FAQ

This section attempts to answer most questions you might have. We will update this when we believe that a question and answer have come up that are worth mentioning!

Q: Where does the name "UltimatePPC" come from?
A: We aimed at building the best CPU expansion card possible for the Amiga 3000 & 4000 that offers every thinkable expansion option right on the card. We thought the name fits this ultimate expansion!
Q: Why did you choose to use the 68040 CPU instead of the 68060?
A: There are many reasons why we chose to use the 68040. The 68060 is very hard to come by at reasonable quantities that are not (a) fake, (b) outrageously expensive and (c) take up much valuable board space as a PGA package.
Q: Why not use a FPGA based softcore 68000 or the CPU from the Natami project?
A: We looked at the FPGA based softcore CPUs that are available but we were not happy with what is there. The 68040 is the best CPU available to the Amiga as it provides decent speed and high compatibility. The Natami 68070 project is not finalized and details on this CPU are not available. The board is ready to support a softcore 68K.
Q: How about the ColdFire CPUs? They are cheap and there is a CPU card for the Atari made using on of them!
A: Using the ColdFire is very difficult for this as the code for the ROMs / OS is not available to recompile (which it is apparently for the Atari TOS or so we understand). As the CPU is not 100% 68K compatible we would turn our project into a nightmare trying to get the compatibility as close as possible to 100%. We did not want to spend our development time on that but put focus on the peripheral and PowerPC part of our design.
Q: What PowerPC CPU are you using?
A: The UltimatePPC uses the Freescale QoriQ P1013 e500v2 CPU.
Q: How many components are there on the UltimatePPC?
A: Good question, a lot! There are more than 500 components on each board.
Q: What video modes and compatibility does the DVI port provide?
A: We have not decided yet but we know that Picasso96 compatibility is basically a "must have" for this to work. It is low on the priority list so it might be added later as a firmware upgrade.
Q: What USB stack is used?
A: We are still working on that! We know that USB is one of the greatest additions to the Amiga you can have and with the DENEB sold out we are looking to provide a solid USB solution as part of the UltimatePPC.
Q: Is the ethernet compatible to any current card?
A: We are developing a SANA2 compatible driver for the ethernet.
Q: Do you bundle any TCP/IP stack with the card?
A: No, there is no Roadshow, Miami or anything included. The TCP/IP stack from 3.9 or any other should work fine if it works with SANA2 compliant devices.
Q: Will the ethernet work in my Amiga 3000? It looks cramped in there!
A: Good question. The header that we put on the development boards will align nicely with the 3000D case leaving no room for a cable or bracket. But behind the connector there is a pin-header with the pins of the ethernet jack. We are looking for a solution to get this out of the Amiga reliably but it might be that you cannot use this ethernet interface in a 3000D at full speed (Gigabit) but need to revert to 100Mbit/s.
Q: How does the memory work? I see two different memory sizes?
A: There is 128MB of memory that is available to the 68040 regardless of the state of the PowerPC CPU. This memory is added to your Amiga just like other accelerators. This memory provides the best performance for the 68040 as the UltimatePPC implements a high-speed DDR3 memory controller specifically for this. The SODIMM memory on the UltimatePPC connects to the memory controller of the PowerPC and provides up to 2 GByte of DDR3 memory to any OS running on the PowerPC. We have not yet decided if we will do it but it is technically possible to map this memory to the 68040 to expand the Amiga OS memory while running a "Classic OS".
Q: Will the PowerPC run AmigaOS4.x / MorphOS / etc. ?
A: We hope so! We will work actively with any developer to get these OSes supported on the UltimatePPC.
Q: Will the PowerPC CPU be supported in WarpUP / PowerUp under the Classic 3.x OS versions?
A: That would be awesome. It will be a very difficult task because for this to work as we would need to have a compatible kernel that runs on the UltimatePPC. The PowerUp / WarpUP kernel is closed source and not available to us and we would need to work around the slight differences in architecture. We would love to see this If you have voodoo coding skills, know how and want to put in serious effort please let us know. developed
Q: How much will this board cost?
A: We are still working on the price point as we do not have all costs involved clear yet (we are still working on the industrialization of the design and looking to license certain software parts). Our goal is to have a price point that allows all Amiga enthusiasts to buy this ultimate upgrade.
Q: When can I buy the UltimatePPC?
A: It depends on how quickly we can get the software developed. Right now we are aiming at Christmas 2012.
Q: Where can I buy it when its done?
A: We are selecting a limited number of distributors that will sell the card and possibly needed accessories.
Q: On the photos there is no Amiga CPU slot connector, how can that be? I heard they are no longer available?
A: We have been able to secure a supply of connectors which was not soldered to the card yet when we took the pictures.