Re: [OT] SRM hardware setup reference?
- From: "John Wallace" <johnwallace4@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 5 Nov 2006 14:17:07 -0000
"Stephen Hoffman" <Hoff@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
Most of that material is probably over at Smart Modular Technologies,
if it is available anywhere. The folks at Smart Modular Technologies
acquired the DIGITAL semiconductor organization, IIRC, and those are the
DIGITAL folks that provided various custom parts and evaluation boards
The "merchant semiconductor" business known as Digital Semiconductor was the
owner of the chip-level info being discussed here, before Digital Semi went
to Intel (not SMART) in 1997/98. (e.g. as reported at
http://news.com.com/2100-1023-204668.html ). Searching for this stuff at
SMART is likely to be unsuccessful. Iirc SMART later got the boards and
systems bits of Digital's OEM/Embedded+Realtime business, as well as DECtalk
The Alpha Architecture Handbook already mentioned was a freely available
document which would likely be a good start here (depending on the ultimate
objective), but I'm not near mine so can't confirm whether it has the info
The Alpha System Reference Manual also already mentioned would likely have
the relevant info and a whole lot more in glorious detail, but was a
limited-distribution document, probably not generally intended for
circulation outside licensed Alpha partners. Even if one could be obtained,
it might need to be read in conjunction with relevant Alpha chipset docs
(see below) if the aim is to do something useful in a real system.
In between those two, in terms of detail, was the Alpha Architecture
Reference Manual, which was a published book. The third edition, dated 1998,
appears to be still orderable (ISBN 1555582028) at around $80 new and also
available used from a few places.
Another avenue for this kind of info, which might even be cheaper and/or
quicker depending on the ultimate goal, would be reviewing whatever the
Alpha-specific hardware/software initialisation bits do on a Linux (or a BSD
or other available-source OS with relevant Alpha port).
Wrt other 21xxx stuff (including Alpha support chipsets such as 2107x for
EV4 and 2117x for EV5, and 21x40 PCI-LAN chips): Iirc should mostly have
been published info, at either DEC/Digital or Intel. Again, Linux sources
and related info may be another approach, depending on the ultimate goal.
There appears to be lots of potentially relevant info on the Alphaserver
Technology chip-docs page already referenced. There's similar info, also
including the 2107x (EV4 support) omitted from HP's current page, at
Bear in mind that this kind of detailed info wasn't always published; e.g.
there's little public info on the Pyxis (?) chipset used in the PWS Alpha
family, because iirc that chipset wasn't intended for sale on the open
Another place well worth a look is farrer.net/~rbf/files/docs/Alpha/ which
contains a wealth of stuff I haven't recently seen elsewhere. Much of it is
in PostScript but I'm sure readers here can sort that.
Documents at this level of detail are the place to look for evidence of any
*real* differences in chip(set) level "reliability, availability,
serviceability" between the various Itanium chips and the various AMD64
chips, differences which are occasionally used (without, afaict, ever
providing any real specific examples) as "technical" excuses for not porting
VMS to AMD64. But that's another story for another day.
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