Browse Prior Art Database

Multi-Task Approach to Downloading Microcode Modules

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000112482D
Original Publication Date: 1994-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-27
Document File: 2 page(s) / 35K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Ruback, HM: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Disclosed is a method for controlling Micro Channel* adapter functions from within the multi-task software design of an exerciser, when microcode is required to perform the adapter functions. One or more of the tasks controlled by the software may need to have a certain module of microcode resident in the adapter at a time. An algorithm is provided to synchronize the required downloading of microcode, with a control task having the responsibilities of configuring the adapter through POS register contents and of serving as the focal point for microcode downloading.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 92% of the total text.

Multi-Task Approach to Downloading Microcode Modules

      Disclosed is a method for controlling Micro Channel* adapter
functions from within the multi-task software design of an exerciser,
when microcode is required to perform the adapter functions.  One or
more of the tasks controlled by the software may need to have a
certain module of microcode resident in the adapter at a time.  An
algorithm is provided to synchronize the required downloading of
microcode, with a control task having the responsibilities of
configuring the adapter through POS register contents and of serving
as the focal point for microcode downloading.

      A message-driven protocol under the environment of the
exerciser allows microcode requests to be centralized.  Each task of
the exerciser determines whether a test to be performed on the
adapter requires the downloading of microcode.  When such a need
exists, the task involved sends a message to the control task, using
the operating system facilities.  The format of the message contains
the name of the microcode module to be retrieved by the control task
from the fixed disk.  The control task then downloads the contents of
the microcode module into the on-board memory of the adapter for
execution.  This code may, for example, be executed by a DSP (Digital
Signal Processor) chip on board the adapter.

      The control program then returns an acknowledgement message
only if a problem has occurred with the procedure.  Thus, if no...