DM&P Vortex86SX FAQ
- Q: Where and how can we install the BIOS in Vortex86SX ?
- A: Internally there is a 256KB SPI flash for the BIOS storage, it should be installed by the JTAG interface for the first time, and it can be re-program by software from the second time. DMP also provide the service to pre-installed the AMI BIOS before delivery. You can use external flash as the BIOS storage, for example SST 39SF020-90-4C-PH, please pull-down the Hardware Strap MA12 and MA13 to enable the external BIOS flash.
- Q: How to development BIOS with Vortex86SX, do you have a BIOS Writer Guide or reference code ?
- A: AMI BIOS is the default BIOS of Vortex86SX, for other brands of BIOS, DMP will provide the "memory cycling" and "chipset initial" codes for you to start the development.
- Q: Is there an easy way to support the non-VGA system with Vortex86SX ?
- A: Yes, you can use Console Redirection through COM port and use your PC to monitor this non-VGA system. To use this, you should enable the "Remote Access Control" and choice the properly COM setting ( 115200, n, 8, 1). On your PC side, you should open the "Hyper Terminal" with properly setting (115200,n,8,1). Then you can easy change the BIOS setting and update the software on this non-VGA Vortex86 system from your PC.
- Q: Is there Boot ROM function for LAN in default AMI BIOS ?
- A: Yes, it support PXE version 2.0 and RPL, the size is 32KB and use INT 18 or INT 19.
- Q: What kind of external SPI flash can I use with Vortex86SX ?
- A: In the default AMI BIOS, we have the build-in function which use INT 13 to simulate the SPI flash as Drive A. Users just have to enable the "Onboard Virtual Flash FDD" in BIOS, then they will have a bootable flash disk. And please be noticed, the default AMI BIOS only support the SPI flash which the boot sector is 4K Byte, for example MXIC MX25L1605 or Winbond W25X series.
- Q: Can I boot the old DOS from USB ?
- A: Yes, the default AMI BIOS has build-in driver to support the old operating system, for example DOS 5.0 or FreeDOS. No additional USB driver has to be installed.
- Q: Is the FPU ( Floating Point Unit) in Vortex86SX ?
- A: No, there is no FPU in Vortex86SX, but coming Vortex86DX-800MHz will have FPU.
- Q: What kinds of DRAM can use with Vortex86SX ?
- A: Vortex86SX support SDRAM, DDR and DDR-II. It's 16-bit DRAM bus, you can use one 16-bit DRAM chip or two pieces of 8-bit DRAM chips with Vortex86SX.
- Q: What are the options of CPU speed in Vortex86SX ?
- A: By default Hardware Strap, the CPU speed is 300MHz. In the AMI BIOS, there is a option to divide the CPU speed from 1 to 8. The lowest speed is 300/8 = 37.5 MHz.
- Q: How can I use the internal Ethernet with Vortex86SX ?
- A: Both Ethernet MAC and PHY are build-in in Vortex86SX. For the hardware design refer to the Application Note and Reference Design.
- Q: Do all internal I/O mapped peripherals decode all 16 address lines for I/O cycles ?
- A: All the internal I/O mapping are standard 16-bit address line.
- Q: How to use external RTC instead of internal RTC ?
- A: The GPIO port 3, bit 4 ~ 7, are multi-function pins with external RTC.
- Q: Are the COM ports in Vortex86SX all 16550 compatible? What are the maximum speed ?.
- A: Yes, all of them are 16C550 compatible, the max baud rate is 460.8K bps.
- Q: Can the GPIO in Vortex86SX program individually ?
- A: 40 GPIO pins are provided by the Vortex86SX for general usage in the system. All GPIO pins are independent and can be configured as inputs or outputs. The outputs are 3.3V level and input is 5V tolerance, the driving current is 8mA.
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