connects to: Zorro II
Rev 4.0 Card
Rev 4.1 Card
A2091 with packaging
Hi Res Version, Rev 4.0 Card
- 2478 x 1062, 604K
Hi Res Version, Rev 4.1 Card
- 2820 x 1120, 590K
Hi Res version, A2091
- 800 x 540, 80K
Hi Res version, A2091
- 800 x 582, 68K
Hi Res version, A2091
- 800 x 573, 97K
Hi Res version, A2091
- 800 x 673, 76K
Hi Res version, A2091
- 800 x 533, 105K
Hi Res version, A2091
- 800 x 645, 87K
Hi Res version, A2091
- 800 x 513, 65K

The A2091 is a full-length Zorro-II DMA SCSI hard drive controller that was originally introduced with the later revisions of the A2000HD and A2500. Because of the A2091's high availability, it is often found in A4000s, even though it performs slowly in them.

The A2091 cannot transfer data via DMA to high-mapped 32-bit Fast RAM.  If Zorro-II DMA-capable memory is not available, the driver falls back to programmed I/O transfers. In either case, this makes for extremely slow disk transfers (at worst, 50K/second; at best, no more than 1M/second). Adding memory to the A2091 (or via another Zorro II RAM card) addresses some of the issue.  There are utilities in the "hard" directory of Aminet that may help alleviate this problem. (Side note: with some of these, adding some memory on the A2091 may help by providing Zorro-II DMA-accessible memory for buffering.)

Commodore ROM revisions are a common problem with the A2091; v6.6 or later ROMs are desirable, with v7.0 being the last version (strongly recommended, and necessary for 68040 machines). Most A2091s have revision 04 of the Western Digital 33C93 SCSI controller chip; replacing this with the 08 version may clear up SCSI bus problems. (Despite common belief, the "PROTO" marking is insignificant on either version of the WD chip; version 04 or version 08 are the only significant values.)

Sixteen sockets allow for the addition of up to 2M of 16-bit Fast RAM, using CMOS 256K x 4 DRAMs (44C256) rated at 120 ns or faster. (This is not normally very useful on the A4000, since a SIMM added to the motherboard RAM sockets is simpler to obtain and install, and will operate *much* more quickly. However, it can be useful to provide memory available to the hard drive controller on the 2091, allowing for better speed as explained above.)

The hard drive power connector on the board is not a reliable way to power a card-mounted hard drive. Use the connectors attached directly to the power supply instead.

Usually looked on as a cheap (sometimes very cheap) way to access SCSI peripherals from the A4000, the A2091 is certainly better than no SCSI controller at all.

A little-known and mostly-unused function of the A2091 is a built-in XT-IDE controller. The IDE connector and LED are not installed, but visible on the board to the left and upper-right of the SCSI chip. Unfortunately, this port will only work with 8-bit (XT) IDE hard drives, not the common 16-bit AT-IDE hard drives. This option was apparently mostly used for the 20M drives supplied with the A590, the A500 hard disk option which shared the 2091 design.  The XT interface is no longer supported with the v7.0 ROMs.

A third party driver known as the GuruROM v6 was also produced for this card which provided better performance, bug fixes, and support for modern SCSI devices.  It also removes all need for DMA Mask modifications in order to support memory outside of the 24-bit DMA range (some 16-bit FastRAM is recommended for best performance)

Board Layout

| DRAM   _________  ::Memory       ...                            |___
| ||||  | Odd U12 | ::Size         LED                            |
| ||||  |_________|          ::                                   |
|        _________        :: ::                                   |#
| ||||  |Even U13 |   JP5 :: :: 50-Pin SCSI                       |# External
| ||||  |_________|   Options:: Connector                         |# SCSI
|                            ::                                   |# Port
| ||||                       ::                                   |# (DB25)
| ||||                       ::                                   |#
|                            ::                                   |
| ||||                        . Power                             |
| ||||                JP102 : : Connector                         |
     |||||||||||||||||||||||||||                                   |


JP1: Memory Size
0K: Set for no memory.
512K: Set for 512K of RAM.
1M: Set for 1M of RAM.
2M: Set for 2M of RAM.

JP2: Autoboot ROM Enable
AUTO: Set to enable autoboot from the A2091.
DIS: Set to disable autoboot from the A2091.

JP3: Interrupt Select
INT6: Select interrupt 6.
INT2: Select interrupt 2 (default, trace intact).

JP5: Options*
Option 1: LUN Enable. When On, enables scanning for Logical
Unit Numbers numbers at each physical SCSI address.
Default value: Off.
Option 2: Time-Out Length. When On, enables longer time-out
for slow-starting drives. Default: Off. (Note: When on,
this jumper disables parity during the message in phase.)
Option 3: Reserved. Factory default: Off.

*GuruROM has other purpose for the option jumpers.

JP201: WD33C93A Clock. (Undocumented/Factory use)
Position: 1/2 (default with trace intact) 7Mhz
Position: 1 & 3 14Mhz (position 1/2 trace cut) and requires driver be aware of clocking via patching or use GuruROM.

The version 7 ROM fixes the following bugs in the 6.6 ROM
- >1GB HD support
- Reselection (disconnect/reconnect) performance improved w/many bugs fixed
- Sync messages are handled
- Error handling improved
- Sync problems with Seagate/Syquest fixed
- Removable media recognition fixed
- Slow boot jumper now does a 15 second wait plus 300ms scan

The GuruROM V6 does not care which 33C93A SCSI chip is present, and can provide significant performance improvement when matched with the J201 14Mhz clock modification (with capable SCSI devices).