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In Febrary 2006 Alinea Computer took over the distribution of our
Amiga software products AmigaWriter, ArtEffect and StormC.
Please contact them for sales and support.
These webpages are remaining online to provide you with some information and support.
But please be aware that we can not answer technical or
support questions related to Amiga products any more.
Thanks for your understanding.
The PowerPC Assembler
Statements of Sam Jordan
|PowerPC - when this word appeared in the Amiga press for the first time many enthusiastic Amiga owners put
new hope in a better future for their computer. It is a tremendous jump from the popular 68xxx processor family
to the new, more powerful PowerPC series of processors. Due to the differences between these two processor families
many challenges lie ahead on the AMIGA's way into the future. An important requirement is that powerful development
software must be come available quickly so that the programmer has at his hands everything required to
take the step from the 68K-AMIGA to the PowerPC Amiga world and to quickly adapt
software for those new processors.
StormPowerASM - on May 18th, 1996 development for a new assembler development system for the Amiga started. The aim was to create a software which meets highest quality demands and which would be used as reference for other development software. StormPowerASM should make it possible to develop software that uses the PowerPC hardware to its full extent.
The introduction of the PowerPC hardware also showed that two steps had to be taken: first of all, a new language would have to be learned to program PowerPC processors in assembly language. Furthermore, fundamental concepts that had been developed and adopted during years of 68xxx processor programming would have to be changed or even abandoned.
At this point I'd like to clarify something: it doesn't make sense to believe that every software developed for the PowerPC platform will be generally faster. The performance marks found in the press should be treated with utmost care. In order to program the PowerPC efficiently, the entire Amiga hardware must be viewed as one unit. The processor is just a part of the system.
The PowerPC platform is especially useful for applications that perform a lot of calculations. PowerPC processors can only show their full power when algorithms are developed which use a minimum of external memory accesses. The development of RAM components did not progress as fast as processor development. Even the increasing caches will not make applications faster, but often (especially in the case of games) even slower.
Further types of applications which are well-suited for the PowerPC platform are games and demos. A look at other computer platforms suffices to recognize the level of importance that the games industry has gained. The continuous hardware development is driven by gamers whose expectations keep rising.
Developing Amiga games which take full advantage of the PowerPC hardware can be a demanding task. The customers' demands for more graphics and increasing complexity leads to huge amounts of data games have to deal with. Such extreme situations mercilessly show a CPU's weak spots.
One of my personal goals is to make the full power of the PowerPC available to all those willing to engage themselves in developing unique, innovative and extremely fast Amiga software. Together with my powerpc.library which offers a unique interface to the PowerPC platform, StormPowerASM forms the base to achieving this goal.
The AMIGA has a future and we all should take part in designing this future.
May all StormPowerASM users be successful in developing their programs!