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Atari Motorola 68881-68882 FPU Coprocessor

Atari Motorola 68881-68882 FPU Coprocessor

Postby Waxjoz » Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:06 pm

Today I had a Motorola 68882 FPU coprocessor installed on the motherboard of my Falcon. Under the powerblock was an empty place. The Falcon was designed to have this coprocessor added. You just have to click it in. (If it's not already there. You can use the SYSINFO.prg to check this)

Here's more information:
http://www.statemaster.com/encyclopedia/Motorola-68882

It's very technical and I don't understand very much of it.

The Atari technician Guus Assmann told me it was a 'kind of dual core' construction. Software that was designed to see the coprocessor can work faster. But it's not clear to me which (music) software can see the 68882.

Do other forum members know more?
Last edited by Anonymous on Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Kind regardz,

Joz
http://www.waxnwane.nl

1 Falcon 030, FPU, 14 MB RAM, 2 Gb SD card
2 x Mega STe, TOS 2.06, 4 Mb RAM, 30 Mb harddisk
1 STe, TOS 2.06 (replaces older TOS), 4 Mb RAM
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Re: Atari Motorola 68881-68882 FPU Coprocessor

Postby Waxjoz » Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:12 pm

I've just discovered that the sample editor Studioson has a special version for Falcons with the Motorola 68882 coprocessor:

Today, it is not a day of bad luck because there is the new release of Studio Son for your Atari Falcon.

Studio Son 2.093b is available in the wonderful french language:
http://doyeuxyvan.free.fr/studioson/std ... D2093F.ZIP

The english version can be found here:
http://doyeuxyvan.free.fr/studioson/std ... D2093E.ZIP

You can, of course, find the classic 68030 and 68030+68882 versions in
these archives.

This version has been tested with an original Falcon 030 with a 68882
coprocessor."

Yvan Doyeux



http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/atar ... sage/14901

Now I remember I've seen more of these programs. :idea:
Kind regardz,

Joz
http://www.waxnwane.nl

1 Falcon 030, FPU, 14 MB RAM, 2 Gb SD card
2 x Mega STe, TOS 2.06, 4 Mb RAM, 30 Mb harddisk
1 STe, TOS 2.06 (replaces older TOS), 4 Mb RAM
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Re: Atari Motorola 68881-68882 FPU Coprocessor

Postby Atari Music Network » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:28 am

Jos, you've inspired me to start a front page article on this topic. Even though many other computers of the time offered similar coprocessors, Atari never ceases to surprise me on its "before its time" features. I'm sure most Atari veterans know that the Motorola 68881/68882 coprocessor was an optional upgrade since the Mega ST series. But for me, it's a brand new, exciting feature I know very little about. We may as well rediscover it for a new Atari generation, right?

If you can find out how many music programs utilized this primordial "duo-core" co-processor, I'll create a how-to installation guide with photos on installing this chip on the Falcon since I have three Falcons I can upgrade with this chip if they don't have it already.
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Re: Atari Motorola 68881-68882 FPU Coprocessor

Postby NCGM » Mon Feb 01, 2010 5:46 pm

I am VERY interested in adding one to my Falcon and from what I can glean from the net, the 68881 are best for the ST range; the 68882 is best for the Falcon and TT. Am I correct in this assumption? I'm hoping that some of the multimedia and pro music production software utilises this processor, particularly Cubase Audio Falcon.

So a guide to * along with costs involved and where to buy etc would be great. Also a list of compatible software and it's benefits.


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Re: Atari Motorola 68881-68882 FPU Coprocessor

Postby Atari Music Network » Mon Feb 01, 2010 5:51 pm

Jos van de Gruiter and I are working on your particular questions as we speak. I dropped my other projects for the next couple days until we sort this out.

Can you point me to the website where you saw that the 68881 was for the ST range vs. the 68882 for the TT and Falcon? I'm also trying to verify if this coprocessor option ever existed for the plain old STe. So far, it looks like it's for the Mega series and up.

We have half an article on the front page with some information on it already.
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Re: Atari Motorola 68881-68882 FPU Coprocessor

Postby NCGM » Thu Feb 25, 2010 3:33 pm

Atari Music Network wrote:

Can you point me to the website where you saw that the 68881 was for the ST range vs. the 68882 for the TT and Falcon? I'm also trying to verify if this coprocessor option ever existed for the plain old STe. So far, it looks like it's for the Mega series and up.



It is information that I have come across while reading the Atari-Forum forums, which are sadly down again due to a hacker. :roll:


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Re: Atari Motorola 68881-68882 FPU Coprocessor

Postby Atari Music Network » Thu Feb 25, 2010 3:52 pm

That's the second time in a month the UK atari-forum went down. It's a shame too - they have the most helpfull community of hardware experts. Hopefully their database is still intact and they'll get the site back up.
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Re: Atari Motorola 68881-68882 FPU Coprocessor

Postby mal7921 » Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:25 am

Well, yes you can add a 68881 co processor to the ST series, but it's not as easy as it is on the Falcon, not even on the Mega series as none of them have a socket on the motherboard to add such a chip.

In fact, up to the mid 1987 STF/STFM motherboards, there was not even a place to put the BLiTTER chip upgrade on the motherboard of the ST series.

However there were some after market upgrades which could add such a chip to the humble ST's, and a processor slot board for the original MEGA ST series (Which first introduced the BLiTTER chip), however these would be hard to find today.

The TT030 had a 68882 * as standard, and possibly the MEGA STE has a socket (I'll have to check to be honest, too much stuff in this head of mine at the mo), but the only machines that I am certain have co processor support on the motherboard are the TT and Falcon.
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Re: Atari Motorola 68881-68882 FPU Coprocessor

Postby Atari Music Network » Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:09 am

I'm going to purchase three of these 68882 FPUs for my three Falcon's sometime next week. It was recommended to me by someone on the Atari-Forum use the Motorola 68882 32MHz versions for the best compatibility. Although there are faster models available up to 50MHz, I've been told that they won't work at that speed unless I supply a separate clock source. Even still, if I tried to push them faster, the main processor can still only process the FPU's returned data at 16MHz so what's the point? I read somewhere that by clocking the FPU to 50Mhz, you'll only get a 5% system speed increase. I wonder why other Falcon owners even bother to overclock the FPU if that's the case. Do you have any idea? I'm sure it's even more complicated than this....

If you haven't seen the article on the Falcon's FPU on the AMN front page, check it out:

http://www.atarimusic.net/index.php/fea ... ris-g-spot

The more information we can learn about the Falcon's FPU, I can always update this article...
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Re: Atari Motorola 68881-68882 FPU Coprocessor

Postby exxosuk » Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:29 pm

The reason a 68882 faster than 16MHz is recommended for the Falcon is in part due to earlier speed boosters, which boosted the bus speed from 16MHz up to a higher speed. If the 68882 was rated for 50MHz, then it would cope fine with a higher bus speed, though if it were only rated for 16MHz, it may not cope so well, even if the 68030 could.

Whichever speed chip you fit, even a 100MHz rated one (Should one exist), it will quite happily co-exist with everything else running at 16MHz :)

I'd fit one to my Falcons, but none of the software I use makes use of it :(
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Re: Atari Motorola 68881-68882 FPU Coprocessor

Postby Metrophage » Sun Jun 06, 2010 2:25 am

I just got my 68882 in the mail yesterday, I am going to clean my Falcon a bit before I install. I ordered only a 16MHz because I have no other acceleration. Also I wonder which apps use the 68881 vs 68882.

The Falcon FPU is a "PLCC" type chip that snaps in, don't order the other kind for a pin socket. Also I recommend buying a cheap PLCC extractor in case you need to remove or swap the chip, they are impossible otherwise.
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Re: Atari Motorola 68881-68882 FPU Coprocessor

Postby NCGM » Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:11 pm

I've since managed to buy two 68882 FPU PLCC chips, one is a 33MHz model from Amiga Kit.com and the other was a 20MHz model from a German Ebay seller. The 33MHz is * and working in one of my two Falcon 030, the other 20MHz I plan to fit soon. So I shall soon find out which is best or if there is no difference for non CT-PCI upgraded machines like mine.

The 33MHz cost approx £27 + P&P and the 20MHz cost £9 + P&P. The German seller has a few for sale at the moment; check out Ebay auction number 320549034500


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