It's amazing what people keep. Bob Mitton forwarded me this collection of frame buffer history files from the late 1980s. It's more for curiosity than actual useful value, but if you ever need to know your TAAC from your Flamingo, then here you go.
If you hang around the multimedia ambassador alias for long enough, periodically it will turn into a version of Monty Python's "Four Yorkshiremen" sketch. "Eee, when I were a lad we 'ad none o' that fancy double buffering. Twenty four bits? We were 'appy wi' one!"
This is an insight into those halcyon days, when frame buffers were the size of motherboards, cursors could be as big as you like, and the Sparc chip was only used for graphics processing.
Updated in 1998 with input from another former Sun graphics veteran and colleague - Craig Alsop. I know it's a mess and needs a rewrite. I'd be happy to let someone else to do it.
cg1/bw1: device name : "/dev/cgoneX" "/dev/bwoneX"
The color and monochrome framebuffer of sun100u. It is not a crime not knowing anything about these. (and this was 7 years ago!)
bw2: device name : "/dev/bwtwoX"
The standard monochrome framebuffer for almost every workstations. Most likely on the cpu board.
(bwtwo0)128K; 66hz 3/50, 3/60 .. common mono fb The obmem entry in the kernel config file distinguishes bwtwo on different machines. This is generally true for all framebuffers.
(bwtwo1) overlay plane on P4 fb's
gp: device name: "/dev/gponeX"
The famous graphics processor using the GPSI software interface. Use GB to do z-buffering. A VME-16 device.
gp+: device name: "/dev/gponeX"
A gp with a bigger microstore.
gp2: device name: "/dev/gponeX"
A better version of GP+ with GB on the same board.
cg2: device name: "/dev/cgtwoX"
The 8-bit color board with hardware ropping. Another VME device.
The CG2 was was introduced in April 1985. It has rasterop capabilities. It was the main color frame buffer used in Sun-2/160's. A CG2 has 4 BNC connectors on the back of the board. The CG2 has hardware capable of doing full screen pan and zoom. However, this hardware needs consulting special software.
CG2 supports 16bit access only so its not supported on Sun4.
cg3: 501-1116 Sun3/4 VME. Primarily Sun3. device name: "/dev/cgtwoX"
Introduced April 1986. The CG3 is sometimes referred to as the "Sun-3 color frame buffer board".
The CG3 behaves like the CG2, but has a couple of extras. E.g. the CG3 be populated with an extra frame buffer to make it double-buffered. Double buffering is fully supported in pixrects and SunView 1 in releases 3.5 and 4.0. Double buffered CG3s are software compatible with double buffered CG5s.
The CG3 is much faster than the CG2 because it uses video RAMs. The performance difference is > 50% for some common operations.
Almost all of the CG3 boards have 5 BNC connectors, though some of the early ones have only four.
Only have one CG2 or CG3 is supported in a system at one time. To put more than one in a system needs a hardware specialist to cut traces on the board.
cg3 (ECD): device name: "/dev/cgthreeX"
The cgthree is the name of the Roadrunner frame buffer. This is a simple 8 bit indexed colour frame buffer. The cgthree ONLY occurs on the Roadrunner. It isn't compatible with any other machine, and must use the "cgthree" device driver.
device cgthree0 at obmem ? csr 0xA0400000 # 386i
cg4: device name: "/dev/cgfour0"
Project name: Prism The dumb 8-bit color frame buffer with overlay and enable planes. Found in 3/110C, 3/60C, 4/110C and 4/150C. This is the first one using the "P4" bus.
The 10-bit deep frame buffer found on the CPU board of the Sun-3/110, and as an option to the Sun-3/60 and Sun-4/110. The 10 bits on the frame buffer are: 8-bits color frame buffer, 1 bit monochrome frame buffer and 1 bit enable plane, which determines which bits of the colour and mono planes are displayed.
For a Sun-4/110, Sun-3/60 and other machines with a P4 connector the CG4 frame buffer is a daughter-board. Note that no GP can be added to the CG4. There is no rasterop hardware on the CG4 frame buffer. The CG4 will "probably" be on all desktop P4 type products. The device driver for the CG4 is called "cgfour".
device cgfour0 at obmem 4 csr 0xff000000 priority 4
Color frame buffer built into the 3/110 cpu board
device cgfour0 at obmem 7 csr 0xff300000 priority 4
This is the P4 bus color frame buffer for the 3/60 and 4/110
device cgfour0 at obmem 7 csr 0xff400000 priority 4
The color frame buffer normally found on the 3/60
cg5: device name: "/dev/cgtwoX"
The 8-bit color board with hardware ropping and double buffering option. Design to work with GP2 thru the P2 connector of the VME bus. Binary compatible with cg3 and cg2.
Has been shipping since March 14 88. (Only CG5 and CG9 work with GP2). The CG5 is also compatible with the GP/GP+. It can be put in slots 7-12 without the GP2, or in slots 10-12 if it is being used with the GP2 (needs P2 bus) It has h/w double buffering on-board. It uses the "cgtwo" device driver.
cg5 (ECD): device name: "/dev/cgfiveX"
Project name: RoadRacer The accelerated frame buffer (2D/3D) for Sun386i systems.
Roadracer - frame buffer accelerator for the Intel architectures. Specifically accelerates windows and 2D vectors via pixrects. Very good text aceleration - 10x, most graphics 2 - 3x cgthree performance. Combines Sun's own SPRINT ASIC and the Ti34010 graphics processor at 50Mhz. Marketing designation is GXi. This is not the same as LEGO. Needs PROM rev 4.3 or later. Shipped autumn 89.
Accelerated frame buffer driver, dynamically loaded
from the rc.local file:
modload cgfive.o -exec cgfive.script
cg6: device name: "/dev/cgsix0"
Project name: LEGO (Low End Graphics Option) The accelerated 2D framebuffer, the future of Sun graphics. A P4 or/and S4 device.
cg7: device name: "/dev/cgseven0"
Project name: LEGO-3D The 3D version of cg6. Also P4/S4.
cg8: device name: "/dev/cgeight0"
Project name: Ibis The dumb 24-bit framebuffer with overlay and enable planes. Avaiable only on 4/110TC or 4/150TC. Another P4 device. No S4 version considered.
Shipped summer 89 with SunOS4.0.2_CG8, code named IBIS. Will work with all P4 machines except 3/60's - psu problem here. In fact 32 bit fb but offers 24 bits colour, 1 bit mono and 1 bit enable. No acceleration or Rop support.
device cgeight0 at obmem ? csr 0x50300000 priority 4
cg9: device name: "/dev/cgnineX"
Project name: Crane The VME version of cg8 with hardware bitblting. Designed to work with GP2 to get accelerated 24-bit performance.
VME size CG8 with Rop support and interpolation support. (Helps drawing Gouraud shaded polygons etc.) h/w double buffering. Marketed with GP2 as GXP. GP2/CG9 is THE h/w support for Phigs+ features. Its the device that accelerates more of Phigs+ than any other. It still has problems however. Really an interim product until combined GP2/CG9, code name FALCON, could be produced. This never happened. Shipped autumn 89.
device cgnine0 at vme32d32 ? csr 0x08000000 priority 4
vector cgnineintr 0xaa
like cg8, but talks to GP2 sun3,sun4 VME. With GP2 is called GXP machine. 24 (really 32) bit frame buffer. ie 16million different colours available simultaneously . Why ? Dunno - you only have a million pixels ! This thing is TROUBLE.
cg10: device name: "/dev/cgthreeX"
8-bit colour fb on the Campus.
tv1: device name: "/dev/tvoneX"
Project name: Flamingo The first video mixing board allowing live video under windowing environment. A VME-32 device.
TAAC 501-1383/1447 Sun3/4
VX, MVX Expensive VME IP parallel pipe board Never worked properly, recalled after a year in the field
The TAAC-1 will work with the CG3, CG4, CG6 or CG5 ONLY for single monitor configurations (that is, when TAAC-1 video appears in a Sun window). TAAC can run without a Sun Framebuffer and its also possible to have both TAAC and Sun Frame buffer displaying to different monitors within the same machine. Note TAAC consists of two VME slots BUT, owing to size it takes up 3 slots.
device taac0 at vme32d32 ? csr 0x28000000
Bits/ Compatible Resolution/Timing Pixel Bus Workstations ----------------- ----- --- ------------ 1152x900x66.7Hz 1 VME 3E(6U card) 1152x900x66.7Hz 8 VME 3E(6U card) 1600x1280x66.7Hz (1) 1 "P2" 386i 1152x900x66.7Hz 1 P4 3/60, Cobra, Stingray, & 1600x1280x66.7Hz Sunray, Pegasus, Hydra 1152x900x66.7Hz 8+1+1 P4 3/60, Cobra, Stingray, (cg4) Sunray, Pegasus 1152x900x66.7Hz 1 P4 Hydra (SEAM) 1152x900x66.7Hz 8+1+1 P4 3/60, Cobra, Stingray, (cg4 + 13W3 conn.) Sunray, Pegasus, Hydra 1024x768x66.7Hz (2) 1 "P2" 386i 1152x900x66.7Hz (2) 1 "P2" 386i 1024x768x66.7Hz (3) 8 "P2" 386i 1152x900x66.7Hz (3) 8 "P2" 386i 1024x768x66.7Hz (4) 8 "P2" 386i & 1152x900x66.7Hz (RoadRacer) 1600x1280x66.7Hz (5) 1 Sbus Campus This is an ECL frame buffer. 1152x900x66.7Hz (5) 1 Sbus Campus This is an analog frame buffer for use with new analog monochrome monitors. 1152x900x66.7Hz (5) 8 Sbus Campus 1152x900x66.7Hz 8 P4 3/60, Cobra, Stingray, (Lego P4) Sunray, Pegasus 1152x900x66.7Hz 8 Sbus Campus (Lego Sbus) 1152x900x66.7Hz 24+1+1 P4 Cobra, Stingray, (Ibis P4) Sunray, Pegasus 1152x900x66.7Hz 8 VME lots (cg2, cg3) 1152x900x66.7Hz 8 DB VME lots (cg5) 1152x900x66.7Hz 24+1+1 VME lots (Crane) 1152x900x72Hz 24+1+1 Sbus Campus & 1152x900x66.7Hz & others TBD (Ibis Sbus) 1280x1024x72Hz 24+ VME Stingray et al & 1152x900x66.7Hz (Falcon) 1280x1024x72Hz 24++ Moon Sunray (Hawk) shine+ 1152x900x66.7Hz 24 VME Sirius et al & others (programmable) (TAAC 1) 1152x900x66.7Hz 24 VME Sirius et al & others (programmable) (JET)Notes:
Used in Multibus systems - both Sun-1s and Sun-2s.
CG2, cgtwo and CG3
The CG2 and CG3 are big Sun-standard-sized VME boards. The "CG2" is sometimes written "cgtwo".
The CG2 was was introduced in April 1985. It has some rasterop capabilities. It was the main color frame buffer used in Sun-2s. A CG2 has 4 BNC connectors on the back of the board. (BNC connectors are those round connectors that connect the frame buffer board to the monitor.) The CG2 has hardware capable of doing full screen pan and zoom. However, this hardware was disabled because of a legal issue.
The zoom/pan hardware was not disabled. It works fine with appropriate software (which was not released). Note that the CG2 is not supported on Sun-4s (since it doesn't support 32 bit accesses).
Approximately a year later (around April 1986?), a new frame buffer was released, named the CG3 (NOT cgthree - that's different). The CG3 is sometimes referred to as the "Sun-3 color frame buffer board". Most Sun-3s with color frame buffers use this board.
The CG3 behaves pretty much the same as the CG2, but the CG3 has a couple of extra features the CG2 doesn't have. For example, you can, by special order, have the CG3 be populated with an extra frame buffer to make it double-buffered. However, there is currently no software supplied by Sun which uses this feature.
Double buffering is fully supported (well, modulo bugs) in pixrects and SunView 1 in releases 3.5 and 4.0. Double buffered CG3s are software compatible with double buffered CG5s.
More importantly, the CG3 is much faster than the CG2 because it is built out of video RAMs. The performance difference is > 50% for some common operations.
Almost all of the CG3 boards have 5 BNC connectors, though some of the early ones have 4 BNC connectors. If you know your frame buffer is either a CG2 or a CG3, and it has 5 BNC connectors, then it's a CG3.
You can only have one CG2 or CG3 in a system at one time. To put more than one in a system, you need a hardware special since you need to cut traces on the board (to change addressing).
You can also put a CG2 or CG3 in Sun-4/110 and Sun-4/2XX systems.
The CG2 and CG3 both use the "cgtwo" device driver.
The cgthree is the name of the Roadrunner frame buffer. The cgthree frame buffer is ONLY on the Roadrunner. It isn't compatible with any other frame buffer, and must use the "cgthree" device driver. I'm not sure the reason it was called "cgthree", when there was already a "CG3".
cgthree was the next available name. CG3 was a hardware code name, with no customer significance.
The 10-bit deep frame buffer found on the CPU board of the Sun-3/110, and is an option to the Sun-3/60 and Sun-4/110. The 10 bits on the frame buffer are: 8-bits color frame buffer, 1 bit monochrome frame buffer, and 1 bit that tells it which (between the color and monochrome) frame buffer to display (this bit is called the "enable" bit).
For a Sun-4/110 and Sun-3/60, the CG4 frame buffer is a daughter-board that connects to the CPU board off the P4 bus.
Note that no GP can be added to the CG4.
There is no rasterop hardware on the CG4 frame buffer.
The CG4 will "probably" be on all desktop P4 type products.
The device driver for the CG4 is called "cgfour".
Has been shipping since March 14 1988. Can work with the GP2 (the CG2, CG3, and CG4 don't work with the GP2).
The CG5 is also compatible with the GP/GP+.
It can be put in slots 7-12 without the GP2, or in slots 10-12 if it is being used with the GP2.
It has double buffering on-board.
It uses the "cgtwo" device driver.