Author Topic: [Challange] It is possible a Neo Geo emulator for Nspire CX ?  (Read 3478 times)

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Offline Nosferatu Arucard 1983

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[Challange] It is possible a Neo Geo emulator for Nspire CX ?
« on: November 21, 2012, 07:42:37 pm »
I have a some time ago this simple question, since the Nspire was able not only to emulate the TI-84 and TI-89 (experimental and lost source code), but also the Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance. (The last one requires a bit of CPU power to emulate this Nintendo console.)
Now, I ask if a Neo Geo emulator is possible in Nspire, even the main constraint is the last games released to this arcade system: The Metal Slug 3 and 4 and King of Fighters 2003 require about 80 Mb of SSD space (and the CX had about 100 Mb  :P)

The TI-84 and TI-89 emulators for Nspire is basically a Z80 and M68k CPU binary translators, and the Neo Geo Arcade System is basically a custom arcade hardware based with both those CPU.  :P
 The first usable emulator for NeoGeo was the NeoRageX which only need a low end Pentium MMX (166 Mhz) to emulate, but a Pentium II runs better. The ARM CPU of NSpire may be a little weak to emulate the Neo Geo System, but even so, I give this crazy idea to the comunity: (try) to build a Neo Geo emulator for Nspire (with or without Linux mode)  :D

Offline DJ Omnimaga

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Re: [Challange] It is possible a Neo Geo emulator for Nspire CX ?
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2012, 12:19:03 am »
Well, you would probably need a bit more than 80 MB for sure. I wonder if flash memory is faster than SSD? Because if the speed is signifiantly lower, then that could be an issue.

Is the Neo Geo much more powerful than the GBA? The GBA barely runs at full speed on a CX if overclocked, and IIRC the GBA had an ARM processor too, meaning it was easier to translate instructions. Would emulating a 68K and z80 slow things down even more?

It would be cool, though. Very underrated console (I wish it was sold in USA/Canada...).

Offline TheNlightenedOne

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Re: Re: [Challange] It is possible a Neo Geo emulator for Nspire CX ?
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2012, 11:29:11 am »
If you were to make it, a USB flash drive for ROM storage would be most practical.
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Offline Nosferatu Arucard 1983

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Re: [Challange] It is possible a Neo Geo emulator for Nspire CX ?
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2012, 01:52:37 pm »
My main project is the Maxima OS designed to low-cost ARM devices (like the Rapsberry Pi) that can be converted in a "enhanced calculator", althought the idea of a Neo Geo emulator for NSpire is one of my crazy thoughts!   ;D

 A Neo Geo emulator for NSpire should use the main flash memory (which is about 100 Mb of free space  >:D) to be pratical, unless anyone don't care to bring all external storage devices pluged in a classroom showcase. >:D
 The Neo Geo Arcade System is basically a standard arcade machine on the beginning of 1990's.
 It contains a Motorola 68000 CPU clocked at 12 MHz that controls all hardware, and a secondary Zilog Z80 clocked at 4 MHz helps the machine to handle the Yamaha sound chip capable of 15 sound channels. A proprietary raster video processor handle all graphic code to the analog video output, which is basically a 2D video hardware on par of the first graphic VGA sold on IBM PC on the same year. (Which is more easy to emulate)
 The graphic chip of Neo Geo system was capable to processing up to 380 individual sprites simultaneously in a matrix color pattern of 4096 colours in RGB666 (In theory was capable to handle 65,536 colours) on a display resolution of 320*224 (which is almost the same screen resolution of Nspire, which is 320*240)

 The system had 64 kb of main RAM for game cache code, plus 64 kb of video RAM, more 16 kb of palette memory, add more 4 kb of video RAM cache, and finally 2 kb for buffer sound (handled by Z80).
  The system's firmware was about 128 kb, and several hacks or custom BIOS enable to play my games on hacked systems or emulators was released (specially in Brazil, when bootlegs and hacked systems was and still is very common).  >:D

 All games was released in cartridges up to 330 Mbits (41,25 Mb), and it is read-only ROM memory. Later a special and official hack  ;D enable more complex games up to 716 Mbits (89,5 Mb), which was the size of the last ever game launched to this arcade system in 2004 (Had less than 1 Mb free on cartridge!): Samurai Showdown V. In this huge games, the game is splitted up to three memory banks, and requires some clock cycles to switch.  >:D

 There is a simple and FOSS SDL emulator dedicated to Neo Geo: gngeo, that anyone could try to port to Ndless libraries and only requires SDL and Zlib to open the ROM's. Normally, the emulators for Windows, Linux loads all ROM code to the RAM to achive faster loading times. The NSpire had only 64 Mb of RAM which is less of the last Neo Geo games (the first ones only occupy few Megabytes).
 A possible workaround is that this games need three memory banks of 40 Mb each, can be loaded partially to RAM and executed. When the game requires switching (normally occours and the end a level), the emulator can stop the virtual machine and switch the memory ROM at Nspire RAM prior to resume the emulation. Small games can be loaded all the way to RAM without problem.
 And finally all saved games is stored in a 512 bytes file  ;D (some games use the full 2 kb of memory card designed to gamesaves) which is normally written when the emulator finishes the virtual machine (copy the RAM contents to the file stored in disk).

 Probably an overclocked Nspire can emulate in extremis the Neo Geo Arcade System, but would be awesome if anyone make this happen (and try to play all Metal Slug series before the batteries run out  >:D)
« Last Edit: November 22, 2012, 01:55:19 pm by Nosferatu Arucard 1983 »

Offline Yeong

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Re: [Challange] It is possible a Neo Geo emulator for Nspire CX ?
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2012, 09:35:04 pm »
Iirc neogeo is 32bit and some of the graphics are rather intense for cx (kof99 for example)
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Offline TIfanx1999

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Re: [Challange] It is possible a Neo Geo emulator for Nspire CX ?
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2012, 05:10:28 am »
Actually I think the Neo Geo was usually referred to as 16-bit, although it has a 16 bit 68k processor as well as an 8 bit z80 processor. In all honesty it looks like a slightly higher speced Sega Genesis/Mega drive. Is it possible? Probably. Will someone actually be interested enough to pick it up? Who knows?