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Q: Unidentified Piece of Computer Hardware ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: Unidentified Piece of Computer Hardware
Category: Computers
Asked by: magisimo-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 12 Feb 2003 16:36 PST
Expires: 14 Mar 2003 16:36 PST
Question ID: 160679
Last week I found a piece of computer hardware and I'm trying to find out if
it is of any use or if I should just throw it out.  I don't know what
it is.  It's made by IBM and has the number 16F2200 on a sticker. 
After searching google I discovered that it is an ARTIC MULTIPORT/2
REALTIME CO-PROCESSOR MICROCHANNEL.  I would like to know what this
is.  What is it used for?  Can it be used in my PC?  I know that it
goes in the PCI slot.  Do I need anything (such as special software)
to use this and if so where do I get it?  Also is this a current
product or is it old?

Thank you.
Subject: Re: Unidentified Piece of Computer Hardware
Answered By: haversian-ga on 13 Feb 2003 10:59 PST
I've got to disagree with you on the PCI issue.

Microchannel is the name of a bus IBM tried to market prior to PCI
becoming mainstream.  It was technically quite excellent, offering DMA
(direct memory access), PnP (8 years before Microsoft got it more or
less working with PCI), and the like.  However, it was proprietary and
expensive, and lost in the marketplace to the public standard PCI bus.

What it is - an X.25 interface board.  There is an Intel 80186
controller chip (co-processor), and two Zilog chips running 8 serial
I/O ports.
You cannot use it in your PC because you do not have any MCA
(micro-channel architecture) slots.
Yes, you need special software.  It was shipped originally with the
part, and is no longer available.
This is not a current product. It is old.  Very old, at least in
industry terms.  Probably about 10-15 years old, though I can't find
manufacture dates for the product in question.  There are 2 SIMM
sockets.  30-pin SIMM sockets.  The evolution of memory packaging went
something like 30-pin SIMM -> 72-pin SIMM -> 72-pin FPM SIMM (fast
page mode) -> 72-pin EDO SIMM (extended data out) -> 168-pin EDO DIMM
-> 168-pin SDRAM DIMM -> 184-pin DDR SDRAM DIMM (where we're at now). 
In other words, the card is using memory technology 6 generations old.

This page gives some more information about the card itself:

Here is some information about MCA:

Some information on the X.25 protocol from the '70s:

As always, if you have more questions related to this topic, or need
to clear up something I have said, don't hesitate to request a

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