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ACOM Electronics  -  P188  8088 CPU Board 

This board was the only S-100 board ACOM made.  That said, it arrived early (1981) in the S-100 bus 16-bit era and had many jumpers to allow it to be configured as a stand alone, or slave board, in many systems.  The board worked fine with in an all static RAM system but had to be modified to work with some dynamic RAM systems. 

ACOM 8088 Board

The P188 was a board to put an 8088 processor on a standard S100 bus. The board ran in 3 modes, allowing maximum flexibility in S100 systems of different configurations. The board emulated all necessary S100 bus signals. Numerous jumpers allow the configuration of the card to run different operating modes, as well as with static and dynamic memory.

The 8088 processor was from four to six times more powerful than an 8080A. Providing 5 MHz processing speed, with an external bus of 8 bits, it had a 16-bit internal architecture. Also, 8-bit and 16-bit signed and unsigned arithmetic in binary or decimal, including multiply and divide. The 8088 addressed 1 megabyte of memory. The 8088 was an 8086 with an 8-bit external data bus instead of a 16-bit bus. In applications that manipulate 8-bit quantities extensively, or that are execution-bound, the 8088 can approach to within 10% of the 8086's processing throughput. With pipelined architecture, allowing instructions to be perfected during spare bus cycles, and internal 16-bit data path, and a compact instruction format, the 8088 realizes its high performance.

The ACOM P188 board operated in 3 modes:
1. As a stand-alone processor on the S100 bus
2. As a slave processor to a Z80, 8080 or other S100 processors
3. In a multi-processor mode with one or more additional processors on the bus

As a slave processor to a second processor card on the bus, control can be transferred via software commands. When the "transfer command line" on the board is activated, the P188 will issue a HOLD command. Upon receipt of a HOLD ACK from the master processor, the P188 will take over the bus and start executing instructions at memory location FFFF0H. The P188 can transfer control back to the master processor by releasing the transfer control line. It is necessary for the transfer control line to be driven by an I/O port external to the P188. It could also be controlled from an external switch as well as an I/O port.

In systems where it was necessary to have 2 or more processors that can become masters, the P188 could be jumped to allow all interface lines to be removed from the bus. It was necessary for the other processors in the system to also be able to remove all lines from the bus. This can be accomplished on most existing processor boards at the time with a slight modification. Thus, implementing a true multi-processor environment.

The bus interface of the P188 allowed for 48 mille-amp output current sink. They performed well in large systems with or without bus terminators. Also, all control inputs had an RC filter and Schmitt-trigger to improve noise margins.

An LED indicator on the P188 card (top right) was on when it was in control of the bus. Two prototype IC locations were provided on the card to help implement special requirements. A 26'pin connector was provided on top of the card to interface auxiliary control functions, such as the transfer command line.

The manual for this board was very helpful in putting together a 8/16 bit S-100 system and provided simple code to switch CPU's. It also describes how to modify the board for dynamic RAM systems.
The manual and schematic for this board can be obtained here.


ACOM Electronics  S-100 Boards
8088 CPU Board


This page was last modified on 10/25/2013