piStorm – A 68000 CPU replacement

What is piStorm ?

piStorm is an opensource project started by Claude Schwartz. The board fits inside the Amiga 500, Amiga 2000 and CDTV models and boosts their performance close to a 25MHz 68040 equipped Amiga 4000 (60-70MHz 68030).
Native boards for the A600 and A2000 (CPU slot) are under development.

Besides a fast CPU, which is provided by the Pi through the Musashi 680×0 emulator, piStorm with the recommended Raspberry Pi 3A+ gives you:
* FastRAM configurations up to and above 256MB without starving the Pi of RAM (3A+ has 512MB)
* piSCSI – allows you to mount up to 7 hard disk devices; supports hard drive images and even physical drives
* autoboot from hard drive image or physical drive
* RTG – gives you together with the P96 software 16 and 24 bit graphics in high resolution
* kickstart switch – specify which kickstart to use (but not really switch it other than changing from configuration file)
* keyboard and mouse passthrough – use the keyboard and mouse connected to the pi as Amiga devices
* real time clock (RTC) – passes the date and time over to the Amiga from the Pi
* networking (new) – allows connecting to internet or local network with the SANA-II driver and a TCP/IP stack
* folder sharing (new) – share a folder on the sd-card with the Amiga for simple file transfers
* remapping of DF0: to DF1/DF2/DF3 (new)
* remapping of slow-fast ($00C00000) as chip-RAM (new) – no more JP2/JP7A modification needed for 1MB chip-RAM

What do I need ?

* The piStorm 68000 replacement adapter
* A Raspberry Pi 3A+ or similar (Pi 3A+ is recommended because of its low profile)
* A microSD card for the piStorm software

Where do I get the 68000 adapter ?

Check out the “groupbuy” channel on Discord
You will find the invite link to Discord at the main piStorm repo on Github:
https://github.com/captain-amygdala/pistorm

How much does it cost ?

It differs depending on how countries add expenses on imported PCBs and components and what the shipping rates for these are at the time, but you should not accept to pay (unless you really WANT to) more than 25-30 EUR for the assembled adapter board. I have (in the Discord channel) seen prices as low as about 13 EUR + shipping. Because of the ongoing semiconductor shortage, components are getting harder and more expensive to source, which drives the prices up a bit, still not anything near $149.99 or such (more close to the double mentioned above, which I have left in).
List prices at retrorewind.ca should NOT be accepted (as for example, the RGBtoHDMI A500 adapter at $40, and the A2000 video slot version at $70!).
To that you have to add the cost of the recommended Pi 3A+ (about 30-35 EUR), and a suitable microSD card (up to 32GB is reasonable).

The piStorm software and getting started

The main Github repository is located at:
https://github.com/captain-amygdala/pistorm

New features are added to the “wip-crap” tree:
https://github.com/beeanyew/pistorm/tree/wip-crap

My Getting Started Guide, updated as I discover the piStorm for myself. Refer the official documentation (in the GitHub Readme.md files spread across some the repository folders) for most up-to-date information.

My Basic Configuration Guide, which also links to some advanced topics like configuration switching using ‘irexec’.

piStorm tests and reviews

The very first video-review of piStorm was published by Chris Edwards on 25 April 2021
25 April 2021: PiStorm 68K CPU replacement and more (Chris Edwards)


1 May 2021: Amiga PiStorm P2 – ROMS, Hard drives, RTG and more (Chris Edwards)

2 May 2021: PiStorm: Turbo Boost Amiga 500 With Raspberry Pi (Dan Wood)

4 May 2021: Mounting the PiStorm in the Amiga 1000 (Chris Edwards)

9-10 May 2021: Introducing the piStorm & livestream (Mikes Retro Tech)


16 May 2021: Lets build a PISTORM (CRG / Casual Retro Gamer)

18 May 2021: Amiga PiStorm – Retro Power on a Budget – Tech Nibble (RMC / Retro Man Cave)

piStorm articles

26 March 2021:
Claude Schwartz was interviewed in public through Discord/IRC
https://www.amigaimpact.org/2021/03/article-entrevue-avec-claude-schwarz-createur-du-pistorm/
See the raw interview in English here
19 April 2021:
Hackaday: piStorm Brings Modern Muscle To The Amiga
Toms Hardware: Raspberry Pi Turbo Boosts Amiga 500 Retro Computer
21 April 2021:
Hackster.io: Hands-On with the PiStorm, the Ultimate Raspberry Pi-Powered Accelerator for Your Commodore Amiga

piStorm mentions

30 April 2021: The Retro Hour Ep273

7 thoughts to “piStorm – A 68000 CPU replacement”

  1. Thank you. I’ve joined the Discord but having someone put these basics down in writing is REALLY helpful. I’ll ask some questions once I have read your other posts 😉

  2. OK, does PiStorm ONLY (!!) does RTG – so is there room to still fit an RGB to HDMI (PiZero) alongside PiStorm in A500?

    1. The current piStorm (software side) does “only” RTG for now, RGB passthrough will possibly come in the future. The RGBtoHDMI adapter will fit, but you will probably need to find some angled HDMI cable or add an extra socket or two on top of either the RGBtoHDMI adapter or the CPU to be able to connect a (thin) normal HDMI cable.
      There are some images of piStorm + RGBtoHDMI in the Discord chats.

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