Bittboy Pocket-Go - yet another mini retro handheld

Discussion in 'Everything else' started by Chip, May 12, 2019.

  1. Chip

    Chip [Insert Custom Title Here]

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    If you were cool with the Bittboy's antiquated ARM9 SoC but weren't a fan of the squashed-gameboy form factor, retromini is now accepting preorders for a smaller, landscape-layout device from the Bittboy team.



    Sporting an allwinner F1C100S with a whopping 32MB of DDR1 RAM, the pocket-go can be yours in about a month for the low preorder price of $36.
     
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  2. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

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    I guess that's running the GBA emu at native resolution, which is smaller on a modern higher resolution screen. Still, I'm not sure I could play it that small, so I might need to scale it up a bit.
     
  3. Chip

    Chip [Insert Custom Title Here]

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    I wonder if the processor has the capacity to handle scaling. GBA emulation is likely pushing this thing to the absolute limit.
     
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  4. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

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    Hmm, that's true. That Allwinner CPU is apparently based around an ARM9 core running at I think 24MHz, so it's not really a modern system other than its release date.
     
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  5. Chip

    Chip [Insert Custom Title Here]

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    It's slow, but it's definitely not "24MHz" slow. I think it would struggle with NES at 24MHz, let alone SNES and GBA.

    This claims the SoC can be clocked up to 900MHz, but that seems like a stretch for an ARM9 core dating all the way back to 2001. 300-500MHz seems more reasonable.
     
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  6. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

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    Yeah, that seems more reasonable based on the timeline of release. In the datasheet for this I could only find a 24MHz clock input, but either that's some external clock, or can be overdriven especially with modern lithography. As an ARMv5 chip it does have some DSP instructions which might help with scaling, but I couldn't really say.
     
  7. spud42

    spud42 Very Active Member

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  8. Chip

    Chip [Insert Custom Title Here]

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    The SoC is new(ish), but the CPU core is very old. 17 years and 5 generations old. That's not to say it won't be sufficient for 8bit and even some 16bit emulation, but it's still old. For reference, it's of the same generation as the samsung SoC in the GP32. Expect similar capability from the pocket-go.
     
  9. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

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    I don't know how much truth there is in it, but I've seen it stated in a few places that the A9 is incredibly efficient, and is the most bang per buck (work per watt) of all the ARM cores out there. Meanwhile according to wikipedia comparing it against the A15, it has fewer execution units, has an older (optional) FPU, narrower NEON and the measured DMIPS/W are 2.5 versus at least 3.5 for the A15. Now that doesn't guarantee the A15 is better in a given thermal envelope, but it does kind of suggest the ARM dropped the ball with the newer FPU or some of the other upgraded bits in the search for greater performance regardless of the power bill.
     

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