The q256 is a 256k x 9 bit dynamic RAM, organised as four blocks of 64k and mapped in 2 or 4K chunks. 32 different mappings from "processor space" to physical memory space may be set up. The mapping selected for any given cycle is automatically switched according to the current machine state. The machine state comprises which processor is on the buss, the user state/system state output of the processor, and which DMA channel is active, if any.
The ninth bit in the memory is a parity bit. Parity generation takes place automatically upon writing to the RAM and parity error detection is automatic when reading. If a parity error is detected, an interrupt is generated. A status register records that a parity error occurred, the physical memory block in which it occurred, and the upper five bits of the processor address which was active at the time of the error. The error status bit is automatically cleared after the register has been read.
The map selection logic also generates three control signals:
1) PENB is a universal buss signal which enables or inhibits access to all peripherals on the buss. This signal is fed via the motherboard back into the Q256 since the map selection logic and the mapram are themselves peripherals. The output signal is forced active after power up to ensure configuration of the mapping system is possible, and released by the first read of the parity status register.
2) VENB is a video ram enable bit which allows accesses in the range $8000 to $BFFF to read or write to the graphics ram or user ram which may be mapped into this area instead.
3) PERGEN is a bit used to artificially generate parity errors to for testing purposes.
Option blocks W1 and W2 allow selection of mapping on 2K or 4K byte boundaries as marked on the component overlay. If 4K mapping is selected, every second double-byte mapram location is not used. W1 and W2 must be configured identically. Default links on the PCB are for 2K mapping.
Option block W3 is for debugging purposes and need only be installed if a faulty card is crashing the data bu3s of the test machine. The default PCB link to +5V must be cut. There are two non-default options. Option 3 (GND) permanently inhibits the data buss driver buffer. The memory can still be written to but read data will only get as far as the buss output buffer. This facility allows the operating system to boot and test programs to run on a healthy board while the faulty board runs in parallel without driving the data buss e.g. for signature analysis. Option 2 prevents the data buss driver from outputting data only until the first read from the status register. This was handy in debugging the prototype but is unlikely to be much use for routine testing. The standard restart ROM checks all parity status registers automatically so a non-standard ROM would have to be used.
A four-way DIP switch is provided to allow multiple Q25& boards to be installed. Only switches 1-3 are used, so up to 8 boards can be installed. Close a switch for each zero in the board number, i.e. card 0 has all switches closed. SW1 is the LSB.
4.3.2 ADDRESS DECODING and MAPPING LOGIC
126.96.36.199 Map Selection Logic
(Refer to drawing q256-00)
The function of the map selection logic is to encode the current system state and generate a five-bit map selection number. It also generates the peripheral enable output 3ignal (PENBOUT), the video ram enable signal (VENB) and a parity error generate signal (PERGEN) which forces an artificial parity error for testing purposes.
There are six possible states for each processor: A or System state, no DMA b or User state, no DMA
DMA on any one of four DMA channels. (Processor automatically switches to A state for DMA cycles).
The a/b/dma state is encoded as three bits and the processor phase signal is added as a fourth bit and presented as an address via the multiplexor IC 4b to the map selection ram (mapsel) ICs 5d and 6d. Thus each state corresponds to a location in the mapsel and its output data is the map selection number.
DMA claim signals (DMACpn, where p=processor and n=DMA channel) occur when a DMA peripheral has received a DMA acknowledge from the processor and arrive during the data phase preceding the actual DMA cycle. IC 13A is an 8 to 3 line encoder but since there are four channels for PI and four for P2 the most significant output line only duplicates the processor phase signal and is not used. The GS output indicates that some DMA channel is active. Each processor has its own A/B line (AB1 and A32). The nand multiplexor 9A selects whichever is relevant for the next cycle. This signal, plus the combinatorial logic of 10B, 11A and 11B and the buffered phase signal (/B«S22) provide the four-bit state number to the multiplexor 4B.
The mapsel RAM occupies locations FC40-FC4F. Since there are six possible states per processor only twelve locations are actually used, as follows:
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