Author Topic: Is it physically impossible to emulate the SA-1 on the SD2NES? [NO!]  (Read 44288 times)

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Offline EBJ7

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Looking into purchasing this flash cart. The support is amazing in terms of titles. I noticed some of my favorite Kirby games don’t work due to SA-1 chips. Now my question is, is it physically impossible for the FPGA on the SD2SNES due to power/infrastructure limitations, or is it simply a matter of work needing to be done. I ask because I notice the cart just got BETA support for the FX chip which is amazing since it’s been years since the cart came out.

I did some research on how the SA-1 chips talk to be SNES and it seems more complicated than other chips. It just was unclear to me if this chip is physically incapable of being emulated, or just a gigantic amount of work that no sane person would ever go through for the payoff. Would be nice to know that there is HOPE, lol.

Thanks for any clarification.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2018, 07:42 AM by goombakid »

Offline Sarge

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There has been a lot of discussion of this over the years.  The answer is...  we don't actually know.  If it does work, it's going to be tight, and likely not a full implementation of the chipset.  There were a lot of functions that no commercial games used in the SA1 according to byuu.  Someone correct me if I'm wrong on how I read the situation.
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Offline Greg2600

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There has been a lot of discussion of this over the years.  The answer is...  we don't actually know.  If it does work, it's going to be tight, and likely not a full implementation of the chipset.  There were a lot of functions that no commercial games used in the SA1 according to byuu.  Someone correct me if I'm wrong on how I read the situation.

Pretty good summary, for the layman.

Offline roadkill2

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I'm hoping that SA-1 is supported on the SD2SNES too, I just got one as well and am really impressed with all the titles that are supported compared to when I had a Super EverDrive, which I had for 5 years. My purchase of the SD2SNES was pretty good timing, as Super FX support came out right before I bought it (and I didn't know until after I bought it). This made my purchase all the much more worthwhile for me.

Anyways, I can patiently wait for SA-1 support tbh, because there's only 3 games that I'd like to play if it is supported some day; Kirby's Dreamland 3, Kirby Super Star, and Super Mario RPG. I can always just purchase those games if I want to play them badly enough, but believe it or not I'm actually really not much of a fan of any of those 3 games. Also, I'm not much of a fan of Dragon Ball Z Hyper Dimension either. So yeah, I can most certainly wait patiently, but I'm also hoping that it's not impossible.

Ok I rambled enough.
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Offline Missingno255

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EDIT: SA-1 is now supported
« Last Edit: June 27, 2018, 04:32 AM by Missingno255 »
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Offline leonquest

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Looking into purchasing this flash cart. The support is amazing in terms of titles. I noticed some of my favorite Kirby games don’t work due to SA-1 chips. Now my question is, is it physically impossible for the FPGA on the SD2SNES due to power/infrastructure limitations, or is it simply a matter of work needing to be done. I ask because I notice the cart just got BETA support for the FX chip which is amazing since it’s been years since the cart came out.

I did some research on how the SA-1 chips talk to be SNES and it seems more complicated than other chips. It just was unclear to me if this chip is physically incapable of being emulated, or just a gigantic amount of work that no sane person would ever go through for the payoff. Would be nice to know that there is HOPE, lol.

Thanks for any clarification.

Just go buy them if you have the money, you won't break the bank...  At least for today's standards. If you sit around and wait for someone to add SA-1 support to the SD2Snes then you may never see them, and they might get too expensive by then, as the retro gaming scene gets more and more popular. It's still under investigation whether it's possible to add support foe it on the sd2snes, so if you need to play them in the near future then go get em.
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Offline EBJ7

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Looking into purchasing this flash cart. The support is amazing in terms of titles. I noticed some of my favorite Kirby games don’t work due to SA-1 chips. Now my question is, is it physically impossible for the FPGA on the SD2SNES due to power/infrastructure limitations, or is it simply a matter of work needing to be done. I ask because I notice the cart just got BETA support for the FX chip which is amazing since it’s been years since the cart came out.

I did some research on how the SA-1 chips talk to be SNES and it seems more complicated than other chips. It just was unclear to me if this chip is physically incapable of being emulated, or just a gigantic amount of work that no sane person would ever go through for the payoff. Would be nice to know that there is HOPE, lol.

Thanks for any clarification.

Just go buy them if you have the money, you won't break the bank...  At least for today's standards. If you sit around and wait for someone to add SA-1 support to the SD2Snes then you may never see them, and they might get too expensive by then, as the retro gaming scene gets more and more popular. It's still under investigation whether it's possible to add support foe it on the sd2snes, so if you need to play them in the near future then go get em.

Yeah I’m thinking about it, I was just curious if the hardware in the SD2NeS simply is incapable of emulating the chip due to maybe the layout of SA-1 carts being structurally different or something. It seems the consensus is there is simply not enough room, which is different from, it is impossible to emulate the SA-1 on the SD2NES even if there was more space and a thousand years to work on it. I’m getting the impression that the SA-1 is emulatable on the FPGA if room and work weren’t serious barrriers.

I’m not waiting for anything, it’s already a great purchase!

Offline OneBagTravel

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Pretty sure the understanding is that no one knows yet. I've heard the argument that there's hardware limitations in onboard RAM size and others saying it's fine. Search SA1 on this forum and you'll get a lot of threads that resemble this one, all speculation. My advice is get an SD2SNES and then purchase the SA1 games that you want.

The only thing I'm missing out on right now are the JP SA1 games that have been translated. Emulation works fine for now.
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Offline leonquest

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Pretty sure the understanding is that no one knows yet. I've heard the argument that there's hardware limitations in onboard RAM size and others saying it's fine. Search SA1 on this forum and you'll get a lot of threads that resemble this one, all speculation. My advice is get an SD2SNES and then purchase the SA1 games that you want.

The only thing I'm missing out on right now are the JP SA1 games that have been translated. Emulation works fine for now.

Correct, until a developer tries and confirms that it can't be done, then it's all speculation.
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Offline Dup84

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Would it be possible to use an external device via USB to do some processing ?

Offline the_randomizer

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Re: Is it physically impossible to emulate the SA-1 on the SD2NES?
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2018, 10:06 PM »
I hate to be that guy, but I personally don't see SA-1 happening on the SD2SNES as it is, since it's pretty much an Snes processor that's been souped up. Not gonna hold my breath >.> Though I kind of wished the SA-1 was emulated on the FPGA first, in all honesty, but to each their own. Not to discredit anyone's work, no, not at all, but it seems odd that the chip with the least amount of games, whereas the SA-1 has the most amount of games...anyway.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2018, 10:07 PM by the_randomizer »

Offline iwasaperson

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Re: Is it physically impossible to emulate the SA-1 on the SD2NES?
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2018, 10:44 PM »
I hate to be that guy, but I personally don't see SA-1 happening on the SD2SNES as it is, since it's pretty much an Snes processor that's been souped up. Not gonna hold my breath >.> Though I kind of wished the SA-1 was emulated on the FPGA first, in all honesty, but to each their own. Not to discredit anyone's work, no, not at all, but it seems odd that the chip with the least amount of games, whereas the SA-1 has the most amount of games...anyway.
Maybe not full SA-1, but games rarely used the SA-1 for much more than copy protection + light processing. You could code a super incomplete SA-1 implementation just well enough to be able to run games.
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Offline the_randomizer

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Re: Is it physically impossible to emulate the SA-1 on the SD2NES?
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2018, 04:01 AM »
I hate to be that guy, but I personally don't see SA-1 happening on the SD2SNES as it is, since it's pretty much an Snes processor that's been souped up. Not gonna hold my breath >.> Though I kind of wished the SA-1 was emulated on the FPGA first, in all honesty, but to each their own. Not to discredit anyone's work, no, not at all, but it seems odd that the chip with the least amount of games, whereas the SA-1 has the most amount of games...anyway.
Maybe not full SA-1, but games rarely used the SA-1 for much more than copy protection + light processing. You could code a super incomplete SA-1 implementation just well enough to be able to run games.

See, that would be a good compromise and good enough to run Super Mario RPG, Kirby's Dream Land 3, etc. Whether or not the FPGA has room for even that, is unknown. So far, no one's stepped up to implement that chip or said if it can fit.  Unfortunately, I know nothing of pure ASM.

Offline dreimer

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Re: Is it physically impossible to emulate the SA-1 on the SD2NES?
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2018, 03:10 PM »
Not ASM, VHDL or VERILOG aka a hardware description language is what you are looking for.

Offline the_randomizer

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Re: Is it physically impossible to emulate the SA-1 on the SD2NES?
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2018, 05:59 PM »
Not ASM, VHDL or VERILOG aka a hardware description language is what you are looking for.

Regardless, I still don't know any form of programming, so I can't help in that field. Sorry. Someone else is going to have to look into doing that.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2018, 06:00 PM by the_randomizer »