linux/Documentation/scsi/FlashPoint.txt
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   1The BusLogic FlashPoint SCSI Host Adapters are now fully supported on Linux.
   2The upgrade program described below has been officially terminated effective
   331 March 1997 since it is no longer needed.
   4
   5
   6
   7          MYLEX INTRODUCES LINUX OPERATING SYSTEM SUPPORT FOR ITS
   8              BUSLOGIC FLASHPOINT LINE OF SCSI HOST ADAPTERS
   9
  10
  11FREMONT, CA, -- October 8, 1996 -- Mylex Corporation has expanded Linux
  12operating system support to its BusLogic brand of FlashPoint Ultra SCSI
  13host adapters.  All of BusLogic's other SCSI host adapters, including the
  14MultiMaster line, currently support the Linux operating system.  Linux
  15drivers and information will be available on October 15th at
  16http://sourceforge.net/projects/dandelion/.
  17
  18"Mylex is committed to supporting the Linux community," says Peter Shambora,
  19vice president of marketing for Mylex.  "We have supported Linux driver
  20development and provided technical support for our host adapters for several
  21years, and are pleased to now make our FlashPoint products available to this
  22user base."
  23
  24The Linux Operating System
  25
  26Linux is a freely-distributed implementation of UNIX for Intel x86, Sun
  27SPARC, SGI MIPS, Motorola 68k, Digital Alpha AXP and Motorola PowerPC
  28machines.  It supports a wide range of software, including the X Window
  29System, Emacs, and TCP/IP networking.  Further information is available at
  30http://www.linux.org and http://www.ssc.com/.
  31
  32FlashPoint Host Adapters
  33
  34The FlashPoint family of Ultra SCSI host adapters, designed for workstation
  35and file server environments, are available in narrow, wide, dual channel,
  36and dual channel wide versions.  These adapters feature SeqEngine
  37automation technology, which minimizes SCSI command overhead and reduces
  38the number of interrupts generated to the CPU.
  39
  40About Mylex
  41
  42Mylex Corporation (NASDAQ/NM SYMBOL: MYLX), founded in 1983, is a leading
  43producer of RAID technology and network management products.  The company
  44produces high performance disk array (RAID) controllers, and complementary
  45computer products for network servers, mass storage systems, workstations
  46and system boards.  Through its wide range of RAID controllers and its
  47BusLogic line of Ultra SCSI host adapter products, Mylex provides enabling
  48intelligent I/O technologies that increase network management control,
  49enhance CPU utilization, optimize I/O performance, and ensure data security
  50and availability.  Products are sold globally through a network of OEMs,
  51major distributors, VARs, and system integrators.  Mylex Corporation is
  52headquartered at 34551 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont, CA.
  53
  54                                   ####
  55
  56Contact:
  57
  58Peter Shambora
  59Vice President of Marketing
  60Mylex Corp.
  61510/796-6100
  62peters@mylex.com
  63
  64                               ANNOUNCEMENT
  65               BusLogic FlashPoint LT/BT-948 Upgrade Program
  66                              1 February 1996
  67
  68                          ADDITIONAL ANNOUNCEMENT
  69               BusLogic FlashPoint LW/BT-958 Upgrade Program
  70                               14 June 1996
  71
  72Ever since its introduction last October, the BusLogic FlashPoint LT has
  73been problematic for members of the Linux community, in that no Linux
  74drivers have been available for this new Ultra SCSI product.  Despite its
  75officially being positioned as a desktop workstation product, and not being
  76particularly well suited for a high performance multitasking operating
  77system like Linux, the FlashPoint LT has been touted by computer system
  78vendors as the latest thing, and has been sold even on many of their high
  79end systems, to the exclusion of the older MultiMaster products.  This has
  80caused grief for many people who inadvertently purchased a system expecting
  81that all BusLogic SCSI Host Adapters were supported by Linux, only to
  82discover that the FlashPoint was not supported and would not be for quite
  83some time, if ever.
  84
  85After this problem was identified, BusLogic contacted its major OEM
  86customers to make sure the BT-946C/956C MultiMaster cards would still be
  87made available, and that Linux users who mistakenly ordered systems with
  88the FlashPoint would be able to upgrade to the BT-946C.  While this helped
  89many purchasers of new systems, it was only a partial solution to the
  90overall problem of FlashPoint support for Linux users.  It did nothing to
  91assist the people who initially purchased a FlashPoint for a supported
  92operating system and then later decided to run Linux, or those who had
  93ended up with a FlashPoint LT, believing it was supported, and were unable
  94to return it.
  95
  96In the middle of December, I asked to meet with BusLogic's senior
  97management to discuss the issues related to Linux and free software support
  98for the FlashPoint.  Rumors of varying accuracy had been circulating
  99publicly about BusLogic's attitude toward the Linux community, and I felt
 100it was best that these issues be addressed directly.  I sent an email
 101message after 11pm one evening, and the meeting took place the next
 102afternoon.  Unfortunately, corporate wheels sometimes grind slowly,
 103especially when a company is being acquired, and so it's taken until now
 104before the details were completely determined and a public statement could
 105be made.
 106
 107BusLogic is not prepared at this time to release the information necessary
 108for third parties to write drivers for the FlashPoint.  The only existing
 109FlashPoint drivers have been written directly by BusLogic Engineering, and
 110there is no FlashPoint documentation sufficiently detailed to allow outside
 111developers to write a driver without substantial assistance.  While there
 112are people at BusLogic who would rather not release the details of the
 113FlashPoint architecture at all, that debate has not yet been settled either
 114way.  In any event, even if documentation were available today it would
 115take quite a while for a usable driver to be written, especially since I'm
 116not convinced that the effort required would be worthwhile.
 117
 118However, BusLogic does remain committed to providing a high performance
 119SCSI solution for the Linux community, and does not want to see anyone left
 120unable to run Linux because they have a Flashpoint LT.  Therefore, BusLogic
 121has put in place a direct upgrade program to allow any Linux user worldwide
 122to trade in their FlashPoint LT for the new BT-948 MultiMaster PCI Ultra
 123SCSI Host Adapter.  The BT-948 is the Ultra SCSI successor to the BT-946C
 124and has all the best features of both the BT-946C and FlashPoint LT,
 125including smart termination and a flash PROM for easy firmware updates, and
 126is of course compatible with the present Linux driver.  The price for this
 127upgrade has been set at US $45 plus shipping and handling, and the upgrade
 128program will be administered through BusLogic Technical Support, which can
 129be reached by electronic mail at techsup@buslogic.com, by Voice at +1 408
 130654-0760, or by FAX at +1 408 492-1542.
 131
 132As of 14 June 1996, the original BusLogic FlashPoint LT to BT-948 upgrade
 133program has now been extended to encompass the FlashPoint LW Wide Ultra
 134SCSI Host Adapter.  Any Linux user worldwide may trade in their FlashPoint
 135LW (BT-950) for a BT-958 MultiMaster PCI Ultra SCSI Host Adapter.  The
 136price for this upgrade has been set at US $65 plus shipping and handling.
 137
 138I was a beta test site for the BT-948/958, and versions 1.2.1 and 1.3.1 of
 139my BusLogic driver already included latent support for the BT-948/958.
 140Additional cosmetic support for the Ultra SCSI MultiMaster cards was added
 141subsequent releases.  As a result of this cooperative testing process,
 142several firmware bugs were found and corrected.  My heavily loaded Linux
 143test system provided an ideal environment for testing error recovery
 144processes that are much more rarely exercised in production systems, but
 145are crucial to overall system stability.  It was especially convenient
 146being able to work directly with their firmware engineer in demonstrating
 147the problems under control of the firmware debugging environment; things
 148sure have come a long way since the last time I worked on firmware for an
 149embedded system.  I am presently working on some performance testing and
 150expect to have some data to report in the not too distant future.
 151
 152BusLogic asked me to send this announcement since a large percentage of the
 153questions regarding support for the FlashPoint have either been sent to me
 154directly via email, or have appeared in the Linux newsgroups in which I
 155participate.  To summarize, BusLogic is offering Linux users an upgrade
 156from the unsupported FlashPoint LT (BT-930) to the supported BT-948 for US
 157$45 plus shipping and handling, or from the unsupported FlashPoint LW
 158(BT-950) to the supported BT-958 for $65 plus shipping and handling.
 159Contact BusLogic Technical Support at techsup@buslogic.com or +1 408
 160654-0760 to take advantage of their offer.
 161
 162                Leonard N. Zubkoff
 163                lnz@dandelion.com
 164
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