Yeah, as mentioned I have been working on a "super uzebox" based around a 32 bit arm7. My main thing has been trying very, VERY hard to make it as hobbyist friendly as possible, which is difficult when you start with the words "Well the main CPU is a 144 pin LQFP!"
That being said I made sure that all the chip resistors and capacitors have been 0805 (which is nice and big, as far as chip resistors go). That being said this is going to have to be pitched more as "Uzebox for those who want to spend a few hours soldering".
I'm also trying to make sure that I don't move too far away from some thing that I consider important parts:
1) It still outputs to TV because if it doesn't it's not exactly retro anymore, and getting things on your TV with the thing is practically half the fun!
2) Though there are a few extra fun chunks (like I put in space for an audio DAC and a bunch of other little things you can choose to use the audio DAC and other features with jumpers), the actual final product will only need three chips: CPU, RAM, and NTSC chip. The RAM is because I hope to be able to do a "load video game from SD card fully into RAM and then run the chip at full speed" type thing. And if in the future this moves to a "loading screen when swapping out massive sound files" type thing then so be it, but for now I'm keeping it simple.
3) It has to be as hobbyist friendly *as possible*. This isn't something that's particularly friendly by nature (as already mentioned) but I can try! One more thing I'm doing to try and keep the friendliness level very high is that this is all being designed in Eagle CAD, but it's all on a 2-layer board in order to make sure that anyone can edit it using the free version of the software.
That being said all of this has kind of taken a back seat while I'm trying to finish my work in the real world! This robotic arm we've been building is nuts and has a million tiny considerations not the least of which is that it will be operating at something like 6km underwater so I've been kind of absorbed in making sure that everything is as it should be.
The schematic for the Arm-based uzebox is pretty much done, but I wasn't sure whether or not the chip I've chosen is capable of accessing its ram real time due to the fact that it only has an 8bit wide bus and can't due burst reads, so I was thinking that I may want to bump it up to the 200Pin LQFP which has a 32bit wide data bus so that I can run all code off of RAM in real time, and leaves a LOOOOOOOOOOOT of room for expansion if the project goes well
. Anyway, I'll start posting a lot more about the project as development gets more underway than just "mostly planned."
Does anyone who's a bit more versed in ARM design know if the LPC2388 can execute code in external RAM in real time? The datasheets for the LPC2388 are here