Few time after the Falcon 030, Atari decided to launch its successor. They worked then on the Falcon030 MicroBox.
Basically, it is a Falcon030 in a new case with a full 32bit data bus. (Remember that the Falcon030 has only a 16bit data bus). An other version was planned with a bigger case and three expansion slots.
The MicroBoxes CPU were supposed to be upgradable to a 68040.
It was never released (How typical!). Only few prototypes were produced, then abandoned when Atari decided to launch the Jaguar game system.
Atari worked for a while on a Falcon040 and one prototype was almost finished, but we can consider the MicroBox as the last attempt from Atari in the world of Computing.
You can find a photo of the motherboard at cyberroach.com.
This was to be the new case for the Falcon 030.
The Falcon Microbox is part of the official Sony PS2 Patent mostly pertaining to ergonomic design. All tooling and parts were ready for this case to be turned on but Atari abandoned the computer business in favour of supporting the Jaguar gaming platform. An 040 version was also designed to motherboard stage and a project called "Painter" utilising Jaguar tech was proposed. Another case design was found in proto form and it was based on the "Painter" spec, but it is unclear if this was another "Microbox" design or specifically for "Painter".
Your right about the PS2 case design, they (Sony) bought the rights to the "GRILL" section if memory serves correctly..? I believe in the time the PS2 was launched Atari was nothing more than a rights and patents company.. (I.e still holding all the copyright and patent designs)... It was either this design or the jaguar design grill section that SONY Bought the rights to use? (Very vague but there is truth in this somewhere!) Peace out..
Friday 28th May 2010
This was supposed to be what the falcon should have been all along. The data and address buses were to be full 32 bit and a proper 68030 expansion bus with access to the 68030 burst mode for fast data transfer. The picture here is of one of the case designs, I have another picture of a case design with a CD ROM drive in the top and an Atari logo embossed onto the front. This may have been for the later proposed 68040 model but to be honest, I cant really be sure.