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The Amiga's Custom Chips - AAA

The Advanced Amiga Architecture Chip Set (AAA) was planned for the fifth generation machines, and was in pre-production form when Commodore went bust. It consisted of four main chips, Andrea, Linda, Mary and Monica.

Andrea The custom chip used to control and move data to be displayed on the screen for Amigas fitted with the AAA chipset. It was also responsible for timing the machine and even directed animation. This chip superceded the Agnus and Alice chips on previous Amigas and performed similar functions, but was more powerful.
Linda A new custom chip that functioned as a display line buffer, assembling data lines and feeding them to Monica, thereby providing very quick transfer of large volumes of display information.
Mary The custom chip that was responsible for all of the sounds generated from the Amiga. It provided eight 16-bit audio channels with nine octaves over a range of complex waveforms, and used both amplitude and frequency modulation. It also handled many of the input/ output tasks such as disk and interrupt control, the mouse, joystick and serial ports. It superceded Paula on Amigas running the AGA chipset.
Monica The custom chip that was responsible for the video output, and was used to maintain the screen display. It controlled the resolution, colours, sprites, and text lines, etc. It was also capable of handling a variety of planar and chunky display modes as well as compressed-video modes, with a wide range of resolutions due to its variable pixel clock which means it can be just about anything you want, assuming the system can provide that clock. Superceded Denise and Lisa in earlier chipsets.

While the AAA chipset was well advanced at the time Commodore went bust, another 2 chip chipset called "Hombre" was also in the design stages to be implemented in a future PowerPC based machine, in collaboration with Hewlett Packard, but that is another story and one that is never likely to be told. In 2000, Hombre became the official name for the BoXer all-in-one chipset.


Copyright 2005 Amiga Auckland Inc. All rights reserved.
Revised: September 25, 2005.