Six years after introducing USB to the Amiga Classic, E3B (Michael Böhmer) and PCP (Chris Hodges) are pleased to announce the new USB 2.0 Zorro II/III DMA controller DENEB.
As the next consequential development the DENEB implements an USB host controller with three ports (two external, one internal). Each of them support both USB 1.1 and the 480 MBit/s USB 2.0 highspeed mode.
The DENEB USB card is dedicated for all Zorro equipped Amigas and supports Zorro III, Zorro II and Fast Zorro II. The integrated Zorro III busmaster allows real Zorro III DMA transfer and reduces the CPU load significantly, leaving resource for multitasking. As additional benefit high data transfer rates are made possible.
Developed especially for classical OS3.x systems, the DENEB additionally works nicely on new Amiga OS4 Classic (JIT) and MorphOS (native) operating systems. As with previous E3B products a full OEM licensed version of Poseidon V4.0 (PCP) is included. The version V4.0 for Amiga Classic is licensed excusively for customers of E3B and not available for USB controllers of other vendors.
Poseidon already provided versatile support of USB devices like keyboards, mice, graphic tablets, mass storage (sticks, harddisks, CD/DVD, card readers, etc.), printers and many other devices in the past. The new Poseidon V4.0 version extends this further by adding new drivers for serial and ethernet adapters, the famous 3D Space Navigator, webcams, digicams with PictureTransferProtocol (PTP) and MP3 players with MediaTransportProtocol (MTP) and --last but not least-- USB multi-outlet power strips.
As world's first Amiga Classic USB controller the DENEB supports real time isochronous data transfer and hence allows using inexpensive USB sound cards with a new audio class driver available in Poseidon V4.0. AHI is supported with all sampling rates and resolutions up to 32bit.
The hard- and software design has been carefully optimized to give the highest data transfer rates of all current USB solutions for Amiga Classic. With rates exceeding 8MB/s (DMA) and 6MB/s (PIO) on Zorro III the DENEB unleashes the real power of USB 2.0 on Amiga computers, making the DENEB the ideal choice for fast USB mass storage devices. The DENEB outperforms the internal IDE controler by factors.
A large integrated [48MBit] FlashROM (4 MegaByte User, 2 MegaByte Firmware) allows integration of Poseidon during cold startups and enables direct booting from USB medias (like USB SATA harddisks or sticks).
For further boot time reduction the FlashROM may be populated with ROM updates or custom made Kickstart files. The well-known Luciferin software with its easy-to-use GUI has been improved and optimized for DENEB. It is now even possible to cold boot into MorphOS PUP right out of the FlashROM without using harddrive accesses. The 4MB FlashROM offers enough resources to allow similar features for Amiga OS4 Classic given the release of the necessary software.
The use of a modern FPGA and special boot logic enable firmware upgrades of all bus interface logic in software without needing to send in the board. New features and bug fixes can be provided easily.
As bonus the DENEB features a clockport for connecting existing clockport cards.
With the DENEB USB board by E3B and PCP, the Amiga Classic can reclaim a good piece of modern technology and opens the access to affordable USB devices for all Amiga users. To emphasize this we are proud to be able to deliver the DENEB with the "Still Alive" animation by Eric W. Schwartz initially in the FlashRom.
The DENEB has been manufactured according to RoHS specifications. For long endurance of the Zorro connector has been refined with hard gold plated contacts.
We want to thank all our loyal customers for providing us with encouragement and continuous demand for our products. Your support motivated us to finish this new development over the last three years!
DENEB is available for a recommended end user price of 139.95EUR (incl. VAT) directly at E3B (http://www.e3b.de/usb/) as well as at selected Amiga dealers.
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In an official posting (local copy, in case group access is closed) Darek Smietana, spokesperson of Elbox, is threatening to modify drivers of all Elbox products. As a consequence it would not be possible anymore to have products of other hardware vendors working in coexistence with Elbox products (in particular, customers with SUBWAY, HIGHWAY, ALGOR, Thylacine, as well as Prometheus owners with USB cards are affected).
E3B asks all users to immediately notify us in case problems occur when operating Elbox products together with the products listed above, and in case these problems could be connected to the sanctions announced by Elbox.
We deeply regret that one competitor on the relatively small Amiga Classic market does not hesitate to abuse customers of other companies for enforcing his own selfish interests.
E3B recommends to forbear from new software updates by Elbox unless the potentially illegal usage of destructive code has been explicitly excluded by Elbox.
The new SUBWAY has a few changes as compared to previous versions: according to the new laws in Germany ("Elektroschrott") the SUBWAY carries the recycling symbol; please follow the guidelines for disposal of electronic devices (if this issue comes up after a hopefully long time of operation without troubles). Please check for the correct registration of the manufacturer when buying new hardware. Missing registration could mean that profit is being made without protecting our environment.
As small compensation for the long production time we have included a special feature: the SUBWAY is
shipping with a full OEM license of Poseidon V3.x!
This license is covering only the new SUBWAY modules and won't enable other USB controllers in the
system for V3.x. You as customer will benefit from the latest version of Poseidon.
For all other E3B controllers the benefiting upgrade service is being continued: E3B will cover part of the V3.x license fee when upgrading from V2.x versions. Please check the registration form included in the Poseidon GUI (Trident) for further details.
A special thanks goes to Massimo Mancini of Credev. By selling his production stock (planned for the only prototyped UltraBUS) he made this production run possible.
E3B will ship its SUBWAY USB controller with all features (including the full version of Chris Hodges USB stack Poseidon V2.x) for the same price as the previous model. As it gets harder every day to get the USB controller chip in small quantities at a decent price E3B expects this production run of SUBWAY to be the last one. We recommend people being interested in acquiring one of these USB controllers (and people still waiting for vapour products like UltraBUS) not to wait too long, as this might be the last chance of getting a new SUBWAY USB controller with full warranty.
E3B will announce availability of the new production batch after shipment to dealers on all major Amiga news pages.
Over time the cooperation was extended. Due to the great demand, E3B started
another production run of the SUBWAY. This production brings the two
companies even closer together when synergy effects of a joint PCB production are
used to keep prices low while improving the quality.
It were the good direct contacts of individual Computers to the chip manufacturer Transdimension (USA) that made the continuation of the SUBWAY possible.
Both sides are looking forward to further cooperations and are currently evaluating possibilities for joint developments.
The board is shipped with Chris Hodges' well-known Luciferin software. After the first release of the ALGOR over one year ago, the Algor PRO can already be considered an elaborate and field-tested FlashROM solution.
Besides the capacity doubled FlashROM the ALGOR PRO offers the same, well known advantages of the ALGOR:
Due to the highly flexible hardware design of the ALGOR E3B is able to offer the ALGOR PRO at the same suggested retail price of 99EUR (excl. VAT); the pricing for the ALGOR (still available in small quantities) is adjusted to 94EUR (excl. VAT).
Worldwide shipping to Amiga dealers will start end of the week.
This update enhances already implemented functions of the software; moreover some problems with certain
system configurations were fixed.
Users of the USB controller card ALGOR and of the FlashROM module ROMulus (HIGHWAY) can enjoy a well-engineered and sophisticated solution which allows adding additional software modules to the Amiga system already before boot time.
A short overview over the new functions:
The main features of ALGOR and ROMulus are left unchanged:
The latest upgrade for Luciferin is available exclusively for registered users of ALGOR and
ROMulus only. All registered users will be contacted by E3B and receive this free update by mail.
Please contact E3B (email@example.com), if you didn't receive a registration card with your ALGOR / HIGHWAY, otherwise fill out your registration card and ship it.
A special thanks has to go to Hartmut Schulze for his support by detailed bug reports and hints.
ROMulus expands the well known and commonly used Zorro II USB controller HIGHWAY by adding 512kB FlashROM which can be used to include all kinds of RomTags. It is also possible to use the USB stack Poseidon right after poweron for booting the computer by USB mass storage devices. Boot times can be dramatically shortened by adding the OS3.9 expansion romtags into the ROMulus FlashROM.
With the ROMulus and the new Zorro II USB controller ALGOR E3B is delivering the first two available FlashROM solutions officially supported by the upcoming Amiga OS4.
ROMulus has been optimized especially for the requirements of Amiga Classic. The small expansion module for the
HIGHWAY saves one (often quite important) Zorro slot (while still allowing the usage of the 10MBit networking module
NORWAY). ROMulus works perfectly in Zorro II and Zorro III
bus systems, even in problematic ones from third party producers.
The FlashROM itself is implemented as 256kx16 block. As kickstart accesses at boot time are also wordwide, maximum performance is combined with highest compatibility. The FlashROM memory supports user transparent compression methods and allows storage of up to 900kB data (depending on modules).
The programming of FlashROM is handled by an easy to use graphical interface from Chris Hodges. Handling of FlashROM is therefore not more complicated than using a file manager. Moreover, the FlashROM can also be programmed by shell access.
Once again E3B sets standards for all competitors by delivering ROMulus, just like one year before by entering the Amiga Classic market with the groundbreaking USB controllers SUBWAY and HIGHWAY which pioneered USB on the Amiga.
ROMulus is available directly with E3B and can be ordered over
The upgrade itself is handled by an upgrade ticket (just like with the USB stack Poseidon for non-OEM-licensed USB cards). Just fill in the gaps, print it out and send it together with your HIGHWAY to E3B. The necessary hardware upgrade, the shipment costs back to you and the ROMulus itself are included in the price of the upgrade.
The ROMulus price includes the necessary upgrade for the HIGHWAY bus interface logic; as additional free
service within this upgrade a free update for the networking module NORWAY is offered.
Please read the upgrade information available from E3B carefully before ordering your ROMulus upgrade.
Michael Böhmer, 13.04.2008, webmaster