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It’s Alive! Commodore Amiga Reborn As Vampire V4 Standalone Boots For The First Time
Although it may not be readily apparent to current computing enthusiasts given all the attention to modern Intel and AMD hardware running Windows, macOS and Linux operating systems, there is still a large community dedicated to supporting Commodore Amiga systems. Even though over 30 years has passed since the world was graced with the very first Amiga, there are still tinkerers out there creating custom hardware to repair and enhance existing systems and extend the capabilities of the platform.
A little over a year ago, we brought you up to speed on the travails of the Apollo Team, which created the Vampire V4 FPGA device as a follow-up to their previous-gen Vampire products. The Vampire V4 uses an Altera Cyclone 5 A5 FPGA and is complemented by 512MB of DDR3 memory. The Apollo Team has implemented all of the Amiga’s custom chips and 68K-class processor core in the Cyclone 5 FPGA, and made some important tweaks along the way, to essentially build a “new” Amiga.
Today, we’re now at getting a look at the Vampire V4 Standalone board booting up on its own power (via miniUSB) courtesy of Pedro Cotter. While there have been prototype boards floating around, they have been up until this point used as accelerators for classic Amigas. The boot screen shows that this particular board is using the Kickstart 3.1 ROM. And as you can see in the above video, HDMI-out is supported (720p @ 60Hz), and the system is using a legacy CompactFlash card for storage (thanks to FastIDE 40/44 support). Production Vampire V4 boards will also support microSD storage, USB connectivity, and Ethernet.
In addition to the Vampire V4 Standalone, there will be Vampire V4 add-in accelerators compatible with the Amiga 1000/500/2000 and the Amiga 600 (with an adapter). There may also be a separate SKU for the Amiga 1200.
At this time official pricing and expected availability isn’t available for the Vampire V4 Standalone or its add-in accelerator counterparts.