Scor­pio News


October–December 1987 – Volume 1. Issue 4.

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Gemini GM886 – Intel 80286 80-BUS CPU Board

Gemini have announced the imminent availability of an 80-BUS 80286 based CPU board – they are saying October. Price is to be £525 (+VAT). Below ls the brief specification, extracted from the technical notes that Gemini have released so far.

This product has the following principle features:–

  • 80286 CPU running at 8 MHz (Optional 12 MHz) Clock Frequency
  • 1 Megabyte of Dynamic RAM (with No Wait State Operation via “interleaving” memory access)
  • 64KB of EPROM Memory
  • 8250 Serial Port UART – compatible with IBM software
  • CMOS Battery Supported Real Time Calendar Clock
  • Operates in both Real (8086) and PVM memory modes
  • Dual Parallel Port – with printer Handshake option
  • Full Interrupt Control of peripherals, including 80-BUS peripherals
  • Option of Advanced DMA Controller to improve transfer rates
  • Full Memory and I/O interface to 80-BUS – including Word Transfers
  • Port conversion – addressing ports 340H-342H will access 80-BUS ports A0H and A1H. For running IBM Pluto software.
  • Pull speed 80287 Numeric Co-Processor operation possible
  • 80-BUS interface port – allows Dual Processor operation
  • Reset Control facility
  • Full RS-232C interface and Handshakes
  • Will run MS-DOS Operating System and Applications (* see Ed’s notes below)

Editor’s Notes on new 80-BUS Products

In this issue there are articles describing three new 80-BUS CPU boards. As none of these products is actually in production as I write this, past experience tells me that there may well be changes to their specifications, even if only minor, before they are generally available.

I trust that the articles have whetted appetite, but would strongly recommend that you obtain firm specifications from the manufacturers or their dealers before committing yourself to a purchase. It may well be that there are limitations as to what other 80-BUS boards may be used in the system with these new products (e.g. you may HAVE to have am SVC rather than an IVC, or a GM849A rather than a GM809, GM829 or GM849, etc.), so do check first

As far as the GM886 80286 board is concerned, the level of software compatibility will have to be taken into consideration. There is little doubt that this will be a high performance product, and you will be able to run the MS-DOS Operating System. However, because of the very nature of the rest of the 80-BUS system around this new board, particularly the video side, this means that there must be some limitations as to what MS-DOS applications can be run. Do NOT expect to be able to run the infamous Flight Simulator program !

Please note that the above few paragraphs are included here, not to put you off purchasing the boards, but to make sure that you make yourself aware that what you may be purchasing will do what you want. Happy shopping!

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