wasca is a multipurpose cartridge for Sega Saturn.
wasca is still in the development stage, currently developed by cafelalpha2 and hitomi2500.
For now, there are two versions planned.
First version will mimic Power Memory / Backup RAM, 1MB ROMs from KoF and Ultraman, and 1M/4M RAM expansion. In will also boot any custom bootloaders like PseudoSaturn.
First version is based on Altera MAX 10 FPGA with external SDRAM and internal Nios II soft CPU, price tag should be around $50
Second version will emulate Sega Saturn modem and/or CD-ROM drive (with iso completely in RAM), VDP2 digital video in and so on, but the price will be bigger ($100 or more). You should consider it as a "developer" version.
Second version is based on snickerdoodle, holding Xilinx Zynq with 1Gb RAM, bluetooth, wifi and 2.4 inch lcd display.
Both wasca versions are open-software and open-hardware. Repository is hosted at github: http://github.com/hitomi2500/wasca
28.09.2016. Yesterday i finally recovered my raid5 with wasca website on it, so we're back. A lot of happend with both wasca and my life this year, and sadly, but my participation as a developer is almost freezed for now. Things will change in 2017, but i'll post some updates here just to keep in touch.
15.02.2017. I'm thinking about switching from MAX10 to another architecture for a first wasca. The problem with MAX10 is that it only supports SDR memory, which is high-latency, small-sized, hard-to-find and big-priced nowadays (unless you scavenge it off old PC DIMMs). The only other QFP FPGA that supports DDR/DDR2 out of the box is MachXO2 (althouth that support is a bit tricky and 150MHz-limited). It does have its own soft CPU system as well, and sports more IO in the same QFP144. So the possible change for MAX10 is MachXO2 with SODIMM connector for DDR2.
03.03.2017. First development version of Zynq wasca is uploded to github. I'm still waiting for my snickerdoodle, so the design is not checked in hardware, only simulated a bit.
31.03.2017. Still waiting for my snickerdoodle. Meanwhile, i found some ultra-cheap MachXO3 board that can be used as an embedded module, and would probably fit into smaller wasca.
12.19.2020. The hiatus was long. Way too long. The project is back, and it's alive. more alive than ever. Stay tuned, we might release something soon. On, and no snickerdoodle version anymore, it ended being unuseable.