STFM internal IDE ?

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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby joska » Mon Oct 27, 2008 3:11 pm

ppera wrote:
joska wrote:It's a good point. I had completely forgotten that the alt-RAM cards were faster than ST-RAM.


RAM can work faster only if CPU is clocked above 8MHz. In bare ST it works at full speed. Limit at 8MHz is under 2MB/sec, as I said.


You are right. Only the Mega STE-version of the MagnumST is supposed to be faster.
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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby Cyprian » Mon Oct 27, 2008 4:49 pm

ppera wrote:Yes, that's all right. Just to mention that same restrictions stay not for IDE hard disks, which can acess any RAM area. But not via blitter, which is also limited to 4MB. Still, IDE can do up to 1.6MB/sec without blitter.

PPera, first time I can't agree with you :) BLiTTER is not limited to 4MB, and you know about that :)
With BLiTTER you can reach whole 16MB address space - hardware registers (e.g. IDE - used by your driver :) ) and ALT-RAM too
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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby ppera » Mon Oct 27, 2008 5:00 pm

Cyprian, I did not test it, of course, as never had more RAM than 4MB in ST, STE. But as I remember there are no pins for higher address lines on blitter, so it can not access more RAM. I need to look some schematic of Mega ST, STE again...

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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby Cyprian » Mon Oct 27, 2008 5:24 pm

ppera wrote:Cyprian, I did not test it, of course, as never had more RAM than 4MB in ST, STE. But as I remember there are no pins for higher address lines on blitter, so it can not access more RAM. I need to look some schematic of Mega ST, STE again...

BLiTTER has 24 address pins, otherwise it wouldn't address hardware area
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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby ppera » Mon Oct 27, 2008 5:31 pm

Ah, yes... I'm little confused. Btw. 23 lines only, as no A0. So, people with machines with over 4MB confirmed it ?
I mean, such generosity is not Atari like :D

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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby Cyprian » Mon Oct 27, 2008 5:49 pm

ppera wrote:Ah, yes... I'm little confused. Btw. 23 lines only, as no A0. So, people with machines with over 4MB confirmed it ?
I mean, such generosity is not Atari like :D

yep :)
and very funny is that Amiga's blitter can only address chip-ram. Hardware registers and fast-ram are out of its range
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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby Cyprian » Mon Oct 27, 2008 11:39 pm

joska wrote:You can't copy at 4Mb/s though. The time you spend writing to ST-RAM can't be spent reading from alt-RAM and vice versa, so you can't exploit the speed of alt-RAM 100% in this case. I agree that it will be faster than copying ST-RAM -> ST-RAM.

ppera wrote:RAM can work faster only if CPU is clocked above 8MHz. In bare ST it works at full speed. Limit at 8MHz is under 2MB/sec, as I said.


ST-Ram and ALT-Ram are clocked by 4MHz and they have 8MB bandwidth. Every other memory clock of ST-Ram is assigned to CPU/BLiTTER - 4MB bandwidth: 2MB/s for copy or 4MB/s for read/write; Every ALT-Ram memory clock is assigned to CPU/BLiTTER has 8MB bandwidth: 4MB/s for copy or 8MB/s for read/write. It means that, just in theory, during coping from ST to ALT ram with speed 4MB/s, 100% of ST-bus (CPU side) and 50% ALT-bus is utilized.
The question is: Can BLiTTER do copy with that speed? If no, then probably BLiTTER and CPU can work in parallel in ALT-Ram
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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby ppera » Tue Oct 28, 2008 12:20 pm

Why should blitter have support for non-existing ALT-RAM?
Then, maybe somebody already tried/tested it...

Actually, if I think better, it is normal that whole memory area is covered, it is just couple bit per register more.
But adding some mode which can be only used with some extra upgrade seems very unlikely. And question is, is blitter at all capable for so fast work, as internal operations take some cycles, time too.

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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby Cyprian » Tue Oct 28, 2008 12:57 pm

ppera wrote:Why should blitter have support for non-existing ALT-RAM?
Then, maybe somebody already tried/tested it...


Why? Because BLiTTER is similar to CPU:
- it has full 23 pins address line (like CPU);
- they share the same bus (CPU-Bus with full 16MB area);
Unfortunately I don't have access to ALT ram but I've checked that BLiTTER has access to hardware register (SHIFTER's color registers)
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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby ppera » Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:12 pm

I did not mean to discuss (more) about what RAM areas blitter can access. I meant access speed of FAST-RAM - to access it at max. bus speed. So, I just said that is very unlikely that mentioned 4MB/sec copy with blitter on ALT-RAM.

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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby Cyprian » Tue Oct 28, 2008 2:11 pm

ok, my English is still limited...

It's pity that I don't have access to ALT-Ram, I'm not able to check speed of BLiTTER.
But based on my knowledge/theory I can assume two possibilities:
* pessimistic: BLiTTER has stiff limited (by a designer) access to the bus:
ST/ALT Ram: 2M accesses per second; Copy - 2MB/s; Read/Write - 4MB/s
In this case it can saturate in 100% ST-Bus and in 50% ALT-Bus. It should be possible to use CPU and BLiTTER in parallel (50/50).

* optimistic: BLiTTER is more flexible and can utilize whole accessible slots;
- ST Ram: 2M accesses per second; Copy - 2MB/s; Read/Write - 4MB/s (0% ALT Ram saturation CPU and BLiTTER in parallel);
- ST/ALT Ram: 2M accesses per second; Copy - 2MB/s; Read/Write - 4MB/s (50% ALT Ram saturation CPU and BLiTTER in parallel);
- ALT Ram: 4M accesses per second; Copy - 4MB/s; Read/Write - 8MB/s (100% ALT Ram saturation CPU and BLiTTER cannot works in parallel);

This is just a theory.
What we know is that BLiTTER CAN copy memory with high speed 4MB/s: ShadowMemory to ST-Ram and fro
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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby eeun » Fri Oct 31, 2008 7:55 pm

I'm interested in this project, as I've got a couple STs that would benefit from having hard drives. I'd definitely purchase an unpopulated board in the current 4MB design state if it were offered.

What I'm wondering, though, if this project isn't growing out of reach of some of us through feature-creep. I like the idea of > 4 MB RAM, but how much will that add to the board/component cost? As a hobbyist, there's only so much I can justify investing.

My levels of expertise with board design obviously lags far behind many of you here. Around this time last year I did up a batch of Eiffel boards and had a real hoot doing so, but more advanced board fabrication is beyond me...as is my ability to read some of the more vague parts of schematics, and my access to things like GAL programmers.

My personal desire would be to see a very simple board for simple folks like me :). If someone could layout as close to a one-sided PCB as possible based on an easy design like Jo'ogn's interface, I'd gladly etch as many bare boards as I can.

Exxos - no attempt to thread hijack here, and like I said, count me in if this board gets produced. Just want to try to get myself an IDE board one way or another. :wink:

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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby ppera » Sat Nov 01, 2008 10:34 am

I have some news: good for someone, maybe bad for some others...
Popsel is on to make PCB with only IDE IF, small, mountable on CPU (DIL) top. It will be posted in forum soon. With some variants as twisted cable for speed, drivers by me...

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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby sqward » Tue Nov 04, 2008 12:02 pm

Hi Guys,

take a look at this: http://cgi.ebay.de/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vie ... 0262772880

I've asked the guy if he would adjust the logic code for ST and he said he's fine with that. Looks interesting.
Last edited by sqward on Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby PaulB » Tue Nov 04, 2008 1:46 pm

I don't know what 'fain' means but it looks like a nice IDE CF solution. Would be very cool if it were adapted for Atari.

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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby ppera » Tue Nov 04, 2008 1:58 pm

I don't think that CF socket placed in middle of machine is good solution. Pull out IDE signal and attach there required connectors...

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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby PaulB » Tue Nov 04, 2008 4:01 pm

That doesn't really matter because we can get one of these.

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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby bullis1 » Tue Nov 04, 2008 4:39 pm

PaulB wrote:That doesn't really matter because we can get one of these.

I have a feeling that such an item is neither cheap nor easy to find. However, I do recall seeing a simple ribbon cable elsewhere that does the same thing for CF cards.
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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby ppera » Tue Nov 04, 2008 5:08 pm

PaulB wrote:That doesn't really matter because we can get one of these.

Yeah, it is right for Atari ST users. Only 89 bucks. Why to get 30 cm of 40 line standard cable when we can use some semi-pro test accessory ? :roll:

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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby PaulB » Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:25 pm

Your idea was that it was a bad idea. Now you realise that there is a simple extender cable for sale, Look before you leap.

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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby ppera » Wed Nov 05, 2008 1:51 pm

PaulB wrote:Your idea was that it was a bad idea. Now you realise that there is a simple extender cable for sale, Look before you leap.

I make myself extender cables. Without jumping around :mrgreen: Thanx....

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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby PaulB » Wed Nov 05, 2008 2:49 pm

Well done Mr ppera. Who stands firmly on the ground :D

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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby MisterT » Wed May 13, 2009 6:34 am

exxos wrote:OK "revisions" added :-)

exxos-ide-4.png


Now I just need info about clocking CPU/RAM 8O



Hi Exxos,
Whats the status on youre HW project ?

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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby exxos » Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:04 pm

OK, maybe not a good idea to bump this thread, but to sum up for "future" readers, the PCB never got developed past the inital design. I presume it was ready to etch out and build, but simply there wasn't enough interest so it would have been only for my use really, as I never use my ST for much these days other than testing PeST cables it does not get any use. I don't even know if the IDE section would even work, but I hope "one day" to finish this. I suspect others will/have done mods similar meanwhile anyway. Would be interesting to see..

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Re: STFM internal IDE ?

Postby DarkLord » Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:29 am

Follow Sean (Ralcools's) Modified ST Hassles thread here at AtariForum:

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=18847

He is doing all kinds of interesting things with ST's these days!

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