Exploring the Timex/Sinclair 1000’s Sinclair Logic Chip (SCL)

General Chit Chat about Sinclair Computers and their Clones
David G
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Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2014 7:58 am
Location: 21 North, 156 West

Re: Exploring the Timex/Sinclair 1000’s Sinclair Logic Chip (SCL)

Post by David G »

Moggy wrote: Mon Sep 05, 2022 10:28 pmAlso some Ferranti literature concerning the 2000 series ULA's

https://archive.org/details/FerrantiULA ... t/mode/2up
I hadn't seen that one before. It's interesting as it includes example circuits and the number of each type that can but put on the ULA (example, 34 equivalents of the 74190 bidirectional parallel/serial chip)

no wonder the ZX81 could be produced so inexpensively. It's ULA/SCL was basically the whole ZX80 circuitry on one chip

ULA was the forerunner of FPGA
the initial application of a ULA integrated circuit involving a camera from Rollei in 1972
David G
Posts: 387
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2014 7:58 am
Location: 21 North, 156 West

Exploring the ULA - Part 3

Post by David G »

from SINCUS NEWS VOL VII: NO. 3 (March/April 1989) pages 5-9
by Don Lamen, SINCUS

PART III, Conclusion

Note: In Part I, Nov/Dec 88, under the section titled "The SCL Chip", there is a list of circuits and/or functions af the chip. This final installment continues with (h) Internal Data Latch and goes to the conclusion. On the last page is a drawing of (f) Internal Date Bus.

Proposed Function Diagram of the ULA 2C1484E Chip - SCL

Internal Data Latch:

The Internal Data Latch is a 6 bit latch which latches in the data on Data Bus Lines D0 through D5 during Dot Cycle 3 (Code 1 AND 2 AND NOT 4). The latched data is outputted to the Address Lines A3' through A8' as part of the address to access the Dot Pattern from the ROM during Dot Cycles 6 & 7 (Code 2 AND 4).

No-Op Generator:

The No-Op Generator consists of eight inverters which forces all eight of the Data Bus Lines to 0 during Dot Cycles 4 & 5 (Code NOT 2 AND 4), just in time for the Z-80 to READ. 00000000 BINARY is the NOP instruction. This causes the microprocessor to fetch the next instruction, which is actually the next byte of data in the Data-File.

Two Shift Registers:

The Shift-Registers are alternated by bit 4 of the first counter of the Main Timing Chain (Mux Circuit). They are 8 bit shift-registers. The contents of one shift-register is being shifted out, while the other one is inhibited. When the contents of the active shift-register is shifted out the most significant bit is shifted out first and as each bit is shifted out a zero is shifted in via the serial input. The inhibited shift-register is loaded with the contents of the Data Bus during Dot Cycle 7 (Code 1 AND 2 AND 4).

I/O Input Port FE:

The Input Port FE as far as I can tell is a 7 bit port. Bit 0 through Bit 4 monitors the keyboard. Bit 6 recieves it's input from Pin 22 (USA/UK). Bit 7 recieves it's input from Pin 20: (TAPE-IN). I have not found any use being made of Bit 5 in conjunction with Input Port FE. If Bit 5 is not used with this port then it's value should always be '1', while reading the keyboard or inputing tape data, as all Data Lines are pulled high by resistors.

Output Buffer To ROM: (ROM Driver)

The Output Buffer is a 9 Bit Tri-State Buffer which supplies part of an address to access a Dot Patern from the ROM. The rest of the address is supplied by the Microprocessor when it puts the Refresh Address on the main address lines, and comes from the Interrupt Register. The format of the whole address is:

Code: Select all

   I Reg. A15-A9   Char. Code A8'-A3'   Scan Count A2'-A0'

Code: Select all

   I*256+CODE* 8+COUNT

I/O Decoder:

The I/O Decoder is very primitive. It samples only 5 pins; A0, A1, NOT IORQ, NOT RD, and NOT WR. It performs the following functions:

1. When A0 = 0 AND NOT RD = 0 AND NOT IORQ = 0
a) It turns on the Frame Sync Generator
b) It enables Input Port FE
c) As a result of the Frame Sync being on it holds the Scan Counter in the Reset state until the Frame Sync is turned OFF.

2. When NOT IORQ = 0 AND NOT WR = 0 any output will:
a) Turn the Frame Sync Generator OFF and release the Scan Line Counter.
b) Flash the TV screen.

3. When A0 = 0 AND NOT WR = 0 AND NOT IORQ = 0 the SCL ON-OFF Flip-Flop will be set enabling the Non-Maskable Interrupt Circuit.

4. When A1 = 0 AND NOT WR = 0 AND NOT IORQ = 0 the SCL ON-OFF Flip-Flop will be reset disabling the Non-Maskab!e Interrupt Circuit.

Non-Maskable Interrupt Generator:

The Non-Maskable Interrupt Generator consists of the SCLON-OFF Flip-Flop and a 2-input NAND gate. When the SCL ON-OFF Flip-Flop is set the NAND gate is enabled allowing the Horizontal Sync signal to pass on to Pin 15 (NOT NMI).

Wait Circuits

This circuit is outside the SCL Chip on the P. C. Board and built around transistor TR-1. When the NOT MI signal is Low and the NOT HALT Signal is High, this circuit will pull the NOT WAIT pin of the Z-80 Low generating wait states until the Horizontal Sync signal goes Low.

Frame Sync Generator:

The Frame Sync Generator is a SET-RESET Flip-Flop. It's Q output generates a signal for the Vertical Sync Pulse and goes to the Video Combiner Circuit. The NOT Q output supplies the reset for the Scan Line Counter. See I/O Decoder.
David G
Posts: 387
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2014 7:58 am
Location: 21 North, 156 West

Exploring the ULA - CONCLUSION

Post by David G »

from SINCUS NEWS VOL VII: NO. 3 (March/April 1989) page 8
* These values are Taken from a working circuit but the
SCL may have different values or a different circuit.

Video Combiner & Inverter Circuit:

The Video Combiner and Inverter Circuit has 5 inputs and 1 output.
The inputs are:
a) Horizontal Sync Pulse
b) Vertical (Frame) Sync Pulse
c) Output from Shift-Register 1
d) Output from Shift-Register 2
e) The NORMAL/INVERSE signal

The output is the composite video signal to Pin 16, which supplies both the video signal for the TV and the signal for TAPE IN.

Inputs(a) and (b) are XORed together and inverted to form the composite sync signal. Inputs (c) and (d) are ORed together and passed to one input of a 2-input XOR gate. The input (e) goes to the other input of the XOR gate. The output Signal of this XOR gate is also inverted to form the video portion of the composite video signal. The video and sync signals are next summed together producing the Composite Video signal, which goes to Pin 16.

ROM/RAM Select Circuit:

The ROM/RAM Select Circuit is a simple circuit which operates as follows:
a) When NOT MREQ (Pin 9) is Low and A14 (Pin 11) is also Low NOT ROM CS’ (Pin 13) is Low and NOT RAM CS' is High. This enables the ROM and disable the RAM.

b) When NOT MREQ is Low and A14 is High NOT ROM CS' is High and NOT RAM CS' is Low. This enables the RAM and disables the ROM.

c) When NOT MREQ is High both the ROM and the RAM are disabled.


This concludes my description of the functions of the SCL Chip. At this time I wish to remind you that this entire article is pure speculation based upon my studies of the ROM routines. However, I do believe that my speculations are very close to the actual architecture of the chip and can be used for practical purposes.

Don Lamen, SINCUS

Simulation of SCL Chip's Internal Data Bus
Simulation of SCL Chip's Internal Data Bus
Simulation of SCL Chip's Internal Data Bus

This ends a three part series of data and artwork on the SCL chip found in the TS1000 by Donald Lamen. If you have any questions or comments on the series, contact Don at; RD3 - Box 3404, Windsor, New York 13665

Thanks from SINCUS Don, that was quite an effort putting together all this data in word and art form, documenting your search for what's in that *#$%& chip, with no help from the manufactor or Sinclair— ed.
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