Browse Prior Art Database

IBM 8230 Remote Program Update

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000121357D
Original Publication Date: 1991-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-03
Document File: 3 page(s) / 107K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Cheng, Y: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

Disclosed is a RPU (Remote Program Update) process that has been used by the IBM 8230 to remotely load microcode over a LAN. This process is initiated either by a checksum error found in the IBM 8230's Application Code memory, as shown in Fig. 1, or by a LAN manager sending a control command RPU Enable. The process eliminates on-site maintenance to install microcode and allows microcode with enhanced features as well as an engineering change to be remotely updated from a central site.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

IBM 8230 Remote Program Update

      Disclosed is a RPU (Remote Program Update) process that
has been used by the IBM 8230 to remotely load microcode over a LAN.
This process is initiated either by a checksum error found in the IBM
8230's Application Code memory, as shown in Fig. 1, or by a LAN
manager sending a control command RPU Enable.  The process eliminates
on-site maintenance to install microcode and allows microcode with
enhanced features as well as an engineering change to be remotely
updated from a central site.

      As shown in Fig. 1, the microcode is divided into three
sections:  basic communication operation microcode, loader microcode,
and application microcode.

      The loader microcode has the minimum function required to
control the basic communication microcode.  It is a subset of the
application microcode plus the loading interface capabilities.  Only
the application microcode section can be remotely updated.  This is
where the complex microcode resides and it is more likely to be
updated and enhanced.

      The application microcode is stored separately from the other
two types of microcode.  It is stored in an electrically erasable
reprogrammable memory.

      The loader microcode has the capabilities to initiate an update
when needed, respond to a request for a new microcode, post an error
on IBM 8230 via LEDs and inform the remote loader of the load
process.

      The loader microcode uses timers to ensure that the
communication flows smoothly.  The following is a detailed
description of the RPU process.

      As shown in Fig. 2, there are five states in the process:
Notify LNM, Find Loader, Data Transfer, Retry, and RPU Alert.

      In the Notify LNM state, a frame with error information is
periodically sent to a LAN manager until a RPU Enable frame is
received from the LAN manager.  A transition is made to Find Loader
state when the RPU Enable frame is received without an error.  Which
loader to be found and what level of code to be downloaded from the
loader can be specified in the RPU Enable frame.

      In the Find Loader state, a frame is periodically sent out to
the network to find a RPU loader until a response frame is received
from the loader.  If loader was not specified in the RPU Enable
frame, this frame is sent to the RPL Loader functional address.  Any
loader wit...