What is Intel 8089 IOP?

The Intel 8089 l/0 processor is contained in a 40-pin integrated circuit package. Within the 8089 are two independent units called channels. Each channel combines the general characteristics of a processor unit with those of a direct memory access controller.

The 8089 is designed to function as an IOP in a microcomputer system where the Intel 8086 microprocessor is used as the CPU. The 8086 CPU initiates an l/0 operation by building a message in memory that describes the function to be performed. The 8089 IOP reads the message from memory, carries out the operation, and notifies the CPU when it has finished.

In contrast to the IBM 370 channel, which has only six basic l/0 commands, the 8089 IOP has 50 basic instructions that can operate on individual bits, on bytes, or 16-bit words. The IOP can execute programs like a CPU except that the instruction set is specifically chosen to provide efficient input-output processing.

The instruction set includes general data transfer instructions, basic arithmetic and logic operations, conditional and unconditional branch operations, and subroutine call and return capabilities. The set also includes special instructions to initiate DMA transfers and issue an interrupt request to the CPU. It provides efficient data transfer between any two components attached to the system bus, such as l/O to memory, memory to memory, or l/O to l/O.

The 8086 functions as the CPU and the 8089 as the IOP. The two units share a common memory through a bus controller connected to a system bus, which is called a "multibus" by Intel. The IOP uses a local bus to communicate with various interface units connected to l/O devices. The CPU communicates with the IOP by enabling the channel attention line. The select line is used by the CPU to select one of two channels in the 8089. The IOP gets the attention of the CPU by sending an interrupt request.

The CPU and IOP communicate with each other by writing messages for one another in system memory. The CPU prepares the message area and signals the IOP by enabling the channel attention line. The IOP reads the message, performs the required l/0 functions, and executes the appropriate channel program. When the channel has completed its program, it issues an interrupt request to the CPU.

The communication scheme consists of program sections called "blocks," which are stored in memory. Each block contains control and parameter information as well as an address pointer to its successor block.

The address of the control block is passed to each IOP channel during initialization. The busy flag indicates whether the IOP is busy or ready to perform a new I/O operation. The CCW (channel command word) is specified by the CPU to indicate the type of operation required from the IOP. The CCW in the 8089 does not have the same meaning as the command word in the IBM channel.

The CCW is more like an I/O instruction that specifies an operation for the IOP, such as start operation, suspend operation, resume operation, and halt I/O program. The parameter block contains variable data that the IOP program must use in carrying out its task. The task block contains the actual program to be executed in the IOP.