Thursday Jun 12, 2008

More Doc Talk

For all you driver writers out there looking to get old Sun gear jammin' on your Free OS of choice, here are seven more docs that were published to the FOSS Docs Wiki since my last laundry list back at the end of March:

Single Chip GX/TGX Product Family User's Manual

MicroSPARC-I user's manual Reference Guide

MicroSPARC-II User's Manual

MicroSPARC-II Datasheet

Writing SBus Drivers Guide

Writing FCode Drivers for SBus Guide

SPARCsystem 600MP VMEbus  Guide

Unfortunately there were a couple that were absolutely nowhere to be found, namely the SEC SBus to Ebus Interface User's Guide and the EMC Error Correcting Memory Controller Users's Guide.  If anyone out there has an old copy of one of these or comes across a set at swap meet feel free to contact me.

Pau for now...

Tuesday Jun 10, 2008

FOSS Docs: Mentor Graphics Steps Up!

About a year ago when we kicked off our FOSS Docs project, one of the first chipsets on the list was "Fire."  By the end of last summer, after a bunch of doc scrubbing and legal review, we had posted the Fire Manual, Errata doc and Delta doc to the wiki.

It turns out however that a key piece needed by the OpenBSD community was missing -- the docs for the Fire I2C controller.  The Fire controller, I soon found out was based on Mentor Graphics' MI2CV IP core,  technology that Sun didn't own.   We contacted Mentor about making the documentation publicly available but were politely turned down.

Persistence Pays off 

Luckily Marco Riera at Sun decided that he would keep trying different avenues at Mentor.  Every couple of months he would send me an email saying, "I haven't given up yet." 

I admired his tenacity but felt he was tilting at windmills.  Needless to say I was very surprised when six months later he told me that Mentor would allow us to post a subset of their user manual that covers all the relevant info a coder would need.  The OpenBSD guys were psyched and Theo de Raadt asked for Marco and the people at Mentor's names so he could personally thank them.

Marco thanks for your persistence and Mentor thanks for allowing us to post your information.  This Bud is for both of you!

Pau for now...

Monday Mar 31, 2008

What's up Docs?

Let us go then you and I, to a time when SuperSPARCs filled Sun boxes or when the Sun-4m architecture dominated our systems.  Back to a time when the word "browser" meant someone who looks but doesn't buy and no one had heard of Google or Yahoo or Brittney Spears.

The documents below will help you take that trip back to those wonder years.

Since I last posted about the opendocs project's progress the following have been added to the wiki:

SuperSPARC I CPU (Viking) and Multicache controler Manual

SuperSPARC II CPU (Voyager) Manual

Sun-4M System Architecture (revision 2.0) by Chuck Narad Manual

Sun Ethernet, Parallel & SCSI ASIC (Macio aka NCR89c100)\* Manual

Sun external serial port ASIC chip (Slavio aka NCR89c105)\* Manual

MicroSPARC-IIep (STP1100) Manual

MicroSPARC-IIep (STP1100) Datasheet

\*Part of the Sun4M architecture. Macio & Slavio were co-developed by Sun and the now defunct NCR microelectronics (NCR micro eventually became a part of LSI logic.)

This time around I want to give a special shout out to Greg Onufer who recently joined the opendocs team but has been extremely helpful in not only locating these dusty tomes but also getting them ready so that they can posted to the public.

Greg, this Bud's for you!

Pau for now...


Monday Jan 14, 2008

Errata Mondatta - last two UltraSPARC errata docs public

Earlier today the last two UltraSPARC errata docs were published on the OpenDocs wiki:

UltraSPARC III aka Cheetah errata

UltraSPARC IIIi aka Jalapeno errata 

The original errata request we received from the OpenBSD community was for the UltraSPARC III chips.  Dorthe Clarke, however, the lucky person in the chip group tasked with driving this effort, felt that while they were at it, they might as well do UltraSPARC IIe, IIi, IV and IV+ (aka Hummingbird, Phantom, Jaguar and Panther). 

The publishing of these docs represents a considerable amount of effort that Dorthe and her tiger team spent, in addition to their day jobs, scrubbing, editing and reviewing the errata so that they could be made publicly accessible.  A big mahalo to all of you! 

Stay tuned as we continue to push our Open docs effort and search the dusty catacombs and dark recesses of old timers offices to respond to the requests we get for documentation.

Pau for now...

Tuesday Dec 18, 2007

Docs for the Holidays

In case your a bit behind in picking out a gift for that special device-driver- writer on your list, may I suggest one of these lovely errata docs that have just been published:

Hummingbird & Phantom
UltraSPARC IIe & IIi Errata doc available(18-Dec-07)    
Cheetah+ & ++
UltraSPARC III+ & III++ Errata doc available (18-Dec-07)    
UltraSPARC IV Errata doc available (18-Dec-07)    
UltraSPARC IV+ Errata doc available (18-Dec-07)  

If you think he or she might be more of a host bridge kind of person, these have also been added since my last update:

U2P, UPA to PCI host bridge Errata doc (download) available (13-Nov-07)

Safari to UPA and PCI host bridge Errata doc available (18-Oct-07)

These are all part of the FOSS docs project that we embarked on in the summer.

Implementation and thanks

In case you're wondering what you can do with a doc like these, look at what OpenBSD have done with the docs for Cassini and the Happy Meal Ethernet controller. (There are more examples but these are the two most recent having just been added by David Gwynne yesterday.)

I'd like to give a special thanks to Dorthe and all the engineers who hunted these docs down, reviewed and scrubbed them so they could be published externally.  All this work was done on top of their day jobs.  Happy holidays to all of you!

Look for more docs in the new year. 

Pau for now... 

Sunday Oct 14, 2007

Neptune Docs make their public debut

On Friday, the engineering group pushed out the "Project Neptune Programmers Reference Manual (Open Form).  In case you're not familiar with Neptune, its succinctly described in the PRM as a "PCI Express 1.1 compliant Dual 10Gbps Ethernet/Quad 1G bps RGMII Network Interface Chip."

The Neptune PRM along with a bunch of others can be found on the FOSSdocs page on 

Im really happy with the progress we've been making on the Open Docs team.  Next on our hit list are a whole bunch of errata including those from the UltraSPARC III line.

Pau for now...


I look after Sun's relationships with the various GNU/Linux communities as well as our relationship with the FSF. Last year, my family and I emigrated from Silicon Valley to Austin, TX.


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