In other news

Just FYI after I’m done with this run there will be a small break. Don’t expect 3rd run to start right away, if at all. I want to focus a bit on other stuff, like PCE for example.

To that end I’ve already purchased DE1-SoC kit from Terasic/Altera. Original DE1 was quite popular due to both low price and pretty neat features like lots of I/O pins, SDRAM / SRAM / FLASH chips, VGA output and audio codec. People’ve managed to emulate Amiga 500 on that, as well as PC-XT class system (CPU and the peripherials) good enough to run Dune 2. But, DE1 was based on Cyclone II, something that Altera dropped support for about a year ago. So, basically GDEMU is based on (as of now) outdated FPGA.

DE1-SoC looks a lot like DE1 and also has a great price for what it is – the main reasons for the name not being DE6 I suppose. But the big difference is the “System on Chip” part, it’s not just a bigger and better FPGA from the current 28nm based Cyclone V family, it has two physical Cortex A9 cores integrated into it. Each core runs at 800MHz and is a bit more than twice faster compared to Raspberry Pi CPU overcloced to 900MHz. CPUs are connected to FPGA fabric with 2 high-speed busses and one slower, simpler 32-bit bus, which is easier to use in smaller projects. There are a few Linux based images provided with the board, and the SoC can boot either the CPU first from microSD memory card or the FPGA first from the on-board configuration chip.

I’ve already put this new toy to good use – its considerably bigger internal SRAM allows for bigger logic analyzer buffer. I could probably already make a prototype PCE drive replacement that would be good enough to run a few games. And that’s exactly what I want to try next.

Saturn project is also progressing nicely, I’ve built a prototype board to test a few ideas. The software side is not yet ready though – well, there’s no rush, but I would’ve tried something already if I wasn’t busy building GDEMU πŸ™‚

25 thoughts on “In other news

  1. Hi there

    Look forward to future projects.

    Just to let you know I received my GDemu board Friday, been using it a lot and love how easy to use it is.


  2. What other people have been talking about for years is what you just realise, without a lot of ego-talk. Respect for that, and awesome to see you’re working on saturn drive emu. I hope i manage to sneak in line when and if that materializes. Thanks for giving us less tech-savvy persons a chance to get our hands on these!

  3. Great to hear you working on the Saturn model, and that it *MAY* be a 3rd run of the GDEMU.

    Keep up the good work man!

    Petter K.

  4. Hi there,
    Nice to see that you’re planning to work on another cool projects.

    I hope I’ll get a GDEMU unit before you completely stop the production 😦
    My fault not to be reactive as needed.


  5. Sorry if this has been answered elsewhere, but I looked around and didn’t find an answer. How is save data being handled with GDEmu? Is a VMU still required or is all save data directly stored on the SD card?

  6. I just stop checking the website twice a day because I received my gdemu .. But now you forcing me to check the site like a hawk for the pce and Saturn… Let me know if you need a beta tester.

  7. Great news, that you play around with PC-Engine AND Saturn!!!
    I refuse to play anything with a ODD nowadays, because ~50% of the drives die on me. Of course I miss out on some awesome games on DC, PCE (DUO-R), SAT and PSX, but tbh, I don’t care. Carts never let me down. ;p
    @gdemu: Thanks again for GDEMU. You made me play my DC again and I’m having a great time!
    Checking the blog at least twice a day to keep me up to date. I can guarantee, I’m NOT gonna miss a first batch of ANYTHING PCE or SAT related. πŸ˜‰

  8. Would licensing out GD-EMU production for $ Β£ € help with your additional work?

    • Maybe, and I’ve had a few offers, but this is not a business venture. Not yet anyway, and might never be.

  9. Hey duenan, I was wondering if there is a progress update on the menu for GDEMU? Thanks.

  10. Have fun with the new projects. Not too much fun, mind you -I’m very, very much interested in seeing a 3rd run of the GDEMU happen.

  11. GDEMU is the best thing that ever happened to Dreamcast since… well.. Dreamcast itself? The loading times are AWESOME, it’s very reliable, and I’m still looking for a game that doesn’t work properly besides the cracked retail Bleemcast images.

    It’s great to see you working on other consoles. I hope someday you become the equivalent of krikzz for disc consoles and get rich :p

    By the way, have you ever thought about hosting a forum for GDEMU? You can either host yourself, or ask some place for it (e.g. It would be great to have an “official” place for users to share experiences and help themselves.

    Best regards and good luck.

  12. I’m looking forward to your future projects. My gdemu has been working flawlessly and I have no complaints about the product.

  13. Just when I get some extra money. That’s disappointing. I could cry.

    I hope you enjoy working on your Saturn board as much as you did GD-EMU, and I can only hope that you consider some kind of mass-market approach in the future.

  14. Hey! Looks like I’ve missed the preorder window yet again…. If you do end up quitting production since this isn’t intended as a business venture would you consider open sourcing the board files and schematics so we could build them ourselves? I’d be willing to put in some money towards this cause as I would love to revive my old Dreamcast!

  15. i own a gdemu,and very happy to have 1,hope for you guys there will be more rounds in the future to get 1,and a saturn board is an instant buy for me.

  16. Is there a way to subscribe to this blog to see if there will be a third run? I’d hate to miss it like I missed the last two.

    I’d also be super excited to see a Saturn Modchip, I’m assuming you’ve already got all of CrazyNations previous work on it (I’ve got a copy if you’d like me to forward it on) he had provided a VHDL and a bunch of schematics of some CD ROM emulation stuff he’d been working on, honestly at the time it was too far over my head but I saved everything off in hopes of one day seeing it be useful.

  17. Got my GDemu in round 1, and even without a menu I love it. I have a fully-modded (bios chip and mod chip) Saturn already, but I will buy a saturn ODE from you as quickly as you let me. Same goes for PCE/TGCD. Heck, same goes for anything you make at this point.

    Thanks again.

  18. Nooooo. Only just found out about this. Been waiting for something like this for years. I’d snap one up in a heartbeat. Same with Saturn and PCE!

  19. Hi Deunan,

    Any news about the third production of GDEMU?
    I hope I’ll get more luck this time πŸ™‚ I think that unit will me help a lot for completing my Shenmue translation project.


  20. Sounds awesome! The Saturn and PCEngine are two of my favorite consoles, so I hope you hit the ground running. πŸ™‚

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