A while ago i held a talk at the ccc in cologne about my favorite game console the Super Nintendo. This talk covers the Super Nintendo technology in detail. Starting with the CPU and PPU, covering the cartridge memory maps and showing most of the custom chips which where used on cartridges. I also show development hardware, copier stations and the current available flashcarts. The topic emulation is also covered . The second part of the talk is about the quickdev16 project, which i did with my friend max in 2009. We built a flashcart for the SNES which is useful for developing homebrew software. The talk sums up all the details i learned during the research i made to built this kind of cartridge. I uploaded the slides, maybe someone find this useful to dive into the SNES world.
We got a new loader for the Quickdev16 firmware. The loader will replace
the current dummy loader and has a few new advantages:
* Faster upload because of IRQ driven communication between SNES and AVR
* Progressbar while uploading
* Display Rom infos
* ASCII and Katakana font support
* Eyecandy: new logo design with sine wave effect and bassdrum synced
Due to these features the loader blew up to more than 55kb, too much for
our limited space in the AVR progmem (64kb – 4kb bootloader). Our main
firmware is between 8kb and 24kb, depends on the debug-features that you
compile in. So the recent task is to either reduce the loader size by
skipping eyecandy, finding a better compression routine to compress it
in the progmem or build a minimal firmware and put parts of the loader
into the surplus 4kb eeprom on the AVR. Probably we will have to combine
the different approaches.
One reason why the firmware is that big these days is the new “minimal
debug terminal”, a serial command line where you can maintain the
Quickdev system status. You can dump memory regions from sram, switch
between the busses, write to the shared memory section, show the status
of the hardware ports and use several other usefull commands. Check the
project page for more details on the commands.
Last week we shipped the first batch of Quickdevs. The Software is feature ready, but we wanted to do some eye candy on the SNES software side, which didn’t work out yet. So software updates are coming within the next weeks.
Feel free to order at david @ optixx.org.