Amiga Back for the Future - Hardware

Currently, there are two Amiga computers available for sale from Amiga INC, Amiga 1200 and Amiga 4000. These machines will not be supported in the future. Amiga INC will not support directly the PowerPC accelerator systems for Amiga either, but they will allow other companies to port the operative system to PowerPC systems.

Transition hardware

Amiga OS5dev will possibly be released in November 1998, and this version of the operative system will only run on PC's with an Amiga PCI-card connected. The reason for using a Intel PC is that a simulator for the new super-processor that will be used in the new Amiga hardware exists only for Intel compatible PC's. The main purpose of Amiga OS5dev is for developers of applications to port their software, so end-users should wait to upgrade their hardware until Amiga OS5prod and the new Amiga hardware are released. Click on the picture to see the origin of the picture

The new Amiga hardware

The new Amiga hardware is planned to be released late 1999 and is supposed to be a super fast computer with capabilities beyond everything in it's price-class. The heart of this new computer is a super fast chip that will blow your socks off. Speculation about this chip is presented in next section.

The Chip

The heart of the new Amiga hardware is a mystery chip. One of the strangest things about it is that people that know the chip call it "the chip" as "not being a processor". But what we know is that this chip can emulate other processors as the x86 processor. Amiga Inc will not say anything about this chip until they decide to release the information. This is because they fear that other companies will steal their ideas and business plans (e.g. Microsoft ???). The rest of this section is not based on conformed facts, but they are likely to be true.

The chip in action

The bullets below are statements from the World of Amiga 98 show in London. If the statements below don't lie about how fast and powerful the chip in the new Amiga is, Amiga's hardware future is going to be great !!!

  • "Fleecy Moss mentioned that he had just bought a Voodoo 2 based gfx card for his PC, and thought it was pretty good - until he saw "the chip" in action. He said that at times, it was difficult to tell the difference between the real and computer generated action."
  • "Somebody asked if they Amiga Inc had exclusive right to "the chip" - they don't, but Joe Torre said that one of the advantages of having Gateway as their parent company was that they knew Intel's plans three years in advance !"
  • "Another question was why this chip couldn't just be put onto a PCI card; Joe replied with a comparison of having a PentiumII as a keyboard controller."
  • Unofficial specifications of "the chip"

    The information for the unofficial specifications about the chips is collected talks with Amiga Inc people from the World of Amiga 98 show in London.

  • The prototype of "the chip" is capable of handling 400 MILLION textured/blended/fogged pixels per second (Voodoo2 manages 90 million pixels per second).
  • "The chip" is capable of handling (decode) 4 simultaneous High Definition Television data streams coming in at once and it wouldn't even "make a dent in the processor".
  • After "the chip" is optimized, it would have a tenfold increase in processing power (remember that the chip is still in development).
  • "The chip" is not an Intel chip, Merced (also Intel), PowerPC, Alpha, UltraSPARC or MIPS.
  • "The chip" can be reconfigured or re-programmed during execution.
  • "The chip" is able to process graphics, sound, video and possibly CPU.
  • If these specifications are true, I understand why the old Amiga hardware has to be wrecked... This is a radical step into another dimension of computing.

    Specifications about the New Amiga hardware

    This section will try to collect the specifications for the new Amiga hardware that will be released in late 1999. Note that a lot of the information in this section is not confirmed, but are still likely to be true.
    The new Amiga computer system will possibly have the following specifications:

  • The heart of the system will be "the chip" as described above.
  • The price of the system should be about $499 (350) - probably with minimal specifications.
  • The system will include PCI-bus to support PCI-hardware (cheap and a lot of PCI-hardware are around).
  • Digital Video Disc(DVD) hardware included in the system
  • Support for AGP bus.
  • Enhanced video out of the box (PAL & NTSC)
  • Hardware support for HDTV
  • Support multiple processors
  • What Amiga Inc used to call Amiga OS 4.0 is now called Amiga OS5dev and Amiga OS 5.0 is now called Amiga OS5prod.

    This webpage was written by
    Alf Inge Wang
    Last modified: Wed Oct 14 11:40:41 MET DST 1998