SUMMARY: VME to Sbus connection

Date: Thu May 28 1992 - 02:46:18 CDT

Here is my original query. The concensus is that while the hardware can be
connected, there are no drivers around to take advantage of this. Also, the
cost of connection is usually not warranted.

Thanks to all those who replied, Michael (

> Is it possible to take some VME based drives (SMD I think) off a 3/160 and
> use them in an IPX? To whit, does anyone know of a VME-SBUS converter?
> If there is such a beast, are there any particular funnies I should know
> about (Supported OS Revs, patches, drivers etc)?


From: (Daniel Strick)
Subject: Re: VME to SBUS adapter

There are several brands. For disk drives, none of them are worth
either the expense or the hassle. Buy a modern SCSI drive and toss
out the old SMD drives.

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From: (Russ Poffenberger)
Subject: Re: VME to SBUS adapter

There are several companies doing sbus to VME adapters. S3 is one that comes
to mind. I can look them up if you want.

This is all probably futile though, I seriously doubt, even if you can get
the SMD controller on the VME bus through sbus, that the XD driver will
work on a Sun-4c architecture. In fact, I will lay good money that it

In addition, these adapters are anything but cheap (~$2500).

Russ Poffenberger DOMAIN:
Schlumberger Technologies UUCP: {uunet,decwrl,amdahl}!sjsca4!poffen
1601 Technology Drive CIS: 72401,276
San Jose, Ca. 95110 Voice: (408)437-5254 FAX: (408)437-5246

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From: kalli!kevin@fourx.Aus.Sun.COM (Kevin Sheehan {Consulting Poster Child})
Subject: VME to SBus

Drivers are the killer - 'taint no such critters at the moment. But there
are plenty of SBus to VME adaptors on the market. BIT3, Performance Tech.,
and at least two others. I can get you US details, but you should check
with one of the local H/W distributors.

The main problem is that the VME drivers are the MB style device driver,
and the IPX uses the devinfo style driver. Perhaps in Solaris 2.0 aka
SVR4 they will have a unified enough scheme for the DDI/DKI stuff that
you'll have a chance.

                l & h,

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From: (Fabrice Guerini)
Subject: Re: VME to SBUS adapter

There are a few products that provides SBus-VME expansion:

       Bit 3 Computer
       Model 466 SBus-A32/B32 VME adapter, SBus card + 6U VME card
        8120 Penn Avenue South
        Minneapolis, MN 55431-1393
       (612)881-6955, fax (612)881-9674

       National Instruments
       SB-200 SBus to VME adaptor
       (512)794-0100, fax (512)794-5569

       Performance Technologies
       SBus-VME adapter + 6U VME card
       (716) 586-6727, fax (716)586-6707

       Solflower Computer Inc.
       SFVME-100 SBus to VME Bus Link
       (408) 456-5055, fax (408) 456-0625

Now, what you want is something that will talk to your SMD controller. I
asked a similar question to the net a while ago. Here is the summary:

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Date: Fri, 3 Jan 92 09:58:10 PST
From: (Fabrice Guerini)
Subject: Summary: SBus/SMD Controller

My original question:

> Simple question: Is there an SBus-based SMD controller card that would drive
> disks such as Fujitsu M2382K ?

The general consensus is that there exists no such product. Most people
suggested that I use an SBus/VME adaptor. One other person (Aydin Edguer)
mentioned an Adaptec SCSI/SMD card. Half of the messages I got were
"Me Too!" messages, which is common, when I exhaust all other channels
to post a question on sun-managers (or is it "sun-emergencies" now ? :-)

Here is a summary of the responses:

From: Aydin Edguer <>
Date: Fri, 6 Dec 91 21:43:49 EST

According to the August Sun-Flash SBus List from (July 30, 1991) there
are no such products available. There are however a number of SBus-to-VME
bus adapters which might help out.

Date: Sat, 07 Dec 91 16:53:03 -0600

Performance Technologies is selling an SBUS-VMEBus adaptor and a
driver that purportedly will work with a Sun-supplied VME Xylogics
driver, etc.

From: kevins@Aus.Sun.COM (Kevin Sheehan)
Date: Sun, 8 Dec 1991 18:03:40 +1100

One way I've seen is to get an SBus to VME converter. Some drivers work
with them, some need mods, but I have seen it done.

Date: Mon, 9 Dec 91 08:44:56 PST

This is a good question since Sun will stop support of SMD with
SVR4, even with their VME based server models.

From: John DiMarco <>
Date: Mon, 9 Dec 1991 14:36:11 -0500

Solflower corp has an SBUS-to-VME card which should let you use your existing
VME-bus SMD controllers.

From: mc%miranda%mocvax@elroy.Jpl.Nasa.Gov (Mike Caplinger)
Date: Mon, 9 Dec 91 17:22:08 PST

There is no such thing in the current Catalyst listing; the closest
one could come would be an SBus-VME adapter chassis, then a regular
VME SMD controller card like the Xylogics 753.

Given that SMD is pretty much dead these days, there doesn't seem to
be much incentive to develop an SBus card, but I could be wrong.

From: Aydin Edguer <>
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 91 20:34:22 EST

       I was just reading through the comp.periphs.scsi newsgroup and
came across the following article. While it is not an SBus SMD controller,
it would at least let you use your drives on the new SPARCstations...


- From: (pat lacour/xdm6)
- Message-ID: <>
- Subject: Re: SMD <-> SCSI
- > I have been told that the Adaptec 5580 is the interface card that
- >I need to use in order to convert an SMD drive to work on a SCSI bus.
- The Adaptec 5580 is the card you need. I just bought one from Mike Mak at
- Weird Stuff Warehouse in Sunnyvale,CA. (408)746-1100. It cost me $80 plus
- shipping and he has more. The board can control 4 SMD drives if the "A"
- cables are daisy chained. The board outputs a 50 pin (male) Centronics(?)
- SCSI port. I haven't got it working yet because I'm awaiting power specs
- and a Centronics to SCSI cable. The power looks like standard PC power
- supply plug.


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-- ,
Fabrice Guerini DOMAIN :
Schlumberger Technologies - ATE UUCP : {amdahl,decwrl,uunet}!sjsca4!fabrice
San Jose, CA 95110 BELL : (408) 437-5114

       "Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they are yours."
                                                    -- Richard Bach

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From: Carlo Kopp <>


there are at least four vendors who sell them, ie PTI, Solflower, Bit3 and
others. I have run and tested a Solflower, we can also source you the PTI if

Technical issues:

1. Block/page size used on old host/driver vs new host. Note you will require
   Sparc (sun4) drivers to run with.

2. Do you need VME bus master capability ie DMA ?

3. What memory map size do you need and where to position the board ?

If you are interested, we can supply either of the two, you will need to play
though a bit to get your drivers running. What cards do you have ? 753 ? If
you need 9U VME that could present some complications with hardware/cages, but
these are not insurmountable...

We have sold one Solflower SFVME-100 to date for a character driver
application using a high speed comms board. If you are interested, email for quotes etc (Dennis Cheal).

Good Hunting !



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