Press statements

Zorro II/III DMA USB 2.0 controller for all Zorro capable Amigas!

Haag / Munich, 07.05.2008

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.

Our distributors:

Vesalia Computer http://www.vesalia.de/
Amiga Kit http://www.amigakit.com/
Voxel Informatique keine Website verfügbar
Relec http://www.relec.ch/


Potential problems with Elbox products

Haag, 20.01.2007 - Due to recent circumstances E3B has to notify users of potential problems with products of the Polnish company Elbox.

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.


New version of SUBWAY is shipping

Garching, 30.04.2006 - E3B is proud to announce the availability of a new series of SUBWAY USB controllers for the Amiga 1200 clockport. The most wanted Amiga USB controller is on the market again - we would like to thank all customers supporting us during the last years!

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 and individual Computers stop selling hardware

Garching, 24.11.2005 - Both companies, who became famous for innovative and powerful hardware expansions for classic Amiga computers, are forced to stop selling hardware until further notice due to changes in German law. No hardware is being shipped within the EU, neither to resellers, nor to direct customers.

According to the national implementation of EU-directive 2002/96/EG into German law (Bundesgesetzblatt 2005 Teil I Nr. 17), every vendor in Germany must be registered with the Stiftung EAR. For vendors from outside Germany, the importer must be registered, in case the vendor himself is not registered in Germany. This law applies to all electronic products that are mentioned in rule EAR 03-011, no matter what country they come from - within or outside the European union.

The new law aims at vendors and importers, who need to take resposibility for the electronic devices if they are discarded at the end of the product's life. Putting electronic devices into circulation without being registered (indicated by a trashcan symbol) is against German law since today, and can be penalized with a monetary fine of up to 50.000,- EUR.

Due to the complicated implementation by German authorities, it's not easy to estimate the consequences and the new obligations created by this law. In addition to that, the extremely high administration effort goes with high fees that must be paid to the Stiftung EAR - especially smaller companies' existance is endangered by the fees that are more than one hundred times higher than the recycling cost itself. individual computers and E3B, who have been developing and producing in Germany for many years, are now evaluating possibilities to comply with the strict rules in a close cooperation, so customers all over Europe can continue to buy top quality products from Germany. Both companies want to act responsible and sustainable in this regard.

Many issues are not yet resolved, therefore both companies cannot continue to deliver hardware to customers and resellers within the European union. Customers outside the EU are not affected by this decision.

We're hoping to proceed with the necessary steps in a timely manner. Unfortunately, the "Stiftung EAR" cannot cope with the bureaucracy created by their own rules, so our registration number is not yet assigned. We are of course interested in continuing to offer innovative products, and will do everything to keep the shortage as short as possible. We're asking for your indulgence for any inconveniences.


SUBWAY is on the road again!

Garching, 17.08.2005 - Due to numerous requests from customers E3B has started a (possibly last) production batch of its famous and successful USB controller SUBWAY. Unfortunately it took longer than expected to get all necessary parts for production.

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.


E3B and individual Computers join forces

E3B and individual Computers have a long standing friendship reaching back to the year 2001 when E3B was founded.
When the USB-controller SUBWAY hit the market, the two companies worked together to ensure optimal cross-vendor functionality for a better customer experience. Resources and materials were shared for the manufacturing process.

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.


New version of ALGOR available

Garching, 26/07/2004 - E3B is happy to announce the delivery of a new series of ALGOR USB controller cards. The new version of the ALGOR Zorro II / III expansion card has been improved greatly regarding the FlashROM capabilities. The ALGOR PRO features now twice the memory (1MB) as FlashROM compared to the old revision of the ALGOR. Using user transparent compression, the actual capacity is around 1750KB!

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:

The ALGOR PRO can be equipped with the ethernet module NORWAY just like the ALGOR.
This allows up to three different functionalities in just one Zorro slot: USB host, 10MBit ethernet and FlashROM! Thus the ALGOR PRO is the ideal choice for all Amiga systems with small number of Zorro slots, as well as for systems which cannot use other FlashROM solutions due to the lack of Zorro III.

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.


ALGOR and ROMulus flashroms

(Garching, 10.08.2003) E3B, manufacturer of the well-known USB solutions for Amiga Class, and Chris Hodges, programmer of many famous software solutions (as the Poseidon USB stack are proud to present a major software update for the FlashROM solutions produced by E3B.

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:

Both ALGOR and ROMulus (upgrade option for HIGHWAY) contain 512kB quality FlashROM (configured as 256kx16, i.e. 4MBit), which can by programmed easily by the Luciferin GUI. By implementing word accesses and having the FlashROM activated very early in the Amiga startup phase, this ensures the highest possible access speed. ALGOR and ROMulus / HIGHWAY are perfectly suited for all Zorro II / III systems (includes also Amiga 1200 tower systems with Zorro bus).

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 (mboehmer@e3b.de), 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.


FlashROM module ROMulus ships now

(Garching, 26.06.2003) E3B is pleased to announce that the long awaited expansion module ROMulus is available from right now.

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 IOSPIRIT.
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.


Changes can be made without further notification. All trademarks are property of the corresponding firms.

Michael Böhmer, 13.04.2008, webmaster