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Aemulor.com confirm release dates, prices

By Chris Williams. Published: 11th Dec 2002, 04:50:53 | Permalink | Printable

Aemulor Lite and Aemulor Pro brings 26 bit to 32 in 1 easy step

While this humble drobe.co.uk minion was busy messing about with C code and irc instead of diligently ransacking the RISC OS world for news, it's reassuring to know that at least one drobe.co.uk reader was on the ball, having spotted the recent news posting to the Aemulor.com forums. It was Simon "ksattic" Wilson who emailed us the tip off about Aemulor and their official release date announcements.

What's in store
As we, erm, skillfully ascertained at the Midlands show, the 26 bit emulator for the recently slashdotted 32 bit Castle Iyonix, is due for release in January 2003 priced at the modest sum of 50 quid. An Aemulor Pro version is due out some time later, again in 2003. Aemulor features full 26 bit application and module emulation using an interpreter engine written in pure ARM assembler code, optimised naturally for the XScale processor. As the Iyonix doesn't support screen depths of less than 256 colours, Aemulor Pro will provide emulation for this. drobe.co.uk has seen Aemulor in action on various occasions now and although the emulation speed hovers around the ARM600-700 processor mark, it's more nippy than we first expected. Essentially, the emulator has the option of translating each 32 bit unsafe instruction to 32 bit safe as a given program executes or instead converting chunks of code beforehand in wholesale. Aemulor will initially rely more or less on the interpreter approach, its big brother Aemulor Pro utilising a full JIT (Just In Time) engine. At least, that's what we were told. For the moment though, it makes a good job of coaxing the 600MHz XScale into simulating a 40MHz 26 bit machine and the development team appear 'enthusiastic' in their work.

Say no to piracy
It's interesting to note also that Aemulor will be made available via the aemulor.com website and each copy will be tied to the owner's Iyonix MAC address or in other words, a unique identification number hardwired into each network card embedded in an Iyonix motherboard.

Links


Aemulor roadmap announcement Aemulor website

Previous: Live Omega Countdown
Next: Iyonix roadshow rolls into Europe

Discussion

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I wonder how the 600MHz:40MHz ratio will compare to the Omega's ArmTwister chip.

 is a RISC OS UserHertzsprung on 11/12/02 10:07AM
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With an SA on board, there'll be no need for an emulator. We'll see when the architecture hits the streets. Word.

Chris, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 11/12/02 10:59AM
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> it's more nippy than we first expected.

Hey, I haven't finished yet ;)

 is a RISC OS Useradrianl on 11/12/02 11:03AM
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Glad to hear it. :-)

600MHz down to 40MHz is a tad much. ;-)

Will it run the ANT Suite apps and the Impression range - Style to Pro +?

 is a RISC OS Userquatermass on 11/12/02 3:50PM
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Aemulor already runs the Impression range (excluding the version of Impression that requires a parallel port dongle, although if enough fivers cross our palms I'm sure that could be supported too :-)

We'll be updating the website soon to reflect the full range of apps we've tested under Iyonix.

Neil. www.aemulor.com

 is a RISC OS Userspellinn on 11/12/02 4:51PM
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> 600MHz down to 40MHz is a tad much. ;-)

Well, I'm certainly not satisfied with it yet :)

Though, when you consider that a 15:1 ratio means that I'm reading the instruction, working out what needs to be done and actually doing it in 15 cycles for each (single cycle) instruction of the 26-bit code it doesn't sound too bad!

Not dissing VA for their efforts (the x86 is a very awkward platform to host on), but don't they get 40-50MHz performance from a /1GHz/ Pentium?

And Aemulor still has no JIT to speak of remember - coz I'm lazy and haven't got round to it ;-)

 is a RISC OS Useradrianl on 11/12/02 9:36PM
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VA gets 200MHz *integer* performance on my P4 2GHz (FP is much slower), so that sounds about right.

Is it possible to "recompile" binaries permanently to make them 32-bit compatible? I suppose JIT would do this on-the-fly.

-- Simon Wilson, Boulder, Colorado

 is a RISC OS Userksattic on 11/12/02 10:07PM
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> Is it possible to "recompile" binaries permanently to make > them 32-bit compatible?

I don't think Aemulor will ever do that and it's very tricky to do this correctly; recording the output of the JIT wouldn't give you a complete 32-bit application BTW since a lot of code wouldn't be executed (error-handling etc).

Aemulor Pro *may* be able to 'learn' about applications, eg. "this section of code gets used a lot and should be compiled to native code" and could remember the compiled code. In effect it would then have part of a 32-bit equivalent application cached away to speed up the emulation for you.

This is just one of the ideas that I'm playing with for later versions.

BTW I should have pointed out earlier that the 15-fold speed reduction is our worst case performance - unlike VA we're able to run parts of an application at the full native speed:

OS SWI calls BASIC programs

some SharedCLibrary routines such as memory copying/string handling will (probably!) run native too

 is a RISC OS Useradrianl on 12/12/02 11:54AM
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Thanks for the reply, Adrian - I'll be in touch when my Iyonix arrives at Xmas. ;o)

-- Simon Wilson, Boulder, Colorado

 is a RISC OS Userksattic on 12/12/02 3:16PM
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> We'll be updating the website soon to reflect > the full range of apps we've tested under Iyonix...

Unfortunately Neil's web browser appears to have truncated his reply. The rest was suppose to read "...won't we, Adrian?!"

;)

 is a RISC OS Useradrianl on 12/12/02 4:31PM
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