OS/2, eCS & ArcaOS - Technical > Hardware

OS/2 on Virtualbox with 8 COM ports

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Dariusz Piatkowski:

--- Quote from: Kumar Bhatia on May 06, 2021, 05:04:37 am ---Hi. First time here and first post. I am the CTO of a hardware design company (Est 1985) in Canada and have strong design experience with PCI, PCIe and USB products.
Sam came to our company many moons ago when he resided in Michigan (IBM), just prior to us becoming a supplier to PictureTel who used our ISA adapter (back then) on OS/2. It was the industry's first jumperless I/O adapter.
Kumar Bhatia
Axxon (OEM) Inc.

--- End quote ---

No way...it's been many many years since we talked, but say around the early to mid-90's I would stop by once in a while at your shop and just talk pure computing stuff, or better yet, the field of Artificial Neural Networks. Not sure if you recall, but during my first visit to your location I remember asking to speak to the president as the business name, Axxon, was just so darn close to the AXON of the ANN fame (and well, the biological build we all have within us), which was my field of study (thesis work) for my last year of undergrad at UofGuelph.

Anyways...a bit of a memory lane walk there, and welcome to our forum. We have just a couple of OS/2 users from Windsor on here, and as both Martin and Neil pointed out, this forum is largely focused on grass-roots type of discussion around our platform.

ArcaNoae on the other hand is the leader in the commercial space today, and I for one would hope they might need the sort of solution you can provide. Lewis will be able to answer this I believe.

Either way, would love to catch-up...heck, I remember you telling me about the assembler work you guys were doing at that time, most of it device driver software if I recall?

Kumar Bhatia:
Dariusz ! :) How are you ? I recall our last meeting @ TD Bank (Malden road) ages ago. How are things? Recall our meet our place well. Are you still in Windsor ?

Yes, we saw the writing on the wall ages ago on retail sales. We all have a background in either EE or Comp. Sci from the university and the business was an easy way to generate revenue for the real projects of interest. We have an in-house SMT line for our prototype / PCBA builds. The line is amazing and we have been able to place down to 01005 SMD parts and recently developed a breakout board with the Lattice ICE40UL1K (16 balls WLCSP package in a 1.4*1.4mm footprint). Learning about FPGA at our age is always fun but Verilog is fairly logical.

It has been a fun ride and we now have many designs for the PC industry and supply all the major players including the aerospace / airlines. In the movie Scully - the flight simulator from CAE has our adapter design from Windsor in there :) They use a real-time hardened version of Windows for this task and our adapter offered the hardware requirements demanded by this project. Our more current designs offer DMA engines on the PCIe adapters to allow for very high sustained data rates which robotic surgical firms are after.

We are researching edge node designs with AI but there appears to be always some monetary catch with the silicon companies. They want us (every client I suppose) to buy containers of silicon but then the ref designs are with some astronomical backend license. Still very much learning. On device drivers development - yes, we have a great team offshore that charges US rates :( but are solid. We have firm support on Windows and Linux platforms. With some bruises, did a design for a medical company for a robot that is running on QNX. No thanks to QNX for their zero support.

Hope you are well. Stay in touch. Are you in the software or hardware field ? If you are in Windsor, drop by and will show the SMT line which is a beast but cool when it is running. Hope that we can expand it with more equipment in the future.

On the OS2 support - I think we have some designs that can work but openly need testers to validate our knowledge that is on paper. It is not practical to write custom drivers, even if we could find the proper support materials and developers. Rather, we can properly match one or more of our designs with Mr. Sam Detweiller's device driver package. He worked with Mr. Ray Gwinn before this. The cost to develop a custom device driver can be easily $20k++ USD.

In summary, pretty sure we can support at least:

1S, 2S, 4S on PCIe bus with our existing hardware. More unique products are in development.

Stay safe!! Bye for now.


If you can supply HW that defines I/O mapped registers (but NOT memory mapped) as the usual register set (Line control reg, mode control reg. etc.) and this register block is contiguous as usual for each supported HW I/F, then the default COM.SYS driver will do. COM.SYS just assumes the registers to exist that existed 20 years ago.
COM.SYS will read the BAR value(s) directly from PCI config space. The rest is done with a configuration file ("stepsize" of repeated register block for each HW I/F, for example).


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