Rocket Technical Overview
[Amiga] [Apollo] [Atari] [Mac II] [Mac Entry Level] [Mac Quadra] [Mac AV] [NeXT Architecture] [Radius Rocket] [Sun 3 Series]
The Radius Rocket is a NuBus accelerator card for the Macintosh line of computers. There were two versions of the Radius Rocket: Rocket33 and the Rocket25i (66/33 Mhz and 50/25 Mhz respectively). The Rocket has its own memory system, processor, and expansion system. The MacOS is booted from the Radius rocket which then uses the new found powerful processor, while the original processor is used for I/O processing. Using bus mastering technology of NuBus, the Rocket can work in conjunction with other Radius Rockets and control other cards to improve performance.
The Radius Rocket had two types of expansion cards for it's proprietary expansion bus which were a SCSI2 host bus adaptor and a PhotoBooster which housed AT&T 3210 DSP accelerators.
Possibly Linux/m68k could boot directly from a Radius Rocket installed within a computer. This author awaits the day he can download a rocket-kernel. Driver support could be added to utilize the SCSI card and another driver could be added to support the 3210 DSP processor, similiar in design to the Atari Linux/m68k driver for Motorola 56K processor. Currently though there are no known GNU 3210DSP assemblers to take advantage of this. (I would dearly love to stand corrected)
The Radius Rocket has two banks of memory (30 pin 8bit) which have specific requirments. BANK A are the first 4 slots from the left of the board as shown in the graphic above and BANK B are the following four slots. As always with 32bit machines, four 8 bit 30 pin SIMMs must be used in combination to complement 32bits of addressable memory.
- All SIMM modules must be faster than 100ns.
- 1 megabyte and 4 megabyte SIMMs will not work with the Radius Rocket. This therefore means a minimum of 8 megabytes needs to be installed on the Rocket.
- BANK A must always have four SIMMs.
- BANK B can be empty or may have four SIMMs.