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FPGA ARCADE - bally main page.pdf
Astrocade on a FPGA

The Astrocade can be emulated in hardware because of Mike J's hard work recreating the console (in low-res AND hi-res mode) for an FPGA chip in the hardware descriptor language VHDL. This version will run on a Xilinx Spartan3E starter kit board, but it may be able to be ported to other boards.

This is a pretty complicated subject that most people won't be able to try because you need special hardware. However, for an overview, here is some information from Mike J's FAQ:

"Very simply, VHDL is a high level language which is used to design and simulate hardware, by which I mean everything from a modern complex CPU to a digital watch. Software tools take the VHDL source code, and hopefully convert it into real physical logic gates. This can then ( at vast expense ) be turned into a piece of silicon and sold to people. I should point out that only a subset of the language can actually be turned into gates, as some constructs are only useful for simulating designs."

"VHDL stands for VHSIC Hardware Description Language, where VHSIC is an acronym for Very High Speed Integrated Circuit. However, the name is more frightening than the language, which resulted from a US Government sponsored effort to improve the way integrated circuit designs were exchanged between companies. The IEEE adopted VHDL as a standard in 1987 (1076-1987)."

For more information visit Mike J's Bally FPGA Arcade page at:
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