The Rough Guide to MBus Modules
Introduction Buses Modules Systems Chips Miscellany

SPARCserver-600 Series


Systems

The SS600 family consists of the SS630, SS670 and SS690, which all use the same systemboard, but in chassis that have different expansion capacities (memory-expansion boards, VME I/O boards, drive-bays, and so on).

The system-board has a 40 MHz MBus, providing two opposed slots for plug-in MBus modules: slot M1 is nearest the VME backplane connectors, slot M2 is nearest the SBus expansion slots.


Firmware Versions

Older systems may require BootPROM upgrades to be able to use newer MBus modules.

Where known, the minimum BootPROM level is listed in the module configuration table.

The last available BootPROM is version 2.14.3 from Sun, or 2.14.3H from Ross/Bridgepoint.

WARNING:
The 2.14.3 and 2.14.3H PROMs have real behavioural differences.

The Ross 2.14.3H PROM enables RT620D-based HyperSPARC modules. The Sun 2.14.3 PROM does not.

Some intermediate PROM revisions (2.7, 2.8, 2.10) had "issues" with some CPU modules. Maladies included hard hangs and severely reduced performance. If you are using SM100 CPU modules and have PROM 2.5, then stick with it. Otherwise, use PROM 2.14.3 or 2.14.3H if at all possible.


Overheating

All models in the SS600 series have a generous power-supply, so overstressing it is very unlikely.

However, the internal VME cardcage that houses the systemboard is usually covered top-and-bottom by a close-fitted metal plate, thus using very hot MBus modules may be somewhat risky, depending on the amount of airflow that the chassis fans can generate across the systemboard.

Trying to increase the airflow though the VME cardcage (eg: using additional external fans) would be tricky, and is probably not practical.

One possible alternative would be to locate the 6U systemboard in a different VME slot, leaving the original slot empty, so that there would be a greater distance between the cover of the cardcage and the CPU modules. However, it may be that some functionality may be lost (for instance, the internal peripheral-device buses might only be routed to a single particular cardcage slot).

Configurations rated as very hot are probably best avoided.

Also, the ZX (Leo) SBus graphics card generates a huge amount of heat - if you have a ZX card installed, you should also avoid configurations rated fairly hot.

Prolonged disregard for the above guidelines is likely to result in damage:

NOTE:
The heat-ratings are normalised against an ambient air temperature of upto 30 Celcius. If the external air temperature is above 30 Celcius, you should take extra care.


Other Issues

Configurations using a single CPU module must locate it in slot M1.

Single-width modules installed in slot M2 block one of the SBus slots. Double-width modules in slot M2 block two SBus slots.


MBus Module Configuration Table

Specific part-numbers are only listed where significant.

See also: General Module Configuration Rules, which also covers mixed-module configurations.

Note: some configurations have particular caveats, such as failing to provide the level of performance that one might intuitively expect, or dangerous overheating, and so on. Such configurations are marked with a footnote-number in square brackets.

Note: in the table, references to PROM version 2.14.3 means that both (Sun) 2.14.3 and (Ross) 2.14.3H are acceptable. References specifically to 2.14.3H exclude (Sun) 2.14.3.

Module Type No. of
(identical)
Modules
Functional? Min. PROM level
CYM6001K 1 yes [10] 2.5
2 no n/a
SM100 1 yes 2.5
2
SM20
SM21
SM30
1 no n/a
2
SM40
501-2219
501-2295
1 probably 2.8?
2 no n/a
SM40
501-2358
501-2570
1 yes 2.8?
2 probably 2.14.3
SM41
(33MHz)
501-2318
1 no n/a
2
SM41
501-1714
501-2258
501-2270
501-2359
1 yes 2.8
2 2.8.2
SM52 1 yes  [1]  [8] (2.10.3?)
2 no n/a
SM52X 1 maybe  [1] (2.10.3?)
2 no n/a
SM520 1 yes  [1] 2.10
2 no n/a
SM521 1 yes  [2] 2.10
2 no n/a
SM50 1 yes  [3] 2.10.3?
2
SM51
SM61
1 yes 2.10.3
2
SM51-2
SM61-2
1 very probably  [5] (2.10.3)
2
SM71
SM81
1 yes  [6] 2.14.3
2
SM81-2 1 yes  [5]  [6] 2.14.3?
2
SM91-2 1 probably  [5]  [9] 2.14.3?
2
HMx1S-256 1 no n/a
2
HM55any-256
HM66any-256
HM72any-256
HM80S-256
1 yes 2.10
2
HM90any-256
HM100S-256
HM100D-256
HM110any-256
HM125any-256
1 yes 2.14.3
2
HM100W-256 1 yes  [1] 2.14.3
2 no n/a
HM110any-1024
HM125any-512
HM125any-1024
HM133S-512
HM142S-1024
1 unknown (2.14.3)
2
HM133D-512
HM150S-512
HM166S-512
1 unknown (2.14.3)
2 unknown  [7]
HM142W-1024
HM150W-512
1 unknown  [1] (2.14.3)
2 no n/a
HM150D-512 1 unknown (2.14.3)
2 unknown  [8]
HM180S-512
HM180D-512
HMx4.5S-512
1 yes 2.14.3H
2
HMx4S-512
HMx4D-512
1 probably  [4] (2.14.3H)
2

Footnotes:
1.
Module only fits in slot M1.
2.
Module only fits in slot M2.
3.
CPU runs underclocked, at 40MHz.
4.
If these CPUs are recognised at all, they would run underclocked, at 160MHz.
5.
Only 1Mb of the 2Mb per-module cache memory would be used.
6.
These modules draw a lot of current; Sun have warned that they draw maybe more power than the SS600 MBus is really good for; some respondents report no problems with long-term use in the SS600 series.
7.
Fairly hot. Generally OK, but see Overheating.
8.
Very hot. Safe enough if caution taken. See Overheating.
9.
These modules probably draw more power than the SS600 MBus is really good for. You have been warned.
10.
Although the CYM6001K module works in the SS600 at the hardware and MBus level, Solaris 2.4 and later releases do not quite work on such a configuration. Earlier Solaris releases, or SunOS 4.x, may behave differently.

Introduction Buses Modules Systems Chips Miscellany
Mike Spooner, revised 3rd November 2003