Interface to the IDE port

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I would like to interface some relatively high-speed components to a couple
of different computers. The datarate would be in the range of 2-5Mbyte/sec,
sustained. I would like to use the same interface with a variaty of
form-factors (PC-104, Mini-ITX, ATX, etc.) I thought that the IDE port on
the motherboard would be an ideal connection point. I don't want to
implement a complete ATA or ATAPI compatible device, just interface directly
to the address/data lines on the IDE port. I will implement my own
communication protocol over my register-set.

So, my question is, has anybody done this? Any comments, recommendations?
How different todays highly integrated chipsets are from the original IDE
interface (in HW and SW interfaces)? How hard would it be to get direct
access to the IDE port registers under an OS, like WinXP, Linux, etc?

Thanks for all the help,
Andras Tantos

Re: Interface to the IDE port
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Why don't you start with Ralf Browns Interrupt list, which will
show you the fundamental communications available on all those x86
based systems.  Then hunt up the various ATA standards.  I found
draft versions for ATA-2, 4, 6, and 7.

Chuck F ( (
   Available for consulting/temporary embedded and systems.
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Re: Interface to the IDE port
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I've done those circles already. I know what the HW interface is capable of,
but I don't know how specialized the chipset electronics on the other side.
I know how the original IDE interface worked but I don't know how much that
changed for the modern chipsets (a lot I guess). For example, how much HW
acceleration is there for sending ATA/ATAPI commands to the hard-drive. How
much trouble do I ask for if I don't implement the standard ATA/ATAPI
command set but use the available address space in my own way. I also don't
know how much the OS drivers lock the address space and if I can get around
them and access the device through my own way. I just hoped someone did
something like this and have some experience to share.

Andras Tantos

Re: Interface to the IDE port
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There's good electronics info on the IDE port at /
[no, it's not mine!].


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