HP HP-2117F on ebay

Christian Corti cc at corti-net.de
Fri Dec 15 04:30:32 CST 2006

Note to those who don't understand all the terms:
FAB: Firmware Accessory Board
FEM: Firmware Expansion Module
DCPC: Dual Channel Port Controller
TBG: Time Base Generator
WCS: Writable Control Store
SIS: Scientific Instruction Set
VIS: Vector Instruction Set
DMI: Dynamic Mapping Instuctions
FFP: Fast Fortran Processor
FPP: Floating Point Processor

On Thu, 14 Dec 2006, Jay West wrote:
> I doubt that seriously. I'd like to see how you could put a FAB board in an 
> I/O slot ;)

I was wrong, yes. I was thinking of the FEM. It was suggested by HP to use 
a FEM board in slot 10 instead of the FAB on the CPU board to easily 
access the firmware ROMS.

> A wild guess - this system had vendor supplied proprietary microcode on the 
> FEM that was in slot 10. When the system was decomissioned, the licensed 
> firmware board (the whole FEM) was yanked. The F microcode is likely on the 
> FAB underneath.

Not sure. The Base Set microcode can be either on the CPU board or on the 
FEM. My machines have the Base Set on the FEM, as it was recommended ([1] 
13-3). But maybe slot 10 contained a WCS board.

> More to the point... note that a FAB (and FEM) was optional on the E series. 
> On the F series, the FAB was required but the FEM was optional. Why? See 
> above.

No, the FEM was standard on both E and F series ([1], section 2-1). BTW 
the FAB has the lowest priority in the firmware chain, lower than the 
firmware on the CPU board.

> and likely is. See that shielded ribbon connector on the back left? That's 
> connecting the cpu to the FAB board underneath (as well as a dangling end for 
> what was probably a FEM board in slot 10). So I bet ya a lunch that the F 
> firmware is whats on the FAB underneath.

Maybe, but maybe it's empty and the ROMs were on the FEM. According to [1] 
section 8-3, the standard SIS was installed on the FEM, so no FEM, no SIS.
But no FEM, no DMI/FFP (standard on 1000F, [1] section 7), no VIS, 
no DMS, no RTE4/RTE-VI, ... But [2] sections 2-23 to 2-34 are contradicting 
[1] ...
I only know what I know, that my machines have their ROMs on the FEM.

> Again, Im not an expert on the F series. But the 2111F doesn't have an 
> external FP processor does it? Just the 2117F does? Both are certainly F 
> series.

Only if they have the firmware and FPP that converts an E series to an F 
series. If not, it's just the frontpanel with an F instead of an E...
The 2111F has the FPP built internally over the power supply and memory/IO 
card cages ([2] figure 1-2).

But anyway, a fully loaded 1000F is a *very* nice machine to play with. 
It's a nice number cruncher.


[1] HP 1000 M/E/F-Series Firmware Installation and Reference Manual
[2] HP 1000 F-Series Computer Installation and Service Manual

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