Commodore AmigaAmiga ComputerAmiga 500/600 (OCS/ECS)
Eyetech sold PowerPC based hardware under the AmigaOne brand from 2002 to 2005 running AmigaOS 4. Amiga Kit distributes and sells PowerPC based hardware under the AmigaOne brand from 2010 to present day running AmigaOS 4. ACube Systems sells the AmigaOS 3 compatible Minimig system with a Freescale MC68SEC000 CPU (Motorola 68000 compatible) and AmigaOS 4 compatible Sam440 / Sam460 / AmigaOne 500 systems with PowerPC processors. A-EON Technology Ltd sells the AmigaOS 4 compatible AmigaOne X1000 system with P.A. Semi PWRficient PA6T-1682M processor. Amiga Kit Amiga Store, Vesalia Computer and sell numerous items from aftermarket components to refurbished classic systems.

Kickstart (Amiga)

KickstartKickstart ROMAmiga Kickstart
Kickstart modules of AmigaOS 4 are stored on the boot disk partition. Up to Kickstart v2.0 (V36) only 512-byte blocks were supported. Motorola 68040 uses write caches that requires the use of the functions CacheClearU and CacheControl to flush cache when program code has been modified. These functions are only available in Kickstart 2.0 or better. Upon start-up or reset the Kickstart performs a number of diagnostic and system checks and then initializes the Amiga chipset and some core OS components. It will then check for connected boot devices and attempt to boot from the one with the highest boot priority.

Amiga models and variants

Amiga models
QuikPak were a manufacturer for the Amiga 4000T. The A5000 and A6000: These were new models announced by Power Computing in 1997. They originally featured a 68030 or 68040 for the A5000, and a 68060 for the A6000. The BoXeR: Designed by Mick Tinker at Access Innovations, and announced in 1997, the BoXeR was to be a new motherboard based on a Motorola 68040 or 68060 processor. Amongst other improvements over the Commodore motherboards of the time, it incorporated the ageing AGA chipset into one chip. Sadly it never got far beyond the advanced prototyping stage.


Amiga OSAmigaWorkbench
This new AmigaOS, called AmigaOS 4.0 has been rewritten to become fully PowerPC compatible. It was initially developed on Cyberstorm PPC, as making it independent of the old Amiga chipsets wasn't trivial. Since the fourth Developer Pre-Release Update a new technique was adopted and the screens are draggable in any direction. Drag and drop of Workbench icons between different screens is possible too. Also in AmigaOS 4.0 were a new version of Amidock, TrueType/OpenType fonts, and a movie player with DivX and MPEG-4 support. In AmigaOS 4.1, a new Start-up preferences feature was added which replaced the old WBStartup drawer.

Commodore International

CommodoreCommodore Business MachinesCommodore 64
Amiga 4000 - incl A4000T (1992 / 1994). Amiga 600 (1992 / 1993). Amiga 1200 (1992 / 1994) then rereleased by Escom (1995 / 1996). Commodore PC compatible systems - Commodore Colt, PC1, PC10, PC20, PC30, PC40, ..., (1987 / 1993). Commodore PC laptops - Commodore 286LT, 386SX-LT, 486SX-LTC, 486SX-LTF, Pentium (? / 1993). Commodore TV Game 2000K/3000H (c. 1976) (IT page). Commodore MAX (1982). Commodore 64 Games System (1990). Amiga CD32 (1993). AmigaOS - Operating system for the Amiga range; multitasking, micro kernel, with GUI. Amiga Unix - Operating system for the Amiga, based on Unix System V Release 4.

AmigaOS version history

AmigaOS 3.0AmigaOS 3.12.0 of AmigaOS
AmigaOS 4.0 will run on some PowerPC hardware, which currently only includes A1200, A3000 and A4000 with PowerPC accelerator boards and AmigaOne motherboards. Amiga, Inc.'s distribution policies for AmigaOS 4.0 and any later versions require that for third-party hardware the OS must be bundled with it, with the sole exception of Amigas with Phase 5 PowerPC accelerator boards, for which the OS will be sold separately. AmigaOS 4.0 Final introduced a new memory system based on the slab allocator. Features, among others: AmigaOS 4.1 was presented to the public July 11, 2008, and went on sale September 2008.

Read-only memory

ROMRead Only MemoryROMs
Read-only memory (ROM) is a type of non-volatile memory used in computers and other electronic devices. Data stored in ROM cannot be electronically modified after the manufacture of the memory device. Read-only memory is useful for storing software that is rarely changed during the life of the system, sometimes known as firmware. Software applications for programmable devices can be distributed as plug-in cartridges containing read-only memory.

History of the Amiga

Since 2001, Hyperion Entertainment has been developing new AmigaOS 4 running on PowerPC based systems. The contract between Amiga Inc. and this Belgian-German company only allowed for the availability of the commercial AmigaOS 4 license to computers with AmigaOne motherboards. AmigaOS 4 also runs on Sam440 line developed by ACube Systems after an agreement Hyperion. It also runs on Pegasos II systems developed by Genesi/bPlan and AmigaOne systems developed by British Eyetech and A-eon Technologies. AmigaOS 4 can run system friendly AmigaOS software written for original Commodore Amigas. AmigaOS 4 provides backwards compatibility to 68K software through a tiered emulation.

Motorola 68040

68040Motorola 68LC04068LC040
The 68040 was also used in other personal computers, such as the Amiga 4000 and Amiga 4000T, as well as a number of workstations, Alpha Microsystems servers, the HP 9000/400 series, and later versions of the NeXT computer. The 68040 was the first 680x0 family member with an on-chip Floating-Point Unit (FPU). It thus included all of the functionality that previously required external chips, namely the FPU and Memory Management Unit (MMU), which was added in the 68030. It also had split instruction and data caches of 4 kilobytes each. It was fully pipelined, with six stages. Unfortunately, the 68040 ran into the transistor budget limit early in design.

Amiga Advanced Graphics Architecture

AGAAdvanced Graphics ArchitectureAmiga AGA
Amiga Advanced Graphics Architecture (AGA) is the third-generation Amiga graphic chipset, first used in the Amiga 4000 in 1992. Before release AGA was codenamed Pandora by Commodore International. AGA was originally called AA for Advanced Architecture in the United States. The name was later changed to AGA for the European market to reflect that it largely improved the graphical subsystem, and to avoid trademark issues. AGA is able to display graphics modes with a depth of up to 8 bits per pixel. This allows for 256 colors in indexed display modes and 262,144 colors (18-bit) in Hold-And-Modify (HAM-8) modes.


PPCPower PCPowerPC 2.02
In addition, PowerPC CPUs are still used in AmigaOne and third party AmigaOS 4 personal computers. PowerPC is largely based on IBM's earlier POWER instruction set architecture, and retains a high level of compatibility with it; the architectures have remained close enough that the same programs and operating systems will run on both if some care is taken in preparation; newer chips in the POWER series use the Power ISA.

Amiga 3000

A3000A3000/TAmiga A3000
Instead of the Amiga 3000+, Commodore replaced the A3000 six months behind schedule, in the fall of 1992, with the A4000. 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. "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.

Motorola 68060

In desktops, the 68060 is used in some variants of the Amiga 4000T produced by Amiga Technologies, and available as a third party upgrade for other Amiga models. It is also used in the Amiga clone DraCo non-linear video system. The Q60 extended the Sinclair QL design similarly from the slowest start to the ultimate pace of the 68K architecture's capabilities; these 68060-based motherboards —at 66 MHz for the full 68060 or a non-FPU 68LC060 option overclocked to 80 MHz—are more than 100 times faster than the Sinclair QL while running the same operating systems.

PowerUP (accelerator)

PowerUPBlizzard PPCCyberStorm PPC
As part of their Power Amiga plan, Amiga Technologies was going to launch new Power Amiga models using the PowerPC 604e RISC CPU and in co-operation with Amiga Technologies Phase5 would release AmigaOS 4-compatible PowerPC accelerator boards for old Amiga 1200, Amiga 3000 and Amiga 4000 models. However, in 1996 Amiga Technologies' parent company ESCOM entered into deep financial problems and could not support Amiga development. Due to a lack of resources, the PowerPC project at Amiga Technologies stalled and Phase5 had to launch accelerators without a PowerPC-native AmigaOS.

Amiga Chip RAM

Chip RAMFast RAMChip
The Amiga 4000 motherboard includes a non-functional jumper that anticipated later chips and is labeled for 8 MiB of Chip RAM—regardless of its position, the system only recognizes 2 MiB due to the limitations of the Alice chip. However, the software emulator UAE can emulate an Amiga system with the design limit of up to 8 MiB of Chip RAM. Amiga systems can also be expanded with Fast RAM, which is only accessible to the CPU. This improves execution speed, as CPU cycles are never blocked even when the custom chipset is simultaneously accessing Chip RAM.

Video Toaster

Video Toaster FlyerVideo Toaster 4000
An updated version called Video Toaster 4000 was later released, using the Amiga 4000's video slot. The 4000 was co-developed by actor Wil Wheaton, who worked on product testing and quality control. He later used his public profile to serve as a technology evangelist for the product. The Amiga Video Toaster 4000 source code was released in 2004 by NewTek & DiscreetFX. For the second generation NewTek introduced the Video Toaster Flyer. The Flyer is a much more capable non-linear editing system. In addition to just processing live video signals, the Flyer makes use of hard drives to store video clips as well as audio and allow complex scripted playback.

Original Chip Set

OCSOriginal Amiga chipsetCopper
The Original Chip Set (OCS) is a chipset used in the earliest Commodore Amiga computers and defined the Amiga's graphics and sound capabilities. It was succeeded by the slightly improved Enhanced Chip Set (ECS) and greatly improved Advanced Graphics Architecture (AGA).


Morph OS
Amiga 4000 with CyberStorm PPC accelerator card. Mac mini G4. eMac. Power Mac G4. PowerBook G4 (except for 12" aluminum models). iBook G4. Power Mac G5. Power Mac G4 Cube. EFIKA 5200B. Pegasos I G3. Pegasos II G3/G4. Ambient desktop. Amiga. APUS. AROS. MUI. Aminet Amiga/MorphOS software repository. MorphZone, Supported Computers. MorphOS Software Database. MorphOS software repository. MorphOS: The Lightning OS. Obligement – Magazine about AmigaOS and MorphOS. – Portal dedicated to MorphOS users. MorphOS Storage - MorphOS Software Storage.


AmigaOne 500
AmigaOS 4 was released for the Sam440 in October 2008. The Sam460ex mainboard (complete with AMCC 460ex SoC, PowerPC 440 core) is an embedded motherboard launched by Acube Systems in April 2010. AmigaOS 4 was released for the Sam460ex in January 2011. A cost reduced version, the Sam460cr, was released with AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition in January 8, 2015. The Pegasos II mainboard (complete with PPC G3 and G4 CPU) is a MicroATX motherboard launched by Genesi and discontinued in 2006. AmigaOS 4 was released for the Pegasos II in January 2009. Linux for PowerPC. AmigaOS versions 4.0, 4.1. MorphOS support for AmigaOne 500 / SAM460 was announced in 2012 and introduced with MorphOS 3.8.

Amiga 1200

A12001200Amiga ''1200
AmigaOS 4, a PowerPC-native release of the operating system, can be used with the A1200 provided Blizzard PPC PowerPC board is installed. Likewise, MorphOS, an alternative Amiga-compatible operating system, can be used with this hardware. Variants of platform-independent operating systems such as Linux and BSD, and AROS, an open-source alternative Amiga-compatible operating system can also be used with the A1200. Some software officially bundled with the A1200 included Deluxe Paint IV AGA (a 2D image and animation editor) and Final Copy (a word processor).


SASISmall Computer System InterfaceShugart Associates System Interface
Starting with the Amiga 600/1200/4000 systems Commodore switched to the IDE interface. Atari included SCSI as standard in its Atari MEGA STE, Atari TT and Atari Falcon computer models. SCSI has never been popular in the low-priced IBM PC world, owing to the lower cost and adequate performance of ATA hard disk standard. However, SCSI drives and even SCSI RAIDs became common in PC workstations for video or audio production. Recent physical versions of SCSISerial Attached SCSI (SAS), SCSI-over-Fibre Channel Protocol (FCP), and USB Attached SCSI (UAS)break from the traditional parallel SCSI bus and perform data transfer via serial communications using point-to-point links.

Parallel ATA

Parallel ATA (PATA), originally, is an interface standard for the connection of storage devices such as hard disk drives, floppy disk drives, and optical disc drives in computers. The standard is maintained by the X3/INCITS committee. It uses the underlying (ATA) and Packet Interface (ATAPI) standards.

Central processing unit

A central processing unit (CPU), also called a central processor or main processor, is the electronic circuitry within a computer that executes instructions that make up a computer program. The CPU performs basic arithmetic, logic, controlling, and input/output (I/O) operations specified by the instructions. The computer industry has used the term "central processing unit" at least since the early 1960s. Traditionally, the term "CPU" refers to a processor, more specifically to its processing unit and control unit (CU), distinguishing these core elements of a computer from external components such as main memory and I/O circuitry.

Amiga 2000

Amiga 25002500A2000
Until the release of the Video Toaster 4000, the A2500 was the fastest computer available for use with the Toaster. A further variant called the A2500UX was also available which was supplied with Commodore Amiga UNIX and tape drive. The majority of A2000 systems shipped with Commodore's Original Chip Set and 1 MB of RAM (512 KB of "chip" RAM and 512 KB additional RAM) and either AmigaOS 1.2 or 1.3. Later revisions shipped with the improved Enhanced Chip Set, 1 MB "chip" RAM and AmigaOS 2.0. The A2000 shipped with a Motorola 68000 CPU, running at 7.16 MHz (NTSC) or 7.09 MHz (PAL). The CPU can be upgraded to a 68010 by direct replacement.

Nickel–cadmium battery

NiCdnickel-cadmiumnickel-cadmium batteries
The nickel–cadmium battery (NiCd battery or NiCad battery) is a type of rechargeable battery using nickel oxide hydroxide and metallic cadmium as electrodes. The abbreviation NiCd is derived from the chemical symbols of nickel (Ni) and cadmium (Cd): the abbreviation NiCad is a registered trademark of SAFT Corporation, although this brand name is commonly used to describe all Ni–Cd batteries.