ULA versions

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Dbug
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ULA versions

Post by Dbug » Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:07 pm

I was looking at a few of the motherboard photos, and ULA chips and ebay, and I was wondering if there was a difference between the various revisions.
From what I've seen, we can find the following:

- HCS 10017 | CDI-8B | 6809 ?
- HCS 10017 | CDI / 8F | 8350
- HCS 10017 | CDI 8F | 8422
- HCS 10017 | CDI-7C | 8312
- HCS 10017 | CDI-7C | 8314
- PHILIPPINES | HCS10017

Are these numbers related to batches, production date, etc... are we 100% they are all completely swappable?

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iss
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Re: ULA versions

Post by iss » Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:29 pm

From an old post:
Godzil wrote:
Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:01 pm
7x or 8x after CDI is probably the chip revision, (or batch), the last 4 numbers are YYWW with YY the two last digit of the year and the next two the week of manufacturing:
8422 will be 1984, Week 22.
The first in your list is probably a typo?

Here is "The big Oric ULA Database" (spreadsheet link).

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Re: ULA versions

Post by Dbug » Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:23 pm

Damn, I did search "ULA" before, did not go far enough in the history in the search results :)

So basically the number does not matter, a particular chip may work with a particular Oric and not some other (at least in relation to Cumulus compatibility)

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Re: ULA versions

Post by Chema » Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:26 pm

I think I collected some ULA info too when investigating about Cumulus compatibility, and it seemed that it was a combination between ULA and memory type, maybe even CPU too... Did not find any repeatable or reasonable pattern. But I can assure you that at least one person whose Cumulus produced glitches, changed the ULA and it started working flawlessly :o

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Re: ULA versions

Post by mikeb » Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:47 pm

Dbug wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:07 pm
I was looking at a few of the motherboard photos, and ULA chips and ebay, and I was wondering if there was a difference between the various revisions.
From what I've seen, we can find the following:

- HCS 10017 | CDI-8B | 6809 ?
- HCS 10017 | CDI / 8F | 8350
- HCS 10017 | CDI 8F | 8422
- HCS 10017 | CDI-7C | 8312
- HCS 10017 | CDI-7C | 8314
- PHILIPPINES | HCS10017

Are these numbers related to batches, production date, etc... are we 100% they are all completely swappable?
I agree the first in the list is a typo: It was manufactured in late February 1968 otherwise ....

I think the number-letter after CDI (California Devices Inc.) is just a batch/fabrication line number.

The earliest ones (83 wk 12, 83 wk 14) *could be* an earlier revision (7? 1-6 being prototyping attempts?) with the later ones (8350,8422) having had a tweak to fix something minor, being the 8th revision?

Certainly in interviews with Dr Paul Johnson it appears they received the finished ULA, plugged in, it worked. Maybe they discovered something down the track ... ? But I never came across evidence of this.

There were really early versions of the ULA around in ceramic packaging with a metal lid (not the usual plastic encapsulated) -- these would be early prototype runs to ensure it worked -- low volume -- one is pictured in Paul Kaufman's mock-up Oric prototype. I don't think anyone ever received a retail Oric with one fitted though :)

I don't know what exact chip markings were on the one sacrificed by Lance Ewing/Mike Connors that were used for the basis of the ULA reverse-engineer ...

viewtopic.php?p=17908#p17908

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Re: ULA versions

Post by Dbug » Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:18 pm

What about the ones with just two lines

PHILIPPINES
HCS10017

without any other batch information, do we know where they come from, and if they actually work?

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Re: ULA versions

Post by mikeb » Fri Jan 17, 2020 5:20 pm

No idea :)

I'd say that the photograph is from the underside of the chip. Turn your ULA over and have a look at what's written there ...

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Re: ULA versions

Post by kaydav » Fri Jan 17, 2020 5:28 pm

mikeb wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:47 pm
Dbug wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:07 pm
I was looking at a few of the motherboard photos, and ULA chips and ebay, and I was wondering if there was a difference between the various revisions.
From what I've seen, we can find the following:

- HCS 10017 | CDI-8B | 6809 ?
- HCS 10017 | CDI / 8F | 8350
- HCS 10017 | CDI 8F | 8422
- HCS 10017 | CDI-7C | 8312
- HCS 10017 | CDI-7C | 8314
- PHILIPPINES | HCS10017

Are these numbers related to batches, production date, etc... are we 100% they are all completely swappable?
I agree the first in the list is a typo: It was manufactured in late February 1968 otherwise ....

I think the number-letter after CDI (California Devices Inc.) is just a batch/fabrication line number.

The earliest ones (83 wk 12, 83 wk 14) *could be* an earlier revision (7? 1-6 being prototyping attempts?) with the later ones (8350,8422) having had a tweak to fix something minor, being the 8th revision?

Certainly in interviews with Dr Paul Johnson it appears they received the finished ULA, plugged in, it worked. Maybe they discovered something down the track ... ? But I never came across evidence of this.

There were really early versions of the ULA around in ceramic packaging with a metal lid (not the usual plastic encapsulated) -- these would be early prototype runs to ensure it worked -- low volume -- one is pictured in Paul Kaufman's mock-up Oric prototype. I don't think anyone ever received a retail Oric with one fitted though :)

I don't know what exact chip markings were on the one sacrificed by Lance Ewing/Mike Connors that were used for the basis of the ULA reverse-engineer ...

viewtopic.php?p=17908#p17908
If it helps to peg it into a timeline, mine is either 8312 or 8314, and it's an Oric-1. 1983 aligns with my memory, our first machine was an Oric-1, then we got an Atmos when they came out new (84ish?) but we experienced compatibility issues and returned it. After that we went back to the old Oric-1. Would they have produced a new generation of ULA for the Atmos, or just continued with the same ones?

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Re: ULA versions

Post by mikeb » Sat Jan 18, 2020 5:57 pm

kaydav wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 5:28 pm
Would they have produced a new generation of ULA for the Atmos, or just continued with the same ones?
They may have sent out for more batches, to keep up with production volumes, as 83 rolled into 84, but I don't think they changed the design internally.

Oric to Atmos was: Better case and keyboard, new ROM (bug fixes, a couple of new BASIC commands), new manual, new demo tape. That's pretty much it.

I don't think they even did a new PCB for the Atmos mainboard, it's just an Oric under there.

What happened after the UK side collapsed, in European production, is beyond my knowledge, but as there are no ULAs turning up with dates beyond 1984, I guess everything was still being built from the millions of chips already made and stockpiled, and no more were made.

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Re: ULA versions

Post by Dbug » Sat Jan 18, 2020 7:54 pm

You think they made millions of ULAs?

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Re: ULA versions

Post by mikeb » Sun Jan 19, 2020 6:59 pm

Dbug wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 7:54 pm
You think they made millions of ULAs?
Well, not literally ... but as no-one counted them at the time, can you prove otherwise ;)

I don't know what the total production run was of all Oric-1 16k, 48k, ATMOS, all the derived machines being built in Europe, plus the mountain of chips lurking around Bulgaria (going onto the internet via eBay), plus the secret stashes in various private hands ...

Must be thousands, surely? Custom chips don't tend to get made in quantities of hundreds.

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