Update [Tue 23rd May, 2023 10:15 BST]: FPGA developer Jotego has stated that the countdown for the Neo Geo Pocket FPGA beta core has begun, as he claims that "most parts of the system are now in place."
Original Story [Thu 20th Apr, 2023 19:45 BST]: When the Analogue Pocket was first announced, its ability to run a wide range of physical cartridges using special adapters was a key selling point – but sadly, we've only seen the Game Gear adapter appear so far, with the promised Atari Lynx and Neo Geo Pocket variants still not available.
Thankfully, the vibrant and active FPGA development community that has grown up around the system (and the MiSTer) appears to be plugging the gaps in more ways than one; skilled developer Jotego has just confirmed that he is making progress with his own NGPC core:
As the developer explains, the way the NGPC works is causing some issues when it comes to creating the core:
The game/sound CPUs and graphics don't connect to ROM chips in the cartridge but to built-in RAM chips. How do you get the cartridge information in then? It's the main CPU who asks a flash memory in the cartridge for data and then fills each RAM region in the console with it. This approach makes cartridges smaller and cheaper. Theoretically, as long as you don't need to re-fill the RAM, you could even pull the cartridge off (but do not try!)
Ever since Analogue opened up the Pocket to developers, we've seen a flood of cores appear, including ones for the Neo Geo, SNES, Mega Drive and even the Mega Duck.