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PPC - Peripherals - SiI for ATA-133

Pre-requisites and Limitations

It is important that you read and understand this section BEFORE you install your SiI0680 card, so as to avoid problems during the installation and disappointment later when things don't work as expected.

The pre-requisites and limitations identified for the SiI0680 Parallel ATA-133 cards are:

  • The 440mm 80 wire ribbon cables supplied with the cards have a connector at each end, one coloured blue which connects to the card, and the other coloured black which connects to the Master device, with another connector coloured grey 300mm along the cable for the slave device.

    With the AmigaOne motherboard the cable is only just long enough to reach the hard drive bays for two hard drives, but is barely long enough to reach from the card to the CD/DVD drive bays for one device, and it is impossible to connect a second device. In the picture, you can see the grey connector on the cable is a long way from the drive bay and how tight the cabling is for an average size case.

  • If you want to use both channels you will need to buy an additional cable and we recommend that you try and find one that is at least 600mm - (www.gamma.co.nz have 610mm Ultra ATA 100/133 cables (part # C-ATA) for approx $10).

  • Remember that the purpose of the 80 wire cables is to separate the 40 wires carrying data to reduce diaphony between the data lines in accordance with the ATA specifications. Do not be tempted to buy the round 80 wire cables, as these have the opposite effect and result in poor performance due to data errors, especially at the higher UDMA speeds.

  • The AmigaOS 4.0 kernel must be version 51.15 or greater. (The latest is 51.3 for AmigaOS 4.0 Update #3.)

  • Your kicklayout file must contain "nonvolatile.library.kmod" (50.2+) and "nvram.resource.kmod" in order for sii0680ide.device to access the environment variables specified in U-Boot, otherwise it will use default values.

  • The following instructions apply to the SiI0680 driver software installed with AmigaOS 4.0 Update #3, which is version 51.43. Earlier versions of the software use a different driver name (i.e. si680ide.device) and different parameters. If you are still running an earlier version we recommend that you install update #3 before installing the SiI0680 card.

  • OS4 can use the VIA ports if "a1ide.device" is in your AmigaOS 4.0 kicklayout file and it can use the SiI0680 ports if "sii0680ide.device" is in your AmigaOS 4.0 kicklayout file. "a1ide.device" and "sii0680ide.device" can work together without any problems. If you don't have anything connected to the VIA IDE ports, or just don't want AmigaOS 4.0 to use whatever is connected there, you can remove a1ide.device from your kicklayout file. The same applies for the SiI0680 IDE ports and sii0680ide.device. However, removing a1ide.device means that it is more difficult to revert back to using the onboard PCI ports should you need to for any reason.

  • In the U-Boot Preferences Menu for PCI/AGP devices, the PCI Interrupt "Trigger by" values specified for interrupts 9, 10, 11 and 7 must be set to Level (NOT Edge).

  • AmigaOS 4.0 must already be installed. At this time it is not possible to install OS 4.0 using the SiI0680 card, but this will change when OS 4.0 is released. (Currently it is dependant on Update 3.)

  • Debian Linux can be installed using the SiI0680 card, but the installation instructions need to be modified to suit. If you do not understand these changes, it may be best to install Linux using the on-board IDE bus instead.

  • The sii0680ide.device does not enable UDMA modes automatically. You must use either the "sii0680ide_xfer" environment variable in U-Boot, or "idetool" to switch between xfer modes. Do not expect any speed improvement simply by installing the SiI0680 card, in fact currently its PIO code is even slower than the VIA PIO (because prefetch buffers have not been enabled in the sii0680ide.device yet).

  • The sii0680ide.device also supports UDMA for ATAPI devices (CD/DVD readers/burners). In previous version, UDMA was completely disabled because it could not be made safe for the a1ide.device, and this restriction was retained for the sii0680ide.device, so only operated in PIO modes. The latest version of a1ide.device with OS4.0 update 3 also supports UDMA for ATAPI devices.

  • If you are using Debian Linux in a multi-boot configuration on a single hard disk, you must check that you have defined a Linux-SiI0680 option for the SLB Menu. This means that there must be a second entry in the /boot/a1boot.conf file for the SiI0680 implementation. The bootargs value can remain the same as long as you replace the "ide=nodma" parameter with "ide=reverse". This removes the DMA restriction and tells Linux to use the SiI bus before using the onboard VIA bus, which means that the drive names do not have to be changed. It is also a good idea to add "hde=noprobe" and "hdf=noprobe" if there are no drives connected to the VIA bus.
Once you have confirmed that all of the pre-requisites have been met and you understand the limitations of what you are about to do, you are ready to begin the installation.

Disclaimer: Amiga Auckland have prepared the above information for the use of its members based on our experiences and as such is subject to revision at any time. Amiga Auckland cannot guarantee any of the information and cannot be held accountable for any issues that may result from using it.


Copyright 2005 Amiga Auckland Inc. All rights reserved.
Revised: December 05, 2005.