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© 1997-2006
Gareth Knight
All Rights reserved

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Amiga BoXeR

Developer: Access Innovations/Mick Tinker
Announced: 1997
Cancelled: October 2001

BoXeR Motherboard

The BoXeR represents the ultimate development of a 'pure' Classic Amiga solution since Commodore's liquidation. Unlike other efforts, such as the A5000, it was based upon an entirely new motherboard that attempts to improve Amiga technology through the use of manufacturing techniques unavailable five years previously. This has led to a number of improvements on the basic Amiga design, including 30% speed increase on Chip RAM access and improved Zorro performance.

Since its first demonstration at the at the Cologne Computer '97 show, the motherboard had remained unseen by public and press alike. It was only when the motherboard entered final prototype that the design was demonstrated.  ISA slots have been dumped in favour of PCI and USB. This allows the connection of cheap PCI 2D/3D cards, modems, Ethernet, and SCSI devices. The board includes a redesigned DMA decreasing CPU overheads dramatically, even showing an improvement on the A3000+ prototype. Propriety Amiga custom chips have also been replaced for the first time with a single chip, dubbed the "Hombre". This replaces the costly (and slow) AGA chipset to emulate and expand up its ability, leading to the removal of the Chip RAM limit (presumably based upon user defined settings).

The WIntel market has shown distributors that buyers are wary of custom-based units that are difficult to upgrade. This led Access Innovations to strike away from traditional Amiga hardware, and current trends in digital convergence technology that promote such a closed technology producing an OEM-clone that can be tailored to the customers specifications. This will lead to a range of customized Boxer bundles and leave the architecture open for future expansion. The board may pave the way for G3/G4 accelerators that do not require a 68k processor to be fitted. The BoXeR will be sold in three ways:

  • As the heart of the new Blittersoft range of BoXeR Amiga systems.
  • As a single motherboard solution to the customer, to build their own unique system.
  • Through OEM dealers who may customize the unit to their own particular markets.
After four years of collaboration between Blittersoft and Access Innovations (previously known as Index Information), BoXeR development was sold to Anti-Gravity Products, with Mick Tinker becoming Director of BoXeR development. It was suggested that this would ensure the launch of the motherboard. However, the project was cancelled in October 2001 by Mick Tinker. It's passing was only marked by a brief statment on Mick Tinker's web site.

Specifications

The latest specifications for the BoXeR motherboard are:
 
  • 100% Amiga compatible.
  • ATX motherboard based on Amiga technology - fits in ANY standard PC Desktop/Tower case.
  • Motorola 68040 or 68060 at 25-75MHz supported in a single processor socket.
  • Integrated single chip chip-set, AGA feature compatible but with performance enhancements.
  • Most peripherals support high speed DMA transfers, increasing throughput while reducing processor overhead.
  • No CHIP RAM limits.
  • 2 x 64-bit DIMM sockets for combined use as FAST/CHIP.
  • Dual IDE Hard disk interface, supports fast IDE modes, including UDMA.
  • Flash ROM 2Mb, 32 bit wide. Used to boot operating system and resident modules.
  • Floppy disk drive interface, supporting DF0: and DF1: directly and DF2:/DF3: option.
  • CD-ROM audio input connector and mixer.
  • Real Time Clock.
  • Keyboard port for standard low cost PC PS/2 keyboard or Amiga Keyboard.
  • Mouse port for standard low cost PC PS/2 mouse.
  • 4 x Active PCI slots.
  • Amiga Video slot.
  • Expansion connector to support 2xZorro 3 slots.
  • Connector for full 64-bit PowerPC expansion card.
  • Dual USB interface. (currently not committed to stay final design)
Connectors:
  • Printer port (buffered with DMA transfers).
  • RGB video (VGA connector).
  • PS/2 Keyboard.
  • PS/2 Mouse.
  • Serial port (buffered with DMA transfers).
  • Dual Joystick port.
  • Stereo audio.
  • IDE - 40 pin (Dual) header
  • Floppy drive DF0:/DF1: header.
Key Design Points:
  • Single chip chip-set with AGA feature and register compatibility
  • Completely new logic to achieve the highest performance and most flexible design.
  • No limits to CHIP RAM size.
  • Supports 68040 or 68060 from 25MHz - 75MHz.
  • Designed to achieve low system cost.
  • Supports industry standard DIMM's.
  • Mounts in standard PC ATX case. (Huge selection of cases available from a wide range of suppliers at the lowest price points)
  • Processor connector to support a low cost PowerPC upgrade.
  • PPC only systems possible when using appropriate emulation software
  • Live working PCI slots to support low cost peripherals such as graphics, ethernet, sound cards, etc.
  • FlashROM allows software and hardware updates.


Graphics
BoXeR 1997 Prototype (98k) | BoXeR 2000 Prototype (61k) | BoXeR Memory Bus Block Diagram (27.9k) | BoXeR poster (16.4k)

Announced bundles
Neila- BoXeR based system
Alien Boxer

Statements
Why has the Boxer been delayed (6/11/00)
The Boxer is dead (October 2001)

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Last Update: 1/11/2001
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