Faraday Electronics Chipsets
Details of Faraday Electronics (later Western Digital) chipsets. Mostly derived from:
- The Faraday 1986 OEM Catalog
- FE3500 product sheet
- FE3600 Chip Set Preliminary Technical Manual from June 1988
- Western Digital Corporate Product Overview, Fall 1988
A stretch to call this a chipset since it's just one IC: the FE2010A. It can be used to build an IBM PC-compatible ISA system and replaces 71 devices compared to the original IBM mainboard.
The FE3400B chipset implements almost an entire IBM PC/AT-compatible system in just four chips. It consists of:
The GRiDcase 1520 portable computer uses this chipset. The Grid 1520 requires an external memory controller, and the hardware service course notes that it uses different controllers for 256K and 1M memory chips. They could have used the FE3500B chipset, but perhaps this wasn't available at the time.
The chips do seem to have been made available as they were designed, rather than as one unit:
- Faraday Electronics 1986 OEM catalog only mentions the FE3000 and the FE3010.
- Western Digital bought out Faraday on 1987-07-20. How this affected product development is unknown.
- By June 1988 the FE3600 chipset had a preliminary technical manual available (although that doesn't necessarily mean the chips were on the market yet).
- By late 1988 the Western Digital corporate product overview lists the entire range of chipsets.
When was the GRiDcase 1520 launched? Some websites claim 1986 but maybe they're confusing it with the GRiD Compass series. Certainly it was on the market by 1988: Infoworld reviewed it in their 1988-05-16 and 1989-06-05 editions. So it's likely that the use of the FE3400B chipset over the FE3500B is because the latter was not yet available.
This consists of the FE400B chips plus an FE3040 I/O Manager. This extra chip handles clock switching, peripheral chips selects, memory decode, and hot reset support.
Apparently consisted of four ICs although I can't find anywhere that documents what they are. Product overview document claims that it "supports IBM's OS/2 and LIM 4.0". Therefore I guess it consists of:
- FE3001 CPU controller. Like the FE3000A but also includes software-selectable clock rates and low-power sleep mode.
- FE3010B peripheral controller.
- FE3021 address buffer and memory controller. Like the FE3020 but also interfaces directly to DRAM. "Controls interleaved, page mode DRAMs at 0.7 wait state for 100 nsec devices. Provides fast mode switching for IBM OS/2 support. Allows mapping of video and system BIOS into a single 16 bit device. LIM 4.0 support."
- FE3031 data buffer. Like the FE3030 but also supports parity generation and checking.
- FE3040 I/O manager.
Intended for 80386SX and 80286 MCA-compatible mainboards. Consists of:
- FE5000 peripheral and CPU controller for PS/2 computers.
- FE5010 DMA/memory controller. Also implements MCA CACP arbitration logic.
- FE5020 address and data buffer.
Intended for "high performance" 80386SX and 80286 MCA-compatible computers. Like the FE5300 chipset but also includes the FE5030 memory and cache controller.
A "high performance" chipset intended for 80386DX MCA-compatible computers. Consists of:
- FE5000 or FE6000 CPU controller. I believe the difference is that the FE6000 supports an 80387 co-processor while the FE5000 does not.
- FE6010 DMA/memory/CACP controller.
- Two FE6020 address/data buffers. Note that some documents refer to this as the FE6022, with a note that two devices are required. Unsure of the exact part number.
- FE6030 advanced memory and cache control for 80386-based IBM PS/2 compatibles.