Infotronic IGP64 CHROMA/MCA

@81DF.ADF - IBM LANStreamer MC 32 Adapter
infotronic5.0.22.ZIP Infotronic Quasar Win2000/XP driver (no MCA support?)

Infotronic IGP64 CHROMA/MCA
Driver Thoughts
ADF Sections

Content by Wolfgang Gehl, original here.


Infotronic IGP64 CHROMA/MCA

A Infotronic IGP64 Cheetah graphics proc.
B Altera EPX780LC84-10 PLD
C IBM025171LG5B-70, IBM 4Mbit VRAM
D 40 MHz OSC
E ACT16652
F 32 MHz OSC
G ACT16373
H 37RGB525CF22, IBM RGB525 Palette DAC
I BCT623
J 74F374
K TI16L8, TI16R4 PAL
L AMD PAL22V10, PAL
M LT1086, LT 1.5A low-dropout reg.
N AD589, 1.23V voltage ref.
O VGA female connector
P TQ2-5V, NAIS 5V relay
Q VGA female connector

There is no VGA chip on the card. Instead there is a VGA loop through connector, but I don't know which one of both it is.


From Wolfgang Gehl:
About four years ago I've found a pair of CHROMA/MCA graphics adapters inside a box of micro channel IBM Token Ring Adapters. The cards have two VGA interface connectors, which look similar to the Token Ring DE-9 interface. Probably for that reason the former owner mixed up the graphics adapters with the network cards. Of course I've got no documentation or software together with this box.

Ever since I'm searching occasionally for the CHROMA/MCA driver software. So far I've found nothing.

Well, that's not true actually. What I've found is the card's Adapter Definition File @81df.adf, which is essential to make the card available to the micro channel system. That's a good start. Alas the CHROMA/MCA is no VGA compatible adapter, so operating system specific device drivers are a must to make use of the card.

To my surprise the Italian manufacturer Infotronic is still doing business as against other famous graphics adapter manufacturers of that period, like miro, ELSA, SPEA, and many others. As you may guessed right already, there is no on-line support for the CHROMA/MCA (nor for any other graphics card Infotronic has produced). Email inquiries are ignored and in a telephone call I was informed, that they cannot support this adapter card.

You may ask why to make so much efforts for a 1994 graphics adapter. The answer is: this card is probably one of the most capable graphics adapter for x86 micro channel machines - beside the MATROX MGA Impression.

The CHROMA/MCA supports very likely 16 colors up to a resolutions up to 1600*1200 pixels, 256 colors up to a resolution of 1280*1024 pixels, 64K colors up to a resolution of 1024*768 pixels, and 16M colors up to a resolution of 800*600 pixels. There is a 64 bit graphics processor developed from Infotronic (IGP64) on the board, together with 2MB VRAM and an IBM RGB525 RAMDAC.

What I Knew ...

... is precious little. There is a VGA loop through port on the CHROMA/MCA. For that reason I don't expect DOS device drivers. Probably there was a DOS installation utility for Windows 3x together with a diagnose program. There should be a device driver for OS/2. There were device drivers for SCO OpenDesktop and for certain CAD software. Probably there was an WindowsNT device driver and maybe even an AIX RS/6000 device driver.

A look on the surface mounted devices shows VRAM and RAMDAC familiar from Weitek P9000 and S3 968 boards of that era.


Driver Thoughts

From Wolfgang Gehl:
Infotronic produced at least 3 more recent graphics cards after the CHROMA/MCA; the "Saturn", "Onix IMS/4", and the "Quasar". The IMS/4 is a PCI card, based on the IPG64 with 4MB VRAM and a Cirrus Logic VGA chip. The Quasar is a PCI card too with a VGA compatible graphics chip from Infotronic called IMSGP2000 and 16MB VRAM.

For the Infotronic Quasar boards there is a Windows 2000/XP driver available, called infotronic5.0.22.ZIP. Infotronic claims, that it "provides a single driver supporting all present or past Infotronic boards".

Now my hope is, that this driver could be customized to support the micro channel graphics card with the IGP64 graphics chip under Windows NT, without VGA text and graphic modes, and with the resolution modes and the color depth mentioned above. I think there is a good chance to reach that goal.

Since I have no driver development experience and no device driver development environment for Windows NT or Windows 2000 I ask for help from skilled enthusiast.

I can offer a CHROMA/MCA card for testing purposes.


Adapter Definition File

AdapterId 081DFh

AdapterName "High resolution graphic adapter INFO IGP64/MCA"

NumBytes 2

fixedResources
pos[0]=0XXXXXXXb
pos[1]=0XXXXXXXb

nameditem

Prompt "Memory allocation "

Choice "Segment 0D0000 " pos[0]=X100XXXXb
mem 0d0000h-0d3fffh

Choice "Segment 0D8000 " pos[0]=X110XXXXb
mem 0d8000h-0dbfffh

Choice "Segment 0DC000 " pos[0]=X111XXXXb
mem 0dc000h-0dffffh

Choice "Segment 0C8000 " pos[0]=X010XXXXb
mem 0c8000h-0cbfffh

Choice "Segment 0CC000 " pos[0]=X011XXXXb
mem 0cc000h-0cffffh

Help

" These are different segment of memory for the Infotronic graphic adapter.
You can resolve any conflict changing the segment."

nameditem

prompt "IO allocation "

choice "IO 200 " pos[0]=XXXX000Xb
io 0200h-0207h

choice "IO 300 " pos[0]=XXXX100Xb
io 0300h-0307h

Help

" These are different I/O allocation for the Infotronic graphic adapter.
You can resolve any conflict changing the I/O allocation."


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