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TPU Reference Manual Cover TPU Reference Manual TPURM/AD

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Certain members of the Motorola 683xx family of microprocessors include a very powerful coprocessor, or microengine, known as the Time Processor Unit (TPU).
The TPU contains various timing, motor control, and UART functions (depending on the chip mask) stored as microcode in ROM.

The TPU can be set to use microcode loaded into the CPU's on-chip RAM space. It is possible to mix and match TPU functions by assembling the source (supplied by Motorola) available here.

Many users have expressed an interest in developing their own TPU functions. Motorola once supplied information on programming in TPU microcode, in the Time Processor Unit Reference Manual TPURM/AD, first edition, published in 1990. Unfortunately, in later editions (labeled TPURM/AD-xx), the microcode information was removed, as it apparently confused many people who simply wanted to use the "canned" functions supplied by Motorola.

Fortunately, I have a cheap flatbed scanner and I have scanned and OCR'd the relevant sections of the manual
into Microsoft Word documents, and in PDF format.

The manual is copyright 1990, Motorola Inc. I believe that I am permitted under the "Fair Use" clause of the Copyright statutes to excerpt passages from a copyrighted work for educational purposes.

If Motorola objects to my offering this information, I will remove the document immediately.

I can not provide technical support on writing microcode for the TPU,
please don't ask me. There are several very good reference books now available for creating TPU microcode; please check out the Links Page.

I can not provide technical support on using the "canned" TPU functions. At one time, Motorola maintained a series of web pages known as the TPULITPAK. Unfortunately, they have discontinued that format, offering the information in Adobe PDF format instead. I am in the process of re-creating the HTML versions of the TPU app notes for those who, for whatever reason, do not want the information in PDF form.

I have corrected a few errors (which are primarily typographical in nature).
Where tables appeared in the original, I created Word tables.
All other figures were scanned at high resolution, with the exception of Figure 4-19,
the Hardware Scheduler State Diagram, which uses shading and was unreadable after scanning.
I have reproduced that document as accurately as I could (I'm no artist, though...).

UPDATE:I have finally scanned a very useful part of the manual, Appendix B.
Appendix B contains very detailed descriptions of the micro-instruction encoding.
You can get it from the Manuals, Source Code, & Tools page.

Thanks for your time.

Gene S. Berkowitz


Main Page | Manuals, Source Code, & Tools | Links

2003/4/27: Back up after hosting problems.
2001/1/6: Added the Links Page.
2000/9/13: Updated link to Motorola's tools and source.
2000/6/6: Added the Source/Tools Page.
1999/3/6: I am currently preparing Appendix B. Stay tuned.
1999/2/17: Added PDF format. Thanks to TPU enthusiast who generated it.
1999/2/15: Added table of contents, table of illustrations, page numbering.
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Last modified: Saturday, 12-Apr-2008 22:40:26 PDT