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base:reu_programming [2015-04-17 04:33] (current)
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 +====== REU Programming ======
 +Hello all!
 +I want to contribute to the mailing list on the software side. So I send
 +you a description of the programming of the 17xx RAM expansion units.
 +I sent this already a week ago but it got lost during the problems with
 +the old mailing list address. In the meantime there has already been posted
 +some information about REUs, but my description is a bit different and
 +contains more detailed information, so I thought I nevertheless
 +send it to you.
 +The following is based on the Commodore 1764 user's manual (german
 +version) and my own experiences programming the 1764 Ram Expansion Unit
 +===== External RAM Access With REUs =====
 +The REUs provide additional RAM for the C64/128. Three types of REUs
 +have been produced by Commodore. These are the 1700, 1764 and 1750 with
 +128, 256 and 512 KBytes built in RAM. However they can be extended up to
 +several MBytes.
 +The external memory can not be addressed directly by the C64 with it's
 +16-bit address space. It has to be transferred from an to the main
 +memory of the C64. For that purpose there is a built in RAM Expansion
 +Controller (REC) which transfers memory between the C64 and the REU
 +using Direct Memory Access (DMA). It can also be used for other
 +===== RAM Expansion Controller (REC) Registers =====
 +The REU is programmed by accessing it's registers, that appear memory
 +mapped in the I/O-area between $DF00 and $DF0A when a REU is connected
 +through the expansion port of the C64. They can be read and written to
 +like VIC- and SID-registers.
 +       various information can be obtained (read only)
 +Bit 7:     INTERRUPT PENDING  (1 = interrupt waiting to be served)
 +           unnecessary
 +Bit 6:     END OF BLOCK  (1 = transfer complete)
 +           unnecessary
 +Bit 5:     FAULT  (1 = block verify error)
 +           Set if a difference between C64- and REU-memory areas was found
 +           during a compare-command.
 +Bit 4:     SIZE  (1 = 256 KB)
 +           Seems to indicate the size of the RAM-chips. It is set on 1764
 +           and 1750 and clear on 1700.
 +Bits 3..0: VERSION
 +           Contains 0 on my REU.
 +       By writing to this register RAM transfer or comparision can be
 +       executed.
 +Bit 7:     EXECUTE  (1 = transfer per current configuration)
 +           This bit must be set to execute a command.
 +Bit 6:     reserved  (normally 0)
 +Bit 5:     LOAD  (1 = enable autoload option)
 +           With autoload enabled the address and length registers (see
 +           below) will be unchanged after a command execution.
 +           Otherwise the address registers will be counted up to the
 +           address off the last accessed byte of a DMA + 1,
 +           and the length register will be changed (normally to 1).
 +Bit 4:     FF00
 +           If this bit is set command execution starts immediately
 +           after setting the command register.
 +           Otherwise command execution is delayed until write access to
 +           memory position $FF00
 +Bits 3..2: reserved  (normally 0)
 +Bits 1..0: TRANSFER TYPE
 +           00 = transfer C64 -> REU
 +           01 = transfer REU -> C64
 +           10 = swap C64 <-> REU
 +           11 = compare C64 - REU
 +$DF02..$DF03: C64 BASE ADDRESS
 +              A 16-bit C64 - base address in low/high order.
 +              This is a three byte address consisting of a low and
 +              high byte and an expansion bank number.
 +              Normally only bits 2..0 of the expansion bank are valid
 +              (for a maximum of 512 KByte), the other bits are always
 +              set. This must be different if more than 512 KByte are
 +              installed.
 +              This is a 16-bit value containing the number of bytes to
 +              transfer or compare.
 +              The value 0 stands for 64 Kbytes.
 +              If the transfer length plus the C64 base address exceeds
 +              64K the C64 address will overflow and cause C64 memory
 +              from 0 on to be accessed.
 +              If the transfer length plus the REU base address exceeds
 +              512K the REU address will overflow and cause REU memory
 +              from 0 on to be accessed.
 +       unnecessary
 +Bit 7:     INTERRUPT ENABLE  (1 = interrupt enabled)
 +Bit 6:     END OF BLOCK MASK  (1 = interrupt on end)
 +Bit 5:     VERIFY ERROR  (1 = interrupt on verify error)
 +Bits 4..0: unused (normally all set)
 +       Controlls the address counting during DMA.
 +       If an address is fixed, not a memory block but always the same
 +       byte addressed by the base address register is used for DMA.
 +Bit 7:     C64 ADDRESS CONTROL  (1 = fix C64 address)
 +Bit 6:     REU ADDRESS CONTROL  (1 = fix REU address)
 +Bits 5..0: unused (normally all set)
 +To access the REU-registers in assembly language it is convenient to
 +define labels something like this:
 +    status   = $DF00
 +    command  = $DF01
 +    c64base  = $DF02
 +    reubase  = $DF04
 +    translen = $DF07
 +    irqmask  = $DF09
 +    control  = $DF0A
 +===== How To Recognize The REU =====
 +Normally the addresses between $DF00 and $DF0A are unused. So normally
 +if values are stored there they get lost. So if you write e.g. the
 +values 1,2,3,... to $DF02..$DF08 and they don't stay there you can be
 +sure that no REU is connected. However if the values are there it could
 +be because another kind of module is connected that also uses these
 +Another problem is the recognition of the number of RAM banks (64
 +KByte units) installed. The SIZE bit only tells that there are at least
 +2 (1700) or 4 (1764, 1750) banks installed. By trying to access & verify
 +bytes in as many RAM banks as possible the real size can be determined.
 +This can be seen in the source to "Dynamic memory allocation for the
 +128" in Commodore Hacking Issue 2.
 +I personally prefer to let the user choose if and which REU banks
 +shall be used.
 +===== Simple RAM Transfer =====
 +Very little options of the REU are necessary for the main purposes of
 +RAM expanding.
 +Just set the base addresses, transfer length and then the command
 +The following code transfers one KByte containing the screen
 +memory ($0400..$07FF) to address 0 in the REU:
 +    lda #0
 +    sta control ; to make sure both addresses are counted up
 +    lda #<$0400
 +    sta c64base
 +    lda #>$0400
 +    sta c64base + 1
 +    lda #0
 +    sta reubase
 +    sta reubase + 1
 +    sta reubase + 2
 +    lda #<$0400
 +    sta translen
 +    lda #>$0400
 +    sta translen + 1
 +    lda #%10010000;  c64 -> REU with immediate execution
 +    sta command
 +To transfer the memory back to the C64 replace "lda #%10010000"
 +by "lda #%10010001".
 +I think that this subset of 17xx functions would be enough for a
 +reasonable RAM expansion. However if full compatibility with 17xx REUs
 +is desired also the more complicated functions have to be implemented.
 +===== Additional Features =====
 +==== Swapping Memory ====
 +With the swap-command memory between 17xx and C64 is exchanged. The
 +programming is the same as in simple RAM transfer.
 +==== Comparing Memory ====
 +No RAM is transferred but the number of bytes specified in the
 +transfer length register is compared. If there are differences the
 +FAULT-bit of the status register is set. This bit is cleared by reading
 +the status register which has to be done before comparing to get valid
 +==== Using All C64 Memory ====
 +C64 memory is accessed by the REU normally in the memory configuration
 +existing during writing to the command register. However in order to be
 +able to write to the command register the I/O-area has to be active.
 +If RAM between $D000 and $DFFF or character ROM shall be used it is
 +possible to delay the execution of the command by storing a command byte
 +with bit 4 ("FF00") cleared. The command will then be executed
 +by writing any value to address $FF00.
 +    < Set base addresses and transfer length >
 +    lda #%10000000 ; transfer C64 RAM -> REU delayed
 +    sta command
 +    sei
 +    lda $01
 +    and #$30
 +    sta $01 ; switch on 64 KByte RAM
 +    lda $FF00 ; to not change the contents of $FF00
 +    sta $FF00 ; execute DMA
 +    lda $01
 +    ora #$37
 +    sta $01 ; switch on normal configuration
 +    cli
 +===== Transfer Speed =====
 +During DMA the CPU is halted and the memory access cycles normally
 +available for the CPU are now used to access one byte each. So with
 +screen and sprites switched off in every clock cycle (985248 per second
 +on PAL machines) a byte is transferred. If screen is on or sprites are
 +enabled transfer is a bit slower, as the VIC exclusively accesses RAM
 +sometimes. An exact description of those "missing cycles" can be found
 +in Commodore Hacking Issue 3.
 +Comparing memory areas is as fast as transfers. (Comparison is stopped
 +once the first difference is found.)
 +Swapping memory is only half as fast, as for every bytes two C64 memory
 +accesses (read & write) are necessary.
 +===== Interrupts =====
 +By setting certain bits in the interrupt mask register IRQs at the end
 +of a DMA can be selected. However as the CPU is halted during DMA it
 +will always be finished after the store instruction into the command
 +register or $FF00. So there is no need to check for an "END OF BLOCK"
 +(bit 6 of status register) or to enable an interrupt.
 +===== Executing Code In Expanded Memory =====
 +Code in external memory has always to be copied into C64 memory to be
 +executed. This is a disadvantage against bank switching systems. However
 +bank switching can be simulated by the SWAP command. This is done e.g.
 +in RAMDOS where only 256 bytes of C64 memory are occupied, the 6 KByte
 +RAM disk driver is swapped in whenever needed. Probably too much
 +swapping is the reason for RAMDOS to be not really fast at sequential
 +file access.
 +===== Other Useful Applications Of The REU =====
 +The REC is not only useful for RAM transfer and comparison.
 +One other application (used in GEOS) is to copy C64 RAM areas
 +by first transferring it to the REU and then transferring it back into
 +the desired position in C64 memory. Due to the fast DMA this is about 5
 +times faster than copying memory with machine language instructions.
 +Interesting things can be done by fixing base addresses. Large C64
 +areas can be filled very fast with a single byte value by fixing the REU
 +base address. Thus it is also possible to find the end of an area
 +containing equal bytes very fast e.g. for data compression.
 +Fixing the C64 base address is interesting if an I/O-port is used, as
 +data can be written out faster than normally possible.
 +It would be possible to use real bitmap graphics in the upper and lower
 +screen border by changing the "magic byte" (highest by the VIC addressed
 +byte) in every clock cycle during the border switched off.
 +Generally the REC could be used as graphics accelerator e.g. to
 +copy bitmap areas or to copy data fast into the VIC-addressable
 +16 KByte area.
 +===== Comparison Of Bank Switching and DMA =====
 +When comparing bank switching and DMA for memory expansion I think DMA
 +is the more comfortable methode to program and also is faster in most
 +cases. The disadvantage with code execution not possible in external
 +memory could be minimized by copying only the necessary parts into C64
 +memory. Executing the code will take much more time than copying it
 +into C64 memory.
 +Richard Hable - Richard.Hable@JK.Uni-Linz.AC.AT
 +Marko Mäkelä - (Marko.Makela@HUT.FI)
base/reu_programming.txt · Last modified: 2015-04-17 04:33 (external edit)