"intelligent" disk drives

Tony Duell ard at p850ug1.demon.co.uk
Sun Nov 18 13:42:06 CST 2007

> The Atari 8bit computer disk drives, were were SIO Bus (Serial I/O Bus - 
> what amounts to a very early version of USB) were the 810 and Atari 1050 
> disk drives which used 6507's for communicating to/from the host Atari 
> PC as well as a WD floppy controller (Atari 810 - 1771, Atari 1050 - 
> 2793 or 2797 depending on revision of model)

I suppose I should mention the HP HPIB and HPIL drives, which all had 
intellegent controllers.

The only HPIL driv I know about is the 9114. It contains an HPIL chip 
(1LB3 for the HP types here), a 68B09 processor, 2793 controller, and 
glue logic to control a Sony 3.5" floppy drive. It's battery-powered 
(2.5Ah lead acid pack), much of the electronics powers down when the 
drive is not being accessed (only the HPIL chip and RAM remain active) to 
save power.

The 5.25" HPIB floppy drive I've seen (82901 I think) uses a 6802 
processor + Fujitsu (WD-like) floppy controller chip, glue, etc. Mains 
powered (as are all the HPIB dries I know of), it uses a pair of 
HP-speced (gold-plated PCBs, etc) TM100-2 drives.

The dual 3.5" HPIB drives again use a 68B09 + much the same disk 
controller circuit linked to a pair of the Sony full-height 3.5" drives. 

The combined  3.5" floppy + 5.25" winchester units (9133) come in many 
forms. Later ones have a combined cotnroller board with a 68B09 + WD1010 
hard disk controller + floppy controller, etc. The drives are a Sony 3.5" 
floppy drive and a stnadard winchester drive (ST412 interface). The 
earlier ones are stranger, they have 2 separate disk controllers in them, 
simply linked to the same HPIB connector. Each has a 68B09 and the 
appropriate contreoller stuff. THis is where I learnt that the ST412 is 
actually a member of a family including the ST406 (single platter, 2 
heads, 6Mbyte unformatted) and ST419 (3 platters, 6 heads, 19Mbytes 
unformatted) drives. I'd never heard of an ST406 before.

Even later, there was the 9153 (floppy/winchester) and 9154 (winchester 
only) unit. Again 98B09 based, but now everything in SMD packages (the 
68B09 is a PLCC package). The winchesters are HP custom units with a 
strange interface -- fairly high level for positioning the heads, but 
still the raw bit stream for reading and writing.

Their cartridge tape drives also have intellegent controllers. Mostly 
68x09 based, but the 9145 I have has what appears to be a 68000 inside


More information about the cctalk mailing list