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== Press Releases ==
Pioneering a new generation in graphics performanceThe CYBERVISION64
graphics card is produced by phase 5 digital products, the developers and
manufacturers of the Fastlane Z3 Controller, the Blizzard Turbo Card series
and the Cyberstorm 68040/68060 Accelerator.
The CYBERVISION64 satisfies the most demanding requirements on performance
and system conformity because of its combination of an extremely fast 32
bit Zorro3 interface, a 64 bit wide graphics controller and exceptional
Once again the phase 5 design team have proven their competence as one of
the most innovative technological pioneers in the AMIGA market.Based on the
highly integrated graphic chip Trio64 from the renowned manufacturers S3,
which integrates an expensive graphics processor, a complex 64 bit wide
Blitter as well as a highly efficient 24 bit converter for D/A conversion,
the CYBERVISION64 can offer a video band width of 135 MHz.
It will, therefore, support a variety of resolutions in True Color, High
Color and 256 colours.
The CYBERVISION64 32 Bit Zorro3 interface is highly optimised and allows
transmission rates from the AMIGA main memory to the graphic memory of up
to 16 MByte/sec (using fast CPU cards) - an exemplary rate that sets new
Data transfers within the CYBERVISION64 video memory are executed by the 64
Bit Blitter at speeds above 100 MByte/sec, practically in an imperceptible
amount of time, resulting in extremely fast shifting operations, for
example.Another special feature of the CYBERVISION64 is its hardware
support of Planar-to-Chunky Conversion which, with AMIGA graphics cards,
often takes up most of the time required for emulation and representation
of the AMIGA modes.
This hardware solution is some 6-8 times faster than typical software
solutions which considerably accelerates the emulation and representation
of AMIGA modes and especially the representation of 8 Bit graphics.
Complementing this efficient hardware is excellent driver software which
fully utilises the performance of the card for unusual system conformities.
The CYBERVISION64 screen modes are installed via the CYBERVISION64 monitor
files, are available via normal ASL-Requester (e.g. in screen mode in
PREFS) as "normal" system resolutions, and for common applications
operating under OS3.0 or 3.1 require no additional driver.
Working with CYBERVISION64 becomes a real pleasure. By supporting many
functions, such as draggable screens or virtual screens that can be
considerably larger than the actual screen resolution and within which you
can scroll much like within an AMIGA Superbitmap, the CYBERVISION64
achieves an extraordinary Look-and-Feel that is difficult to differentiate
from the original AMIGA resolution.
Naturally, the CYBERVISION64 has an expansion bus through which additional
cards such as JPEG or MPEG cards can directly access the fast video memory
making the CYBERVISION64 suitable for future developments. The combination
of the attention that has been paid to necessary details, such as slipped
through AMIGA video signal and integrated, loss-free electronic switching,
default-monitor-timing on system start-up or simple expansion of the 2MB
version to 4MB with common memory modules, with the usual high quality of
phase 5 products will be able to satisfy even the most demanding user.
CYBERVISION64Pioneering a new generation in graphics performance
Cybervision64 Technical DataHigh speed graphics card with 64 bit graphics
processor and Blitter as well as a 32 bit Zorro3 bus interface
2 MB or 4 MB video memory, configured by the user
Resolution Noninterlaced: up to 1280x1024 pixels in 8 bit, up to 800x600
pixels in 24 bit; Interlaced: up to 1600x1200 pixels in 8 bit, up to
1024x768 pixels in 24 bit
135 MHz Video DAC
Planar-to-chunky pixel conversion using special hardware (RoXXIer chip)
Slip through AMIGA signal with loss-free, electronic switching
Digital video bus for optimal expansion (shared memory bus) with access
to the video memory
System local software with Workbench emulation, Support Library, linking
via monitor files CYBERVISION64 screen modes including standard AMIGA
* Basic Equipment and Technical Data of the CYBERSTORM System *
Each CYBERSTORM system contains a Carrier Board, a CPU Module and a Memory
The I/O Module and the Cache Module are optional expansion modules.
CYBERSTORM Carrier Board Interface board which inserts into the 200 pin
Ports for the CYBERSTORM CPU Module, the CYBERSTORM Memory Board and the
CYBERSTORM I/O Module
Fully asynchronous interface between the modules
Extremely fast programmable logic, selected A-Grade FCT circuit logic,
high-class high density connector
Slot for 68060 software Boot ROM (or Flash ROM) or Ethernet Boot ROM
(used with the CYBERSTORM I/O Module) to boot up the computer from a
network hard drive.
CYBERSTORM CPU Module
Optimally tuned to the processor used and its speed
Prepared for processor clock speeds up to 80 MHz
Active CPU cooling, uncoupled CPU voltage supply with 5 or 3.3 Volt
Voltage control at 3.3 V for 68060 version
Bi-directional high speed buffering with expensive A-Grade FCT switching
120 pin high density port for Second Level Cache Module or other
BoardMemory expansion card with slots for 4 SIMM modules in 32 bit
technology standard 72 pin modules, such as AMIGA 4000 or PS/2 single
sided or double sided
Sizes: 4, 8, 16 and 32 MByte per module, freely mixable, maximum
configuration 128 MByte
Fully DMA capable memory, also supports Zorro3 DMA access
Fast 2-1-1-1 Burst Mode access when reading and 3-1-1-1 when writing at
25 MHz RAM speed with 60 or 70 ns RAM) achieving data transmission
greater than 50 MByte/sec measured or effective value)
Independent of CPU clock speed.
CYBERSTORM I/O Module
Fast SCSI-II interface with internal and external 50 pin SCSI connector
Data transmission in the full address area using its own 32 bit DMA
channel, FIFO buffered, bandwidth >30 MB/s
Asynchronous to 7 MB/s, synchronous to 10 MB/s data transmission on the
Active SCSI bus termination
Extensive software including CD-ROM Filesystem, dynamic caching software
and various SCSI Tools
10 MBit/s Ethernet controller (10BaseT connector)
SANA driver for transparent linking to various network systems
High speed due to its FIFO buffered, 32 Bit DMA channel
Coaxial (BNC) and Dsub15 ethernet connector (Thin Ethernet / Standard
Serial interface RS232 with 115kbaud, FIFO buffered.
CYBERSTORM Cache Module
Information about the CYBERSTORM Cache Module was unfortunately not
available at the time of printing this brochure.
All CYBERSTORM components are manufactured in Germany to the highest
industrial quality in modern Fine Pitch SMD technology and are subjected to
a complete functionality test prior to delivery. The manufacturer provides
a one year guarantee. Because of the three-dimensional use of the space
available in the AMIGA 4000, the systems specified here cannot be installed
in the AMIGA 3000 or the AMIGA 4000T.
CYBERSTORM versions for the AMIGA 3000 and AMIGA 4000T are in development
and should be available at the beginning of 1995 - if there is sufficient
However, these systems have limited modularity and expansion capabilities.
When the CYBERSTORM project began in December 1993, it was probably one of
the most demanding and ambitious development proposals for the AMIGA. The
objective was to move into the future of system performance, and to allow
the AMIGA to catch up with the latest high-performance PC's and
The method of achieving this was to design a non-compromising accelerator
card, based on the new Motorola 68060 high performance processors, that
would set new standards in performance, expansion capabilities and price.
This project underlines the fact that the phase 5 digital products
development team (Official Motorola Beta Site Developer and Commodore
Commercial Developer) is a leading technological developer in the AMIGA
This has already been demonstrated with products such as the Fastlane Z3 or
the Blizzard Series.
The CYBERSTORM System is basically designed as a High End 68060 System for
In the basic 50MHz configuration it achieves a processor performance of
some 80 MIPS (*): a performance level that has been previously unknown in
the AMIGA sector. Prepared for clock speeds of up to 80MHz, it also has
more than adequate reserves for subsequent faster versions of the 68060
The flexible design also allows the 68040 processor to be used at various
speeds, with performance of between approx. 20 and 30 MIPS. This means
that the CYBERSTORM System can be offered in different performance classes,
which is an obvious advantage for the user who may want to start with
minimal investment, but have the opportunity to install other expansion
systems or to use a faster processor in the future.
Performance is not defined by the processor's power alone, but also by the
device's flexibility and expansion capabilities.
As well as a selection of different processor versions and the greatest
possible flexibility in memory configuration, the CYBERSTORM System also
has a variety of expansion options that will be available from the end of
1994 as expansion modules.
The rejection of any technical compromise in the development of the
CYBERSTORM System has succeeded in bringing a technologically leading
product onto the market with an excellent price/performance ratio that
demonstrates just what can be achieved in modern user friendly product
The CYBERSTORM System for the AMIGA 4000 is designed as a fully modular
system not only with the various expansion modules that can be fitted
according to the user's requirements but also in the basic systems that are
These basic systems consist of three components: the CYBERSTORM Carrier
Board, which is installed in place of the original processor board in the
AMIGA, the CYBERSTORM CPU Module and the CYBERSTORM Memory Board which are
both slotted into the Carrier Board. The Carrier Board is a fully
asynchronous internal (i.e. between the various CYBERSTORM components) and
external (to the AMIGA system and Zorro Bus expansions) interface.
It controls the data flow between the main memory, AMIGA System components
and the CYBERSTORM I/O Module if it is installed.
Extremely fast programmable logic components, as well as expensive, highly
integrated synchronisation logic, provide optimal signal transit times
which result in the highest possible data transmission rates.
A further part of the synchronisation logic is integrated in the CYBERSTORM
CPU Module and is optimally rated to the respective clock speed of the
This ensures that the CPU module can be exchanged for another version at
any time without having to change any of the other components. This
concept guarantees optimal access speed and the greatest possible
performance at each CPU speed.
The CYBERSTORM Memory Board has slots for 4 single or double sided 32 Bit
This allows memory to be configured in various levels and combinations up
to 128 MByte.
The asynchronous interface concept also applies to the memory: the
bi-directional buffer logic allows the CYBERSTORM CPU asynchronous access
to the memory which operates at the AMIGA system speed of 25MHz. This
principle makes the memory transparent to other system components which
access it by DMA, and avoids possible problems that can arise with
so-called local memory designs which, for example, are directly linked with
a CPU clock. There is no principle speed disadvantage over designs which
operate the memory at higher clock speeds, as 25MHz is the upper limit for
memory access without wait cycles (even for 60ns fast D-RAMs), which is
performed on the CYBERSTORM in Burst Mode Access.
In addition, existing memory can still be used after a CPU upgrade to a
higher clock speed or another type of processor, and even without loss of
With a data throughput that is nearly independent of the processor
frequency of up to 66.66 MB/s in Burst Mode Access, the CYBERSTORM memory
achieves multiples of the AMIGA 4000 Fast RAM speed, whereby even a
CYBERSTORM System clocked at 25 MHz demonstrates clear acceleration,
especially when working with large amounts of data.
The CYBERSTORM System is not linked to any particular type of processor.
Processor modules with other than 680x0 processors can be installed at any
time, as long as they are supported by the AMIGA operating system.
Wherever the future of the AMIGA may lead, you can be assured that the
CYBERSTORM will keep apace of technological advances.
To do justice to the requirements of an absolute high-end solution, the
CYBERSTORM project has always made provisions for considerable expansion
options. This well thought-out expansion concept means that the CYBERSTORM
System can support the widest range of user needs, even in professional
fields.The CYBERSTORM I/O Module together with a Fast SCSI-II Controller,
an Ethernet Controller and a serial High-Speed-Port, offers all the
essential interfaces required for professional applications.
The Fast SCSI-II Controller that naturally operates as a DMA Unit with 32
Bit FIFO Buffer, offers transmission rates up to 10 MByte/s with minimal
CPU loading. Active termination and internal and external 50 pin SCSI
connections guarantee the highest possible data security. The know-how
gained from developing the Fastlane Z3 (the world's first 32 bit SCSI
Controller for the AMIGA and twice product of the year in 1993) was used
extensively in the design of the SCSI interface, which has mature driver
and utility software amongst other features, and also includes a CD-ROM
Filesystem and the efficient cache software, DynamiCache.
A serial high-speed interface with its own FIFO buffer has also been
integrated in the I/O Module to guarantee problem-free operation of fast
serial devices without data loss.
For users who do not need the networking option, an alternative to the full
I/O Module is the CYBERSTORM Fast SCSI-II Module, which is also based on
the same advanced technology found in the Fastlane Z3. Offering DMA
transmission rates of 10 MByte/s with minimal CPU loading, active
termination and internal and external 50 pin SCSI ports, this also includes
the complete SCSI software package as supplied with the full I/O Module.
The CYBERSTORM CPU Module also offers another High Speed Connector with
direct processor connection through which, for example, cache memory and
boards with second processors (e.g. DSPs) or other high speed expansions
can be connected.
CYBERSTORM sets standards even in its design and quality. It is produced
to the highest industrial standard in expensive and precise Fine Pitch SMD
technology. Digital components and high value mechanical components are
selected to a high processing quality, which as a whole contributes to the
high level of reliability. The three-dimensional mechanical design
optimises the use of the space available in the A4000 and allows easy
access for installing and refitting the CYBERSTORM system. Active CPU
cooling eliminates heat problems even before they arise, demonstrating that
even in this respect the CYBERSTORM System meets the highest requirements.
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The voice from across the pond by Michael Wolf
it's been a long time since I wrote my last article. Things are looking
good for me at the moment and I am quite busy producing my first rendered
Intro for a PC Game (3 minutes of animation). It's great fun, hard work
and finances my Cyberstorm :-) What else could one ask for ?
Not much else is happening right now. All the new development has been
shown at the WOCA. It looks like the majority of Amiga developers is
waiting for the CBM takeover to be finalized, before they continue to pour
money into Amiga developement. This decision I understand.
Then, a few days ago, this mail appeared on the German part of FidoNet,
here follows a rough translation:
[Actually, this is the English press release from MacroSystem's US
distributor, NoahJi's. -Jason]
MacroSystem Announces DraCo
Powerful Professional Graphics and Video Workstation Shipping this Spring
December 5, 1994 - Boulder, Colorado. MacroSystem GmbH of Witten, Germany
is pleased to announce the development of their own video and graphics
workstation named DraCo. Based on the Motorola 68060, this incredibly
powerful machine will ship in the Spring of 1995. For operating systems
the Amiga OS will be standard and UNIX clone support is expected.
The conception of this computer is based on the absence of the Amiga custom
chips. Any software program that runs on Amiga graphic boards like the
Retina and the Picasso will work in DraCo. This includes LightWave, AdPro,
Image F/X, Imagine, Bars and Pipes Pro, and most every other professional
software package. Hardware compatibility is the function of the five Zorro
II slots. Thse slots allow use of the Toccata, Emplant, Ethernet, VLab Y/C
and most other hardware boards. Hardware that requires the custom chip set
won't run in DraCo. This includes 880K floppies, genlocks, and the
Development and production of DraCo are not dependent upon the current
Commodore situation, as this computer is custom chipset independent.
Graphic output is delivered using the Retina BLT over a direct bus with
data rates of over 20MB/second. The second direct 32 bit bus is for the
optional DraCo version of the real-time VLab Motion JPEG non-linear editor.
With VLab Motion installed, data rates of up to 100% JPEG are standard.
This allows 2:1 JPEG data rates, the highest possible. At these data rates
the highest qualities of video can be edited and produced.
The first release of DraCo will be a full size tower with a minimum of 4MB
expandable to 128MB of on board 72 pin SIMM modules. The SCSI II
controller is factory equipped and is based upon the NCR 53C720. This SCSI
II device (used on the Warp Engine) guarantees the highest data rates with
a maximum of free CPU time. This SCSI controller allows the connection of
internal and external SCSI devices. A parallel port and triple speed
CD-ROM drive will also be included in every model. Floppy drives are not
included, but SCSI floppies can be used. Transfer of software from
existing Amiga platforms is easily accomplished using the SCSI or over a
DraCo will be available in numerous memory and hard drive configurations.
Pricing is not yet determined, but will be comparable to a similarly
equipped Amiga 4000. Owners of the Retina and VLab Motion products will
receive attractive upgrade prices directly from NoahJi's.
--- End press release --
Interesting innit ? Will they really market the first Amiga clone ? I
guess if they do and succeed (Also taking the software publishers with
them), then this will be a clear sign for Amiga Inc. (whoever it may be by
then), that you can very well have a certain break in compatibility and
still sell a good product and get support form third party manufacturers.
(Hey, Apple can do it...).
Anyhow, enough for today. As I said, there isn't really much else to write
about at the moment.
P.S. A big hello to Kiko from Japan, I hope that everything works out and
you get your Cyberstorm before Christmas.