Phase 5 was a German hardware manufacturer from Oberursel (Taunus ) in the Hoch-Taunus district, in Hesse, which from 1995/ 96, the first PowerPC-based CPU card (turbo cards) for the Amiga ( powerUP ) brought out. Launch was in 1997. Besides, corresponding upgrade maps for different models of Apple Powermac were manufactured. Previously, the company was mainly become known through various expansion cards for Amiga computers, as one of its time still numerous providers.
Managing Director of phase5 were Wolf Dietrich and Gerald Carda.
Initially, the company had made through various expansion cards for Amiga computers a name. These included graphics cards, SCSI cards and so-called turbo cards on 68020-30/68040/68060-Basis for the different Amiga computers.
After the development of PowerPC-based CPU boards for the existing Amiga models was tackled. These were first officially in April 1997 on the market. According to unconfirmed information ( Dietrich interview in a print magazine in 1999 ) were sold by phase 5 itself about 10,000 of these so-called powerUP boards.
Later corresponding upgrade maps for different models of Apple Powermac were manufactured. These were given in 1998 with prices around $ 800 and sales among others by The Software Hut (USA) partly a very good press.
Once in May 1998 Amiga Inc. had temporarily adopted by the PowerPC approach, the situation in the now divided PowerPC market for Amiga systems was difficult.
Before the big breakthrough announced their own computers (A / box with Caipirinha chipset, pre / box, amirage K2) the company went bankrupt in 2000.
About the assets of phase 5 digital products ( so the full company name) is then on 26 January 2000 bankruptcy application is filed and opened on the same day the application for insolvency proceedings by decision of the competent local court. On 19 April 2000, the bankruptcy petition process was phase 5 (No. 61 IN 18/ 00, District Court of Bad Homburg vd height ) adjusted for lack of assets. The exclusive rights to the still distributed products were taken in April 1999 of hardware pavers DCE, which generated henceforth repairs and services.
- Blizzard 1200 ( Storage Expansion for A1200 with 4MB)
- 1220 (68020 turbo card for A1200 with 4MB)
- 1230 (68030 turbo card for A1200 )
- 1240 (68040 turbo card for A1200 )
- 1260 (68060 turbo card for A1200 )
- 2040 (68040 turbo card for A2000 )
- 2060 (68060 turbo card for A2000 )
- SCSI IV Kit ( SCSI Kit for Blizzard turbo cards )
- 64 ( ZorroIII graphics card for A3000/4000 )
- 64 3D ( S3 ViRGE GPU, 4 MB VRAM; ZorroII / III graphics card for A3000/4000 )
- PPC ( 3Dlabs Permedia 2 GPU, 8 MB VRAM graphics card for special PCI bus slot of the Cyber Storm PPC / MKIII )
- MK I ( 68040/060-Turbokarte for A3000/4000 )
- MK II ( 68040/060-Turbokarte for A3000/4000 )
- MK III ( 68040/060-Turbokarte for A3000/4000 )
- PPC (68040/060 and PPC604 turbo card for A3000/4000 )
- G -Rex 3D ( Permedia2 PCI graphics card for macs )
- Power Booster G3 366 MHz ( ZIF card for G3 Power Macs )
- Maccelerate! 750 G3 375 MHz ( CPU card for Powermac 7300-9600 and 4400/6400 )
The PowerPC-based CPU boards, phase5 made it possible for the first time to speed up the models of the Amiga series about 68k CPUs available with the maximum possible power addition. Main feature of the cards was the dual CPU architecture. In addition to a 68040/68060-Prozessor ( 68060: 50 or 66 MHz) and a PowerPC CPU ( 604e/603e: 233/268 MHz ) was present on the same plug-in card. They also offered useful features such as extra RAM slots and SCSI controller for additional drives.
On the software side, a dual approach was adopted under powerUP first in which the PowerPC side had to be driven by a specific runtime library ( ppc.library ) of the 68k side. Due to the need of cache synchronizations when exchanging data between CPUs programming the achieved performance gain for standard applications was both costly and often low. Good acceleration values are observed with skillful programming eg encapsulated codecs for Grafik-/Animationsformate (PNG, JPEG, GIF, MPEG) or compression libraries ( libz ), usually in the form of suitably adapted AmigaOS datatypes.
To 1998, Phase 5 remains a visionary project for a very powerful dedicated hardware platform (A / box, Caipirinha chipset ), find the partially software-related concepts in the MorphOS operating system of the Pegasos computer. Meanwhile MorphOS is also available for PowerUP cards and the initial disadvantages of the dual architecture by means of the integrated there PPC side 68k emulation - similar to the Powermac - avoided. The existing 68040/68060-CPU is disabled simply after the start of MorphOS.