Fast/Wide Streaming RAID Adapter/A


@8F82.ADF IBM SCSI-2 Fast/Wide Streaming-RAID Adapter/A

194-170 IBM SCSI-2 F/W Streaming-RAID Adapter/A

4227110.EXE FWSR Option Disk #1, v2.31 (zipped image)
   Contains Disk Configuration Utility for "Cheetah" and "Passplay"
4227111.EXE FWSR Option Disk #2, v2.31 (zipped image)
   Readme for FWSR Option Disks
10L9849.EXE RAID Supplemental Diskette v2.0 (OS/2 command-line interface)
   Readme for Supplemental Diskette

SCSI-2 Fast/Wide Streaming RAID Adapter/A
Side Card
Function of NVSRAM
Cable Parts
HD LED Does Not Work
   HD LED Hack
Cyrix/Non-SOD Type 1 Incompatibility?
Cache Size
Accessing the RAID Configuration
   Configuration Utility
FWSR BIOS Flash Disk
Cheetah in a 85 / 95 /95A
Cheetah in a Server 500
   Channel and RAID adapter configurations (takes you to 8641 page)
   Getting CD-ROM to WORK On Server 500
Linux on FWSR?
Logical Drive Size Limits under NT
ADF Sections

SCSI-2 F/W Streaming RAID Adapter/A "Cheetah"
FRU P/N 06H3059, P/N 55075-D, FCC ID ANO70G9263 [P] [P]

D1 Motorola M 420 B34 (CH1)
D2 Motorola M 420 B34 (CH2)
F1 PTC for CH1 150 JH9E
F2 PTC for CH2 / Ext 150 JH9E
J1 CH1 68-pin card edge connector
J2 CH2 68-pin card edge connector
J3 4-pin female header, unknown
J4 CH1 DASD Status connector
J5 CH2/Ext. DASD Status connector
J6 Status LEDs header
J7,8 pads for 2-pin jumper, shunted
J9 External 68-pin MDX port
J10 pads for 3-pin jumper, bottom two shunt.
J11 pads for 2-pin reset header, open
TP1 i960 -FAIL test point
TP2,3 Ground test point
U4 DDU8F -5006 Delay line?
U5-7 UC5603DP Active SCSI Terminator
U8,13 Pads for additional memory
U9,22,23,24,28 IDT 74FCT162543CTPA
U10-12 UC5603DP Active SCSI Terminator
U14 189108 4L08F1449 gate array?
U15 NCR 53C720 (CH1)
U16 NCR 53C720 (CH2)
U17,21 43G6625 or 43G6205? memory
U18 Intel A80960CA25
U19 34G1521 "Miami" MCA iface
U25 Dallas DS1233 EconoReset
U30 Flash ROM
U32 Dallas DS1225Y-200 8Kx8 NVRAM (alt)
Y1 50.000 MHz osc (i960, div by 2)
Y2 40.000 MHz osc (bus/DMA)

Note: Channel 2 is connected to J2 (edgecard) and J9 (external 68 MDX). Do not connect devices to both ports. One -OR- the other, not both. It probably won't smoke things, but this isn't a SCSI-1 narrow 5MB/s device, either.

U14 189108 4L08F1449 gate array? Probably replaces most of the discrete glue logic from Passplay.
U15,16 NCR or Symbios Logic 53C720; Datasheet, Programming Guide
U18 Intel A80960CA25, Intel A80960CF (substitute); i960 Performance Brief

Jumper J6 is a 6-pin header that provides a connection for three status LEDs. Pin 1 is to the left end of the board. In each case the odd-numbered pin is the +5V source. An external series resistor is not required for the LEDs.

Pin Name Meaning
1-2 SCSI Activity One or two SCSI channels xmitting or recving data.
3-4 Write Pending DAC960 xmitting/recving data to/from host system.
5-6   DAC960 cache has data more current than on HDs.

DAC960 LED Error Reporting

When any DAC960 is powered up, the i960 CPU performs a sequence hardware tests. Failure(s) is indicated by flashing an error-code on the Write Pending LED. An appropriate BIOS error message is also on the system. The memory parity error (irrecoverable), during card operation, is also indicated by the same LED.

DAC960 Write Pending LED post on DAC960
1 or 2 Channel Header J2 (non-populated)
3 Channel Pin 5-6 of 6 pin header J6
5 Channel Pin 5-6 of 6 pin header J6

The LED blinks will always be repeated at regular intervals.

LED Pattern Error Indicated
Constant ON/OFF at 50% duty cycle Parity error on DRAM. FATAL Error. Check DRAM.
2 blinks DRAM error. FATAL Error. Check DRAM.  DRAM support logic failure is likely.
3 blinks BMIC I/F failure. FATAL Error. 
4 blinks Firmware checksum error. Try loading Firmware using DAC960FL utility.
LED stays on at power-up Controller dead.

i960CA is pin AND function compatible with the i960CF. The i960CF adds a 4KB cache (or something). People have swapped out the CA with a CF for @ 10% increase in performance.

Note: The i960Hx seems cool, but lacks a DMA controller, some pins are used for different purposes, and though 5v tolerant, needs current limiting on the Vcc line. No Holy Joy here, move along.

Cheetah Side Card FRU P/N 06H3060

Side Card - Front

Wow. Simple but elegant. Area marked "Ground Plane" surrounds the central area of the side card. The individual signal lines are on this side, and each goes straight over to an inductor before continuing on to the SCSI port, J2.

J1 on this side is unusual compared to other MCA cards. All pins on this side are connected to ground, with the exception being 17, 18, and 19. These three pins are brought out separate to the center of the board, where they cut over to the SCSI port.

The edge that fits into the MCA slot is bare PCB, no resist, no nothing. No MCA bus signals or power is drawn by this side card.

Side Card - Rear

This side resembles the component side. The signal lines come off J1 (a normal looking edgecard) and go down to their through holes, where they cross over to the front side. Then they are routed to the SCSI port.

Signal Lines is an area uncovered by the ground plane where the signal lines connect to the SCSI port header. The ground pins are inside (and connect to) the ground plane.


The Cheetah has two channels. Each channel is controlled by an NCR53C720. The header J1 is Channel 1. It usually is attached to an internal array, but with the addition of a side card, it can control an external array. The second channel uses J2 OR the external port, J9. This is still one channel, so one can use either the internal port, OR the external port. Do NOT try to use both J2 and J9 at once.

   NVSRAM is a Benchmarq 28 pin 8Kx8 bq4010YMA-200 (datasheet)
   Another equivalent is a Dallas DS1225Y-200 (datasheet)

NVSRAM Functions

Each NV SRAM has a self-contained lithium energy source and control circuitry which constantly monitors Vcc for an out-of-tolerance condition. When such a condition occurs, the lithium energy source is automatically switched on and write protection is unconditionally enabled to prevent data corruption.

Cable Parts

   The mini C68 for the Channel edgecard connectors is the Molex 71660i, part# 15-92-3068, called a half pitch Centronics, or a VESA Media Connector. Suprise! AMP makes a similar part (mini-C68) AMP Part 1-557089-2 Any cable with a .025 pitch, 28 to 30 AWG will work with either connector. 

A Better Cable Hack?
Allen Brandt wrote:
> A small, shotty attempt to get something uploaded concerning the PS/2. HERE

My Take on it:
   I am starting to have neurons fire. Actually, Allen provided the push. Al went and slit the conductors for better flexibility (in pairs).

Could you slit the flat cable up towards the controller and get the very flexible cable bundle of the IBM original? The black sheathing is available from Jameco for about $1 a foot. Well worth it, IMHO. (Start the slit with an X-Acto and use the reverse of the blade to finish parting the conductors???)

The sheathing is Techflex Cable Sleave, looks to be the 3/8" size. Sold in a 25' spool. Part #162157, Product # CCPT2X per spool $14.95  Techflex is HERE
What kind of signal degradation might occur? Each signal pair hopefully cancels it's noise out.

If the Brandt maneuver can be done from the top drive connector to the adapter, it might be a close match to the real thing

HD LED Doesn't Work
From Peter (or Tim?)
   The fixed disk light is non-functional with both the Server 95 A "Passplay" and Streaming-RAID "Cheetah" MCA RAID adapter.  I suspect this is also the case with other OEM'ed Mylex RAID adapters.

LED For Cheetah
   BUT if you take an LED off of J6, pin 1 and 2, it will light when the drives are accessed. Just run a lead up to between the LED blocks in the display panel. Watch the polarity. If the LED doesn't light, switch the header around. You do not need a resistor for this.

I tried this, but the LED didn't have enough umph. Pretty dim through the LED Panel. Maybe some sort of a drive circuit?  Just had a thought- twist the existing HD LED out of the Op Panel and put the LED that is connected to J6 in there...

Possible Cyrix-Cheetah Incompatibility?
Tim Clarke
Hi gang,
   Just thought that I'd better warn you. After checking out the Cyrix 5x86 at 4x clocking (in Type-1 non-SOD w/cache) my PassPlay RAID adapter seems to have been "duffed up". I only get a part of the BIOS v1.05 initialization / installation message and the machine hangs (with *any* CPU) at CP:96. Looks as though the Flash ROM has been partially overwritten (just a guess).

Cache Size

Go HERE for more information.

Access the RAID Configuration
   Both the FWR (Passplay) and FWSR (Cheetah) are only configurable through the RAID Utilities disk. You CANNOT see the SCSI Disks under "Set and View SCSI Devices" like normal SCSI drives. Boot with FWSR Option Disk, #1 ver. 2.31 in order to view or configure the array.

Both adapters use the same Utilities disk of the later IBM F/W Streaming RAID Adapter /A (Codename "Cheetah" - with external port) since both are based on Intel i960 / Mylex / NCR technology. There was a single-disk version 2.22, which should be unique for all /A RAID adapters of that kind, but not the PCI versions. The RAIDADM (manager) should work on both /A adapters.

Configuration Utility version 2.31 consists out of two disks:
FWSR Option Disk, #1 ver. 2.31
FWSR Option Disk, #2 ver. 2.31
Readme for FWSR Option Disks

Not sure if this fits:
RAID Supplemental Diskette Version 2.0 (Readme.txt) RAIDSEND is a utility that provides an OS/2 ONLY command-line interface for performing various tasks on a IBM F/W Streaming RAID Adapter/A, the IBM SCSI-2 F/W PCI-Bus RAID Adapter, and the Mylex PL adapter for the IBM PC Server 704.

Fast/Wide Streaming RAID Flash BIOS for "Cheetah"

Caution! The Passplay and the Cheetah differ in the microcode, which *may not* be interchanged. The Passplay (FWR) adapter uses a microcode-level 1.6x through 1.99, the Cheetah (FWSR) uses 2.xx levels. If you flash the one adapter with the code from the other you end up in non-functional adapters.

FWSR Flash BIOS 2.21 For RAID controller WITH external port! (zipped image)
FWSR Flash BIOS Readme

Cheetah in a Model 95

The RAID bay for the 85/95/95A does not have a place for the status cable to attach. The RAID bay has a 68 pin edgecard at the back where the Molex style SCSI connector attaches to. The 95 RAID bays automatically terminate the SCSI drives inside. Do NOT enable termination on the individual drives!

I installed a CD-ROM in Bay 7. I used a 68 to 50 pin adapter from the RAID cable connector. I have installed both NT Workstation 4 and OS/2 on it. Both were able to detect and use the CD-ROM during setup. FWIW, I had only one bay with three drives in it.

Cheetah in a Server 500

Setting the CD-ROM ID in a Server 500

I think I saw a patch somewhere to "fix" a CD on the FWSR under NT.

From Rich Nagle:
   Following repeated failures of NT 4 Server setup to recognize the CD-ROM connected to the passthrough connector on the top backplane, I noticed that the CD-ROM was showing up as one SCSI ID# higher than it was when I checked it under the RAID Utility View Configuration.

After checking the SCSI ID jumper on the backplane (set to LO for IDs 0 thru 5 on the backplane), a sudden flash of inspiration occurred - I set the CD-ROM to ID 5, went back under the RAID Utilities, and the CD-ROM was now ID6. I then deleted, then recreated the array. Now when I ran NT Setup the CD-ROM was recognized automatically.

Linux on FWSR?
From Peter (edited):
> Is anyone running linux on one of these machines?

Not on machines with the IBM RAID controller with the old 2.43 firmware. No Linux driver available.

The IBM Fast/Wide Streaming RAID Adapter PCI as used in the Server 320/520 MCA-PCI versions is derived from the Mylex DAC960PL - it only has 128K Flash ROM (one 28F010 chip) but a second open socket. Firmware 3.x requires 256K Flash. I'd tried to plug in a second 28F010 ... but I think the old software contained in that chip confused the adapter a bit ... it behaved a little "strange" (long boot time etc.)

What I do not have is an EPROMmer that is capable to write the Flash ROMs of the 28Fxxxx series or I could a) write a spare 2.4x Flash (to keep for the "worst case") and b) clear the 28F010 ROMs I pulled from some old boards. Else I would stuff in a blank ROM in the second socket, have the old 2.xx in the first and run a firmware update 3.x from the DAC960PL on that adapter.

The machines with the older RAID adapters ("Passplay" and "Cheetah") based on MCA technology are out of the discussion anyway. They are based on the DAC960M technology but an older implementation of that concept. They use some of the chips of the -M and early -Px adapters (PL / PD) and they are developed by Mylex - but the firmware 3.x is PCI specific, not MCA. So you can practically forget about using them under Linux since the driver is *particularly* written for the 3.x firmware level.

Logical Drive Limits under NT

Tony Ingenoso speaks with conviction when he says:
   I've got Cheetah running a rack of 9G drives in a MCA Server 320. One issue seems to be it won't configure a logical drive larger than 32G (you can have several of these though). Not exactly crippling for modest use, but a limitation none the less. I haven't tried to see of NT's volume spanning tricks could be layered atop some of these 32G drives - might be one way around that issue


SCSI type SCSI-2 Fast/Wide
SCSI bus path / speed 16 bit at 20 MB/sec
MCA bus path / speed 32 bit at 40 MB/sec streaming
(80 MB/sec on PC Server 720)
I/O features Streaming data xfer Address and data parity
RAID levels  RAID 0, 1, Hybrid 1, 5
4 ind (A, B, C, D) / 8 logical arrays
Tagged Command Queuing Yes
Processor i960CA at 25 MHz [accepts i960-CF25]
Size Type 3 (full length)
Channels Two (one internal; one internal or external) 
Connectors Three 16 bit wide connectors:
Two internal, One external
*Can only use two connectors at once
Devices supported 14 per adapter (7 per max per channel)
Cache std 4 MB (with parity) 60 ns soldered on.
Cache write policy Write-through or write-back

AdapterID 8F82 IBM SCSI-2 Fast/Wide Streaming-RAID Adapter/A

Interrupt Level
   Set the interrupt level for the adapter.
    <"Level E">, A, B 

BIOS Base Address
   BIOS base address. Each adapter must have a unique address range.
    <"C0000-0C1FFF">, C2000-0C3FFF, C4000-0C5FFF, C6000-0C7FFF, C8000-0C9FFF, CA000-0CBFFF, CC000-0CDFFF, CE000-0CFFFF, D0000-0D1FFF, D2000-0D3FFF, D4000-0D5FFF, D6000-0D7FFF, D8000-0D9FFF, DA000-0DBFFF, DC000-0DDFFF, DE000-0DFFFF 

I/O Address
   I/O address. Each adapter must have a unique address range.
    <"1C00-1C1F">, 3C00-3C1F, 5C00-5C1F, 7C00-7C1F, 9C00-9C1F, BC00-BC1F, DC00-DC1F, FC00-FC1F 

DMA Arbitration Level
   DMA channel used to transfer data.
   <"Level 8">, 9, A, B, C, D, E, 1, 3, 5, 6, 7

Tower Configuration
   How many towers of seven drives will be presented to the user. Any messages regarding drive status are always presented in terms of bays in the tower. When each channel of the Streaming-RAID Adapter/A is connected to a different tower select the '2 Towers' Configuration and when both channels are connected to one single tower select the '1 Tower'
   <"2 Towers">, 1 Tower 

Data Parity Exception Handling Support
   Enable / disable Micro Channel data parity generation  Note: System must support it.
   < "Enabled ">, Disabled 

Micro Channel Streaming
  Enable / disable MCA streaming. Note: NOT available if system does not support it.
   <"Enabled ">, Disabled 

INT 13 Support
   Provides limited support for BIOS INT 13 function calls and is required if boot devices are connected to Streaming-RAID Adapter/A.
Note: If system doesn't support this (T1 upgrade-66 or T4) then this is NOT available.
   < "Disabled">, Enabled

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Louis F. Ohland, Peter H. Wendt, David L. Beem, William R. Walsh, Tatsuo Sunagawa, Tomáš Slavotínek, Jim Shorney, Tim N. Clarke, Kevin Bowling, and many others.

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