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The main idea of the QBox is to create an own computer system where I know every bit
in the system. I did this because if the Amiga should die (I don't hope this, but
the possibility is there...) I don't want to use an industry standard "PC".
I don't want to have a computer where I don't know how the operating system works
and I'm just a stupid user... I love systems where you can discover new things and
where you can realize also crazy things. The best example is the GUI layout engine
of the AmigaOS. It is no problem to have a second, third... layout engine running
parallel to the old one (here for example: MUI, StormWizard, ReAction, Trition, ...).
I also like auto configuration, a system where the computer itself is able to configure a new hardware so that it can be used immediately (a system which is still only fully working on the Amiga!).
The imagination to create an own computer where I also can create my own operating
system (OS) is very exciting for me. I want to do it and I will do it... ;)
The QBox will have several system processors; on each will run a seperate multitasking kernel and
all processors will be synchronized by a hardware multitasking. The idea is, that every processor
has it's on topic like sound, graphics, input/output or scsi. Every processor will be able to
do all operations by it's own. The sound processor will for example be able to calculate realtime
sound-effects or decompress MPEG audio, the graphics processor will be able to draw lines,
double buffers the display and so on.
In the meanwhile the Main-CPU can do it's calculations and don't needs to be interrupted
for things like file organisation on the harddrive. It only needs to send the command
"create a new file named 'test'" to the scsi-processor and this processor will handle it
by it's own!!
The performance of such a system is much higher than on conventional computers because
every system component is intelligent and several processors can divide a big problem in
smaller ones which can be solved in a real parallel way!
These two chips are FPGAs from Xilinx. They are very fast and have space also for big
applications. They will help me to create the bus controller, scsi controller, video
controller, blitter and much more. The advantage of FPGAs is that you can program them
also while the system is running. The result is, that the computer is able to program itself!!!
Without FPGAs a project like the QBox would be impossible because the hardware is much
too complex to create it with conventional chips...