Chapter 2. Driver Modes

The Z85230 driver layer can drive Z8530, Z85C30 and Z85230 devices in three different modes. Each mode can be applied to an individual channel on the chip (each chip has two channels).

The PIO synchronous mode supports the most common Z8530 wiring. Here the chip is interface to the I/O and interrupt facilities of the host machine but not to the DMA subsystem. When running PIO the Z8530 has extremely tight timing requirements. Doing high speeds, even with a Z85230 will be tricky. Typically you should expect to achieve at best 9600 baud with a Z8C530 and 64Kbits with a Z85230.

The DMA mode supports the chip when it is configured to use dual DMA channels on an ISA bus. The better cards tend to support this mode of operation for a single channel. With DMA running the Z85230 tops out when it starts to hit ISA DMA constraints at about 512Kbits. It is worth noting here that many PC machines hang or crash when the chip is driven fast enough to hold the ISA bus solid.

Transmit DMA mode uses a single DMA channel. The DMA channel is used for transmission as the transmit FIFO is smaller than the receive FIFO. it gives better performance than pure PIO mode but is nowhere near as ideal as pure DMA mode.