Common Questions and Answers

Here are some of the questions we’ve encountered

 

Q: When will Amy-ITX be ready?

A: She already is. Amy-ITX has been ready for some time now. We just didn’t want to fall in line with the usual shenanigans and “vapourware” that is announced but never delivered.

Q: How much does Amy-ITX cost? And where can I get one?

A: We don’t know and you can’t (for now). Sorry. Amy is only available to a handful (25) of dedicated Early bird enthusiasts. We decided to do this simply to get a feeling for the work involved. If everything works out the way we hope, and if there’s demand for another run we might very well do so. This is a hobbyist project, we’re not making any real money and we have regular jobs and families. As you probably know, spare time is a precious commodity 🙂

 

Q: Is Amy compatible with my old Amiga software?

A: Yes. We have yet to find any 68k Amiga software that does not work as intended on the Amy. This includes running a feature rich Workbench, playing games, running audio and graphics applications and hardware banging demos.

Q: Can I use my old original Amiga flyppy disks with Amy?

A: Yes. Amy has a standard floppy connector and supports both DD, HD and floppy emulators such as HxC by Lotharek or the popular USB Gotek drive by Jean-François DEL NERO. (Thanks guys!)

Q: Can I upgrade the CPU and expand the amount of FAST RAM on Amy with CPU accelerators and Zorro cards?

A: Yes. Good upgrades compatible with an ordinary A500(+)/A2000 CPU-socket or Zorro II should work on Amy without problem. This includes accelerators like the VXL30 and Zorro-graphics, sound and network cards. Amy has been tested with a variety of Amiga expansion cards. Everything looks good so far. If you should find any issues please let us know at “info at amy-itx.com”

Q: Can use accessories like ACA 500 from Individual Computers?

A: No. Amy does not have the standard Amiga 500 side expansion slot. Instead we provide two Zorro II compatible slots for expansion cards. As stated above – accelerators intended for the M68k CPU socket should work fine. Earlybird users have reported the old VXL30, OpenSource Terriblefire 020/030 and the new Apollo Vampire V500 V2(+).

Q: Are you planning to develop any expansion or acceleration cards of your own?

A: Yes. And no. Actually we already have. At DATASTORM 2017 we demonstrated both a very effective 030 accelerator with FAST RAM and IDE/CF as well as a Zorro graphics card based on the Cirrus Logic GD5426 (Picasso compatible) as well as a few other goodies. Other SFF optimized expansions are in development and will be announced if and when available.

Q: What custom chips are needed to get Amy up and running?

A: You will need standard CBM custom chips from an old Amiga 500(+) and Amiga 600. Some chips are still available as NOS on the Net (e-bay, etc.)

More specifically:

  • Motorola (or compatible) 68000 CPU (DIP64)
  • MOS5719 – Gary gate array IC.
  • MOS8520  – CIA (2 pcs. Even and odd) in PLCC44 package!
  • MOS8364 – Paula audio.
  • MOS8362 or MOS8373 – Denise graphics OCS or Hires Denise ECS.
  • MOS8375 – Agnus** – with support for 2MB CHIP RAM. ( **Apparently multiple versions of MOS8375 exists and in rare occasions some might not be compatible. An updated list with exact p/n will be added here shortly** )

Q: Does Amy support Direct Memory Access (DMA) to allow Zorro expansion boards like SCSI controllers to directly access the motherboard RAM?

A: Again – Yes. and no. Without a Bus Master controller (Buster IC) Amy will work fine with one DMA capable Zorro card. Since the original goal was to develop a simple, compatible and modern gaming machine, no focus has been put to remedy this. **Do NOT put two DMA cards in the ZORRO slots of Amy** Things can get very weird.

Q: What version(s) of the Amiga Kickstart ROM works with Amy?

A: All Classic Kickstarts from 1.x to 3.x works. And as an added bonus Amy supports 2 Mbit ROMs and has a special feature on board that we will talk about a little later.

Q: How is Amy  any different from the likes of FPGA Arcade, MiST, Minimig and a standalone Vampire V4?

A: Amy is based around the original custom chips from Commodore(tm). Thus no Amiga chips or functions are emulated or reconstructed using re-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). The result is a very compatible system. 

Q: Why not make an AGA ITX motherboard?

A: Who said we haven’t? Nah – we like the original chipset. Also the graphics system in Amiga third generation Amigas like the 1200 and 4000 (Lisa) is a lot more complex. It includes a full 32-bit memory data bus among other tings. Which would make the system a lot more expensive. The goal with Amy is a small, affordable, compatible and expandable Classic system that enthusiasts can build themselves.

Q: Is Amy an Amiga?

A: No. Amy is not designed by the copyright holders of the “Amiga” brand. And can thus not be referred to as an Amiga home computer. This is and will never be an issue for us.