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© 1997-2006
Gareth Knight
All Rights reserved

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AMIRAGE K2

Developer: phase 5
Year of Announcement: 1999
Year of planned release: 2000

"we feel that we finally can make the dream of many Amiga users as well as other computer users come true."
- Wolf Dietrich, General Manager of phase 5

The AMIRAGE K2 was a next generation system announced by Phase 5 on July 22nd, 1999. Based upon the QNX operating system, the computer provides mutual benefit for both companies- Phase 5 can produce fantastic hardware but lack software support, QNX need a hardware partner to move into the Amiga market after being cast aside by the Amiga Company. Two jilted lovers that have found mutual support from each other. In the press release Wolf Dietrich, General Manager of phase 5 digital products seemed excited at the partnership. He commented,

"Based on our license agreement with QNX Software Systems Ltd., we are now able to provide our customers with a powerful real-time OS with all the necessary functionality - and much more - that can make a next-generation multimedia computer fly"
In recognizing the company's tarnished reputation when it comes to releasing products (A\Box and pre\box were both cancelled), he addressed some of the problems encountered while developing these systems, promising that the AMIRAGE K2 will come to the market. The company are even prepared to joke about their past, indicating the machine is pronounced A-MIRAGE.
"The lack of a decent OS, which can support our hardware vision, has been the major reason that earlier projects for stand-alone systems at phase 5 had been put on hold. That problem is solved by integrating the QNX Neutrino OS, so we now can push forward our demanding vision of a new powerful computer generation."
Wolf Dietrich indicates that the cancelled projects were not wasted and were crucial to realizing the companies dream and that some of the ideas have gone into the release of the AMIRAGE K2.
"The new AMIRAGE ™ K2 design extends the proposed features of our older pre\box project, and contains many elements of the earlier A\Box concept, but without the necessity to design customized hardware right now."
The AMIRAGE specifications certainly are mouth watering, promising a range of next generation features. These include:

Hardware

One to four PowerPC G4 processors
The processors are entirely user-upgradable with standard G4 processor modules, independent of CPU clock frequency, so it will be possible to use a 400MHz and 700MHz processor together.

Multiprocessing
The system promises full multiprocessing, sharing tasks between each processor as well as distributed processing through a network. Phase 5 are selling these capabilities to the Amiga masses, calling the AMIRAGE K2 the first fully-featured Personal Network&Media Server that will function as a heart of a new generation of computing. Like the Amiga MCC this will be a network-based communication system that will unify the entire network as a single computer, using devices from the separate components.

Memory
There will be an installed base memory of 64Mb, up to 2Gb SDRAM (industry standard DIMMs).

Multimedia
A 3D graphics card will be provided, possibly based upon the TNT2 chipset, with a minimum of 32 MB display and texture memory. This will be capable of resolutions above 1920x1080 in 32bit colour depth, and hardware video acceleration that will support full-screen, full-frame DVD playback. There will also be an Integrated powerful multimedia coprocessor with specialized DSP functionality, independent VLD (variable length decoder) and image coprocessor for CPU independent video and images.

ISBEE
An acronym standing for Instant System Boot on External Event. This activates the system on user definable external events, such as incoming signals from a phone call or modem.

Interfaces

  • Integrated Ultra-DMA ATA Controller; base configuration comes with 6Gb hard drive and DVD-ROM drive
  • Optional ULTRA-2-WIDE SCSI Controller
  • High Speed IEEE1394 Interface for external devices and networking
  • Dedicated port for optional, internal Solid State Drive (SSD, up to 128 MB capacity)
  • Two independent 12MBit USB port
  • Three 64-bit PCI slots, 66MHz, for high-performance add-on boards
  • Three 32-bit PCI slots, 33 MHz, for low-cost add-on boards
  • Twisted pair 10Base100 Ethernet port
  • IrDa interface and MIDI ports
  • Digital Video In Port for digital video input in CCIR601 / CCIR656 format (eight-bit parallel, 4:2:2 YUV time-multiplexed video data) from devices such as a digital video camera or digital video decoder
  • Digital Video Out Port outputs digital YUV data-stream to devices such as a digital video encoder chips, digital video recorder, or other CCIR601 / CCIR656-compatible device
  • Dedicated expansion options (video slots) allow to add analog frontends for the digital video ports, either in consumer, prosumer or professional versions
  • 16-bit stereo audio input, analog or digital
  • 16-bit analog stereo audio output
  • Eight-channel digital audio output, 16-bit or 32-bit stereo format
  • Dolby ProLogic and Dolby Digital (AC-3) multichannel audio decoder and output (digital)
  • SPDIF output supports two-channel linear PCM audio, one or more Dolby Digital six-channel data streams, or one or more MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 audio streams with programmable sample rates
  • Synchronous serial interface (SSI) provides fully V.34-compliant modem capability, and optional ISDN services and interface

Amiga Classic Upgrades

Similar to the PowerUP upgrade plan for the A\Box, Phase 5 have also announced a transition from their PowerUP systems to the QNX Neutrino OS and the AMIRAGE K2. The Neutrino OS will be ported to Phase 5 PPC boards with "full Amiga 3.x legacy support." (the quotation marks are included because it is uncertain how they are going to do this).

AMIRAGE LCU

Following upon the release of the AMIRAGE K2, Phase 5 will release the first extension called the AMIRAGE LCU. This is a Local Communication Unit, that will provide local video and audio output on separate monitors, TV sets, or other video/audio devices. It will also accept input via an IrDa interface, such as from a remote controls or keyboard. At the moment this is planned to connect via the IEEE-1394 port.

Other devices

Along with the LCU, other devices are being planned to integrate with the AMIRAGE K2, including a wireless web pad and hand-held communication devices for videoconference/phone, which will use the AMIRAGE K2's communication functionality's and data processing and distribution capabilities.

Price

The AMIRAGE will retail from $1,000 to $2,500.
Letter to the community about AMIRAGE K2

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Last Update: 1/11/2001
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