FPGA World Tour

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I’m missing this significance, hasn’t NeoGeo emulation been sorted for nearly 20 years at this point?

fpga

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MiSTer is the free open-source alternative to e.g. Analogue’s FPGA offerings (Nt mini, Super Nt, Mega Sg)

it’s very exciting

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The coolest thing about FPGA gaming hardware from my POV is that it will keep fully authentic speedrunning (same latency, same glitches) alive even after enough of the originals croak to make buying one inaccessibly expensive.

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I don’t believe anyone knows what fpga means and it is a buzz word for people that watch gamer youtube to yell about.

I’m an engineer and I do FPGA adjacent work every day.

I still barely know what they are. Not that I can’t educate myself on them. I just flash new software on them and make sure they make my devices work.

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field programmable gate array

does what it says on the box

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Fake Professional Golfers’ Association

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It’s “French people go away.”

Not cool!

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Aren’t FPGAs just programmable microchips? So you can program and burn code into them at home instead of having to get a custom chip made for whatever you’re trying to do. I guess they’re better than software emulation because you aren’t translating instruction through an operating system, you’re just straight up recreating how the original hardware worked?

Programming and wiring microcontrollers was the most fun I had at college. That’s FPGA adjacent I guess.

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fpga emulation is not inherently better than pure software it’s just another method but also it is cool

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Kind of. They’re programmable but at the hardware layer. Programming it is more like “wire up these transistors to act like a NAND gate” rather than running instructions on a general purpose processor. So, if you do it right, you end up with a chunk of hardware that performs identically to the real thing. It’s barely even emulation at that point. And you could reprogram the FPGA to do something different later if you want. Lots of work that would need to be done on the programming side, but on the hardware side it’s conceivable to have a raspberry pi size computer that could perfectly emulate every 2d console.

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FPGA reimplementations of computer hardware tend to have much, much, much better performance per watt (power efficiency) than equivalently accurate software emulation, if that’s something that matters to you.

…you folks are baiting me into making a longpost about FPGAs, aren’t you?

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the fpga on your stargate isn’t properly configured.

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This line always gets me because I don’t get how a chip = just like a bunch of other stuff! Like it is still programming right? It is still lines of code reconstructing hardware and software. I don’t see how that ends up “like the real thing” outside of some people tried really hard and it seems like the real thing…which is emulation.

if you have an x86 chip it still has to execute x86 instructions whether or not those x86 instructions are originally mips instructions recompiled very very carefully in real time at great expense

if you have an fpga it can natively execute the mips instructions

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FPGAs aren’t computers running software. When you program an FPGA, the microchip will be physically burned to change how the physical transistors/logic gates inside it operate. All computer hardware at their core are just a bunch of transistors/logic gates, so you can conceivably replicate the original game console hardware by just mimicking how the original game consoles transistors/logic gates were physically built.

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i have a very limited understanding of this, but when it comes to FPGAs in this context, programming just means you’re telling the FPGA to mimic another chip. that means it can be a theoretically “perfect” recreation of the original hardware if its programmed properly. it’s not like running software to mimic a SNES

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This is the same technology companies like AMD and Intel use to test upcoming processor designs before doing a fabrication run, just at a much smaller scale.