Speaking of master/slave handshaking...

Hale Landis landis at sugs.tware.com
Mon Jan 3 09:29:24 PST 1994


On the subject of master/slave handshaking...

One of the problems with ATA-1 is the unclear way that
master/slave handshaking is described and how the results of this
activity affect following operations.  This is really unfortunate
since there are more pages of the ATA-1 document devoted to this
topic than to any other part of the ATA interface.

Lets review the background...  The only reasons that this
handshaking is needed is to make ATA devices "look" like a single
device controller with one or two devices, or in other words, to
"look" like an MFM controller with one or two drives.  Why do
this?  Only one reason:  software compatibility -- making two
controllers "look" like one controller.

There are three events that invoke master/slave handshaking
(master is also known as drive 0, slave is also known as drive
1):

- after power on or hardware reset, drive 0's controller sets
   BSY=0 when the reset function is completed by both
   controllers.

- after software reset, drive 0's controller sets BSY=0 when the
   reset function is completed by both controllers.

- after a Diagnostic command, drive 0's controller sets BSY=0
   when the diagnostic command is completed by both controllers.

The master/slave handshaking is uni-directional:  the slave sends
signals to the master so that the master can determine when the
slave has completed one of these three functions.

Another "feature" of the MFM type controller was that if there
was only one drive, a master, and the host selected the
non-existant slave drive, all of the drive status bits would be
zero (because there was not drive to assert any of the these
bits).  In the ATA world, this means that the master must respond
with status of 00H if the non-existant slave drive is selected.

Note that DRDY is a DRIVE status bit, not a controller status
bit, and just because the controller is "not busy" does not imply
anything about the "ready" status of a drive.

Now to the root to the problem...  Following a hard reset, a soft
reset or a Diagnostic command, when is it illegal to issue a
command to the master or slave drive?

The answer is not simple and depends on several things:  which
drive and which command are the most important.  For all three
events, the sequence of events can be summarized as follows...

Drive 0 sets BSY=1, does the master/slave handshake, which could
take up to 31 seconds, and then drive 0 may set BSY=0.  Then
drive 0 can complete spinup, etc, and set DRDY=1.  The ATA has no
specification for when DRDY=1 should happen.  Please note that
there is NO reference to the DRDY bit of the Status register in
Annex A or B. What is in Annex A and B is the statement

   "Drive 0 clears BSY when ready to accept commands (within 31
   seconds)."

I think a lot of people read this sentence as if it said

   "Drive 0 clears BSY and sets DRDY when ready to accept
   commands (within 31 seconds)."

If people do interpret this sentence in this way, they are wrong.

Don't forget that traditionally there are two commands that were
legal when BSY=0 and DRDY=0:  Execute Diagnostics and Initialize
Drive Parameters.  These are "controller commands" and may not
require media access.  Media access commands are not legal until
BSY=0 AND DRDY=1.

So how can we clear this up?  Well...  ATA-1 Annex A and Annex B
both describe master/slave handshaking, Annex A from the drive
standpoint and Annex B from the host standpoint.  For ATA-2, I
assmue that Annex A will be move into the body of the document
and that Annex B will be discarded.  Therefore, I recommend the
following changes to the Annex A text.  My changes are marked by
|| at the left margin.  I do realize that my suggested changes
may not be acceptable to everyone for several reasons.

Also note the sentence marked by "->".  I would bet that a lot of
people fail to "see" this sentence when they read Annex A!

----- begin Hale's marked up Annex A -----

   Annex A (informative)

   Diagnostic and reset considerations

   This annex describes the following timing relationships during:
         a) Power on and hardware resets
               - One drive
               - Two drives
         b) Software reset
               - One drive
               - Two drives
         c) Diagnostic command execution
               - One drive
               - Two drives
               - Two drives - drive 1 failed

   The timing assumes the following:
         - DASP- is asserted by Drive 1 and received by Drive 0 at power-on or
           hardware reset to indicate the presence of Drive 1.  At all other
           times it is asserted by Drive 0 and Drive 1 to indicate when a drive
           is active.
         - PDIAG- is asserted by Drive 1 and detected by Drive 0.  It is used
           by Drive 1 to indicate to Drive 0 that it has completed diagnostics
           and is ready to accept commands from the Host (BSY bit is cleared).
->         This does not indicate that the drive is ready, only that it can
->         accept commands.  This line may remain asserted until the next reset
           occurs or an Execute Diagnostic command is received.
         - Unless indicated otherwise, all times are relative to the event that
           triggers the operation (RESET-, SRST=1, Execute Diagnostic Command).

   A.1 Power on and hardware resets

   A.1.1 Power on and hardware resets - one drive

         - Host asserts RESET- for a minimum of 25 usec.
         - Drive 0 sets BSY within 400 nsecs after RESET- is negated.
         - Drive 0 negates DASP- within 1 msec after RESET- negated.
         - Drive 0 performs hardware initialization
         - Drive 0 may revert to its default condition
         - Drive 0 waits 1 msec then samples for at least 450 msec for DASP- to
           be asserted from Drive 1.
||       - Drive 0 clears BSY when ready to accept non-media access commands
||         (optional, within 31 seconds).
||       - Drive 0 clears BSY (if not previously done) and sets DRDY when
||         ready to accept any command.

   A.1.2 Power on and hardware resets - two drives

         - Host asserts RESET- for a minimum of 25 usec.
         - Drive 0 and Drive 1 set BSY within 400 nsec after RESET- negated.
         - DASP- is negated within 1 msec after RESET- is negated.

   A.1.2.1 Drive 1

         - Drive 1 negates PDIAG- before asserting DASP-.
         - Drive 1 asserts DASP- within 400 msecs after RESET- (to show
           presence).
         - Drive 1 performs hardware initialization and executes its internal
           diagnostics.
         - Drive 1 may revert to its default condition
         - Drive 1 posts diagnostic results to the Error Register
||       - Drive 1 clears BSY when ready to accept non-media access commands
||         (optional, within 30 seconds from RESET-).
         - Drive 1 asserts PDIAG- to indicate that it is ready to accept
            commands (within 30 seconds from RESET-).
||       - Drive 1 clears BSY (if not previously done) and sets DRDY when
||         ready to accept any command.
         - Drive 1 negates DASP- after the first command is received or negates
           DASP-if no command is received within 31 seconds after RESET-.

   A.1.2.2 Drive 0

         - Drive 0 performs hardware initialization and executes its internal
           diagnostics.
         - Drive 0 may revert to its default condition
         - Drive 0 posts diagnostic results to the Error Register
         - After 1 msec, Drive 0 waits at least 450 msec for DASP- to be
           asserted (from Drive 1).  If DASP- is not asserted, no Drive 1 is
           present (see POWER-ON RESET - One Drive operation).
         - Drive 0 waits up to 31 seconds for Drive 1 to assert PDIAG-.  If
           PDIAG- is not asserted, Drive 0 sets Bit 7=1 in the Error Register.
||       - Drive 0 clears BSY when ready to accept non-media access commands
||         (optional, within 31 seconds).
||       - Drive 0 clears BSY (if not previously done) and sets DRDY when
||         ready to accept any commands.

   A.2 Software reset

   A.2. A.2.1  Software reset - one drive

         - Host sets SRST=1 in the Device Control Register.
         - Drive 0 sets BSY within 400 nsec after detecting that SRST=1.
         - Drive 0 performs hardware initialization and executes its internal
           diagnostics.
         - Drive 0 may revert to its default condition.
         - Drive 0 posts diagnostic results to the Error Register.
||       - Drive 0 clears BSY when ready to accept non-media access commands
||         (optional, within 31 seconds).
||       - Drive 0 clears BSY (if not previously done) and sets DRDY when
||         ready to accept any command.

   A.2.2 Software reset - two drives

         - Host sets SRST=1 in the Device Control Register.
         - Drive 0 and Drive 1 set BSY within 400 nsec after detecting that
           SRST=1.
         - Drive 0 and Drive 1 perform hardware initialization.
         - Drive 0 and Drive 1 may revert to their default condition.

   A.2.2.1 Drive 1

         - Drive 1 negates PDIAG- within 1 msec.
||       - Drive 1 clears BSY when ready to accept non-media access commands
||         (within 30 seconds).
         - Drive 1 asserts PDIAG- to indicate that it is ready to accept
           commands (within 30 seconds).
||       - Drive 1 clears BSY (if not previously done) and sets DRDY when
||         ready to accept any command.

   A.2.2.2 Drive 0

         - Drive 0 waits up to 31 seconds for Drive 1 to assert PDIAG-.
||       - Drive 0 clears BSY when ready to accept non-media access commands
||         (within 31 seconds).
||       - Drive 0 clears BSY (if not previously done) and sets DRDY when
||         ready to accept any command.

   A.3 Diagnostic Command Execution

   A.3.1 Diagnostic command execution - one drive (passed)

         - Drive 0 sets BSY within 400 nsec after the Execute Diagnostic command
           was received.
         - Drive 0 performs hardware initialization and internal diagnostics.
         - Drive 0 resets Command Block registers to default condition.
         - Drive 0 posts diagnostic results to the Error Register
||       - Drive 0 clears BSY when ready to accept non-media access commands
||         (within 6 seconds).
||       - Drive 0 clears BSY (if not previously done) and sets DRDY when
||         ready to accept any command.

   A.3.2 Diagnostic command - two drives (passed)

         - Drive 0 and Drive 1 set BSY within 400 nsec after the Execute
           Diagnostic command was received.

   A.3.2.1 Drive 1

         - Drive 1 negates PDIAG- within 1 msec after command received.
         - Drive 1 performs hardware initialization and internal diagnostics.
         - Drive 1 resets the Command Block registers to their default
           condition.
         - Drive 1 posts diagnostic results to the Error Register
||       - Drive 1 clears BSY when ready to accept non-media access commands.
         - Drive 1 asserts PDIAG- to indicate that it is ready to accept
           commands (within 5 seconds).
||       - Drive 1 clears BSY (if not previously done) and sets DRDY when
||         ready to accept any command.

   A.3.2.2 Drive 0

         - Drive 0 performs hardware initialization and internal diagnostics.
         - Drive 0 resets the Command Block registers to their default
           condition.
         - Drive 0 waits up to 6 seconds for Drive 1 to assert PDIAG-.
         - Drive 0 posts diagnostic results to the Error Register
||       - Drive 0 clears BSY when ready to accept non-media access commands
||         (within 6 seconds).
||       - Drive 0 clears BSY (if not previously done) and sets DRDY when
||         ready to accept any command.

   A.3.3  Diagnostic command execution - one drive (failed)

         - Drive 0 sets BSY within 400 nsec after Diagnostic command received.
         - Drive 0 performs hardware initialization and internal diagnostics.
         - Drive 0 resets Command Block registers to default condition.
         - Drive 0 posts a Diagnostic Code to the Error Register indicating a
           failure.
||       - Drive 0 clears BSY when ready to accept non-media access commands
||         (within 6 seconds).
||       - Drive 0 clears BSY (if not previously done) and sets DRDY when
||         ready to accept any command.

   A.3.4 Diagnostic command execution - two drives (drive 1 failed)

         - Drive 0 and Drive 1 set BSY within 400 nsec after Diagnostic command
           received.

   A.3.4.1 Drive 1

         - Drive 1 negates PDIAG- within 1 msec after command received.
         - Drive 1 performs hardware initialization and internal diagnostics.
         - Drive 1 resets the Command Block registers to their default
           condition.
         - Drive 1 posts a Diagnostic Code to the Error Register indicating
           failure.
||       - Drive 1 clears BSY when ready to accept non-media access commands.
         - Drive 1 does not assert PDIAG-, indicating that it failed
           diagnostics.
||       - Drive 1 clears BSY (if not previously done) and sets DRDY when
||         ready to accept any command.

   A.3.4.2 Drive 0

         - Drive 0 performs hardware initialization and internal diagnostics.
         - Drive 0 resets the Command Block registers to their default
           condition.
         - Drive 0 waits 6 seconds for Drive 1 to assert PDIAG- but PDIAG- is
           not asserted by Drive 1.
         - Drive 0 posts a Diagnostic Code to the Error Register setting Bit 7=1
           to indicate that Drive 1 failed diagnostics.
||       - Drive 0 clears BSY when ready to accept non-media access commands
||         (within 6 seconds).
||       - Drive 0 clears BSY (if not previously done) and sets DRDY when
||         ready to accept any command.

         NOTE 1 The 6 seconds referenced above is a host-oriented value.

----- end Hale's marked up Annex A -----

Now lets look at all of this from a host software standpoint...

There are three different methods implemented in drives to
handle the BSY and DRDY bits following a hard reset, a soft reset
or a Diagnostic command.  Host software MUST be designed to
handle all three methods since drives have been built using all
three methods.  Note that all three methods are allowed by the
ATA.

"m/s" denotes when the master/slave handshaking takes place (up
to 31 seconds!) and "spin-up" denotes the time required to become
ready to accept media access commands (no time limit!  REPEAT -
NO TIME LIMIT IS SPECIFIED BY THE ATA FOR THIS ACTIVITY!).

Method 1 -- The traditional method.

Most drives implementing Method 1 will reject a media access
command received during the spin-up time with Error and Command
Abort.  Don't forget about the commands that are legal during the
spin-up time when a drive's status is 00H:  Initialize Drive
Parameters and Execute Diagnostics.

            ____
   BSY  ___/    \_________________________________________
                                               ___________
   DRDY ______________________________________/

           |m/s.|......spin-up................|

Method 2 -- Very popular these days.

Method 2 is very popular these days probably because it is the
most simple to implement in drive firmware.  Time to DRDY=1/BSY=0
must not exceed 31 seconds to be ATA compatible.

            ___________________________________
   BSY  ___/                                   \__________
                                               ___________
   DRDY ______________________________________/

           |m/s.|......spin-up................|

Method 3 -- Makes for complex drive firmware.

Method 3 requires that the drive "accept and queue" a media
access command that is received during the spin-up time and this
way cause a command time-out on some host systems.  This is
tricky... the time from BSY=0 until the actual start of the
"queued" command's execution should not exceed 31 seconds.

            ____
   BSY  ___/    \_________________________________________
               ___________________________________________
   DRDY ______/

           |m/s.|......spin-up................|

Remember, host software MUST be implemented such that all three
methods are acceptable.  And also remember that the master may
implement a different method than the slave.

--- And now, one final comment ---

If I could change the way host software is designed, I would do
the following (and I would definitely do this in a notebook
computer if there was no possibility that a second drive could be
added to the computer's ATA host adapter):

Support only one drive per ATA host adapter with that drive
configured as slave (drive 1).  This would be great...  No
master/slave handshaking to worry about...  No multi-vendor
compatibility problems...  No problems with a Drive 0 that
"hangs" waiting for a Drive 1 to do something...  No problems
with a Drive 0 that thinks there is no Drive 1 when there really
is a Drive 1...  No problems with a Drive 0 that thinks there is
a Drive 1 when there really is no Drive 1...

Ahhh...  Life would be wonderful!  But then there is nothing more
difficult in the entire universe than getting software people to
change the way they do things.
-- 
--------------------------------------------------------
Hale Landis                           Santa Cruz, CA USA
408-423-4017          -or-                  408-439-2443
landis at sugs.tware.com -or- hale_landis at notes.seagate.com
--------------------------------------------------------




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