Posts: 67
Re: Hardware upgrade? ARM/MIPS
« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2015, 10:16:12 am »
Thats not true,
there IS a N64 emulator for the old PSP, and thats running 222/333mhz using less then 32meg memory as standard and its a MIPS CPU using a ASM written MIPS recompiler.

There are just no developers wanting to touch it :)
(And no, I'm not a developer that could touch it either :))

www.dashhacks.com/psp/psp-emulators/daedalusx64-beta-r1909-a-new-n64-emulator-for-sony-portables.html
forums.daedalusx64.com/compat.php
« Last Edit: October 25, 2015, 10:17:54 am by Malleus »

Quickman (OP)

  • Posts: 220
Re: Hardware upgrade? ARM/MIPS
« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2015, 03:55:03 pm »
Thats not true,
there IS a N64 emulator for the old PSP, and thats running 222/333mhz using less then 32meg memory as standard and its a MIPS CPU using a ASM written MIPS recompiler.

There are just no developers wanting to touch it :)
(And no, I'm not a developer that could touch it either :))

www.dashhacks.com/psp/psp-emulators/daedalusx64-beta-r1909-a-new-n64-emulator-for-sony-portables.html
forums.daedalusx64.com/compat.php

Why wouldn't they want to touch it?
Is it considered back handed to the original dev or something?


Also, thanks for all these replies guys! Learning a lot!

Quickman (OP)

  • Posts: 220
Re: Hardware upgrade? ARM/MIPS
« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2015, 03:58:34 pm »
@care16la20 that's awesome bud! I'll definitely have to check that out and hopefully by the time  I get my zero up and running, all the bugs will be worked out ;)
Thanks!

care16la20

  • Posts: 178
Re: Hardware upgrade? ARM/MIPS
« Reply #17 on: October 25, 2015, 09:08:50 pm »
@care16la20 that's awesome bud! I'll definitely have to check that out and hopefully by the time  I get my zero up and running, all the bugs will be worked out ;)
Thanks!

This is with the current PSX4ALL available... I dont know if someone is improving it btw

Quickman (OP)

  • Posts: 220
Re: Hardware upgrade? ARM/MIPS
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2015, 09:41:04 pm »
@care16la20 that's awesome bud! I'll definitely have to check that out and hopefully by the time  I get my zero up and running, all the bugs will be worked out ;)
Thanks!

This is with the current PSX4ALL available... I dont know if someone is improving it btw

  No worries! That's just cool that something exists at least! Thanks so much, man!

 

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