Amiga 3000

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Commodore Amiga 3000
Amiga 3000
Type Personal computer
Release date June 1990
Discontinued 1992
Operating system Kickstart 1.3 or 2.x,
Unix SVR4
CPU Motorola 68030 @ 16 or 25 MHz
Memory 2 MB
Predecessor Amiga 2500
Successor Amiga 4000

The Commodore Amiga 3000, or A3000, was the third major release in the Amiga computer family. Released in June 1990, it features improved processing speed, improved rendering of graphics, and a new revision of the operating system. It is the successor to the Amiga 2000.

Its predecessors, the Amiga 500, 1000 and 2000, shared the same fundamental system architecture and consequently performed without much variation in processing speed despite considerable variation in purchase price. The A3000 however, was entirely reworked and rethought as a high-end workstation. The new Motorola 32-bit 68030 CPU, 68882 math co-processor, and 32-bit system memory increase the "integer" processing speed by a factor of 5 to 18, and the "floating point" processing speed by a factor of 7 to 200 times. The new 32-bit Zorro III expansion slots provide for faster and more powerful expansion capabilities.[1]

In common with earlier Amigas it runs a 32-bit operating system called AmigaOS. Version 2.0 is generally considered to have a more ergonomic and attractive interface than previous versions. Access for application developers was simplified.

The A3000UX was an A3000 variant bundled with the UNIX System V operating system. Commodore had a licensing agreement with AT&T to include a port of Unix System V (release 4). Commodore also sold a towerized variant called the A3000T.

An enhanced version, the Amiga 3000+, with the AGA chipset and an AT&T DSP3210 signal processing chip was produced to prototype stage in 1991. Although this system was never released, Commodore's negotiations with AT&T over the proper way to bundle their VCOS/VCAS operating system software in a personal computer environment helped Apple Computer deliver their Quadra 660 and Quadra 840 AV-series Macintosh systems, two years later.[2]

In its stead, Commodore replaced the A3000 in the fall of 1992, six months behind schedule, with the comparatively less advanced and PC clone–influenced A4000.

Technical information[edit]

Amiga 3000 system

The Amiga 3000 shipped with a Motorola 68030 at either 16 or 25 MHz and 2 MB of RAM. It includes the Enhanced Chip Set (ECS), a "display enhancer" for use with a VGA monitor, and a DMA SCSI-II controller and hard disk drive.[3]

"Fast RAM" can be increased by fitting DIP (up to 4 MB) or ZIP DRAM chips (up to 16 MB) available in two varieties, Page Mode or Static Column.

The A3000, unlike most Amiga models, supports both ROM-based Kickstarts and disk-based Kickstarts (the early "SuperKickstart" model), although not simultaneously. Kickstart V1.4 is actually a beta version of Kickstart which is loaded from disk. 68040 microprocessors require at least 2.0 ROMs.

The A3000 has a number of Amiga compatible connectors including two DE-9 ports for joysticks, mice, and light pens, a standard 25-pin RS-232 serial port and a 25-pin Centronics parallel port. As a result, at launch the A3000 was compatible with many existing Amiga peripherals, such as, MIDI interfaces, serial modems and sound samplers.[3]

The A3000 has four internal 32-bit Zorro III expansion slots. This expansion bus allows the use of devices which comply with the AutoConfig standard, such as, graphic cards, audio cards, network cards and later even USB controllers.[1]

The two passive ISA slots can be activated by use of a "bridgeboard", which connects the Zorro and ISA buses. Such bridgeboards typically feature on-board IBM PC Compatible hardware, including Intel 80286, 80386 or 80486 microprocessors allowing emulation of an entire IBM-PC system in hardware. A compatible ISA card may then be installed in the remaining ISA slot.[3]

Specifications[edit]

Attribute Specification[3]
Processor Motorola 68030 at 16 or 25 MHz
FPU 68881 (16 MHz ) or 68882 (25 MHz)
RAM MB (configured as 1 MB "chip" and 1 MB "fast" RAM)

Maximum 2 MB chip RAM and 16 MB fast RAM on-board
Upgradable by further 128 MB via the CPU slot and by Zorro III expansions

ROM 512 kB Kickstart ROM[4]
Chipset Enhanced Chip Set (ECS)
Video 12-bit color palette (4096 colors)

Graphic modes from:

  • 320×200 to 320×512 with 32, 64 (EHB mode) or 4096 (HAM mode) on-screen colors
  • 640×200 to 640×512 with 16 on-screen colors
  • 1280×200 to 1280×512 with 4 on-screen colors

Horizontal scan rates of 15.60-31.44 kHz
Vertical scan rates of 50–72 Hz
Built-in "display enhancer" (scan-doubler and de-interlacer) for use with VGA monitor

Audio 4 × 8-bit PCM channels (2 stereo channels)

28–56 kHz maximum DMA sampling rate (dependent on video mode in use)

Internal storage 40, 50 or 100 MB 3.5" SCSI hard disk drive (upgradable)
Removable storage 3.5" floppy disk drive, double density (880 kB capacity) or high density (1760&kB capacity)
Input/output ports Analog RGB video out (DB-23M)

Analog VGA out (DB-15F)
Audio out (2 × RCA)
Keyboard (5 pin DIN)
2 × Mouse/Gamepad ports (DE9)
RS-232 serial port (DB-25M)
Centronics style parallel port (DB-25F)
Floppy disk drive port (DB-23F)
50-pin internal SCSI connector
External SCSI connector (DB-23M)

Expansion slots 4 × 100pin 32-bit Zorro III slots

1 × video slot (inline with Zorro slot)
2 × passive 16-bit ISA slots (requires bridgeboard to activate)
1 × 200-pin CPU expansion slot
8 × 30-pin DIP slots
32 × ZIP slots

Operating system AmigaOS 1.3 (Kickstart 1.3/Workbench 1.3) or AmigaOS 2.0 (Kickstart 2.04/Workbench 2.04)
Other 2 × front accessible 3.5" drive bays

1 × internal 3.5" drive mounting
Battery backed real-time clock

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Haynie, Dave (20 March 1991), The Zorro III Bus Specification, Commodore-Amiga, Inc. 
  2. ^ Haynie, Dave (17 July 1991), The Amiga 3000+ System Specification, Commodore-Amiga, Inc. 
  3. ^ a b c d Introducing the Commodore Amiga 3000, Commodore-Amiga, Inc., 1991 
  4. ^ early models came with a 1.4 beta Kickstart for selectively booting 1.3 or 2.0 from disk, later models used a real 2.0 Kickstart ROM