Internals of the duel R14k CPU modules, upgrading modules by replacing CPUs

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OldBlueBear
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Internals of the duel R14k CPU modules, upgrading modules by replacing CPUs

Unread postby OldBlueBear » Mon May 29, 2017 1:40 pm

Ultimately I can suck it and see, but maybe someone has already tried this and has the answer:
Is there any information of how the internals of the duel R14k CPU modules are physically built up, laid-out ?
Could I open a R12k duel CPU module and put in 14k@600MHz chips and would it run on an Octane 2 ?
I ask as 14K@600Meg duel modules appear thin on the ground. But I see a number of single R14k@600Meg CPU modules around and R12K duels modules to possibly make it (maybe) cost effective to do this swap.
But wonder if anyone has tried this or knows if there are any things such as pad misalignment from chip to chip to prevent this working?
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Re: Internals of the duel R14k CPU modules, upgrading modules by replacing CPUs

Unread postby Raion-Fox » Mon May 29, 2017 2:12 pm

No. The R12k and the R14k modules are manufactured to use different voltages and processes. You would literally just end up destroying the CPU module, and even if you could, you would need specialized hot air rework equipment which costs thousands.

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Re: Internals of the duel R14k CPU modules, upgrading modules by replacing CPUs

Unread postby Y888099 » Tue May 30, 2017 2:05 am

OldBlueBear wrote:duel


is it slang? humor? :D

In my head, "duel" sounds like a contest with deadly weapons arranged between two people in order to settle a point of honor.

OldBlueBear wrote:R14K@600Mhz


Yup, expensive and rare.
Say no less than 400 euro for a 2xR14K@600Mhz.

Old gold days ... gone .... (a bit of nostalgia) with SGI-MIPS is not like with m68k classic (Apple? Atari? Amiga?) where you can remove a 68000 DIP CPU, and replace it with a 68010, or with an accelerator board (e.g. MTEC 68030). Unfortunately CPUs in the MIPS family are different beasts which vary the Vcore and pinout even between two close generation.
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Re: Internals of the duel R14k CPU modules, upgrading modules by replacing CPUs

Unread postby OldBlueBear » Sat Jun 03, 2017 12:05 pm

OK the term should be dual, to mean two; (so duel was a typo - bad eyes) ; dual appears to be standard terminology used on various sites when referring to the SGI PN 030-1778-001 Dual-R14000 600MHz (2MB L2) CPU Module.
I have so far found very little real in-depth technical gen about this R14000@600 processor chip or how the dual CPU module is built up (constructed) internally hence my question. Had swapping the chips been feasible, I would have sent the modules to a third party (600+ miles away), who has the hot air soldering kit and skills (in the UK). As my eyes are too bad for such work (gruff!).
i have managed to either buy in or find on the web normal user and Sys-admin manuals but I am still looking for hardware manual or manuals for Octane2 frame (or case ) , IP30 Processor board and the V10 graphics board. While I may not need this gen immediately I will in the future, as the nearest SGI knowledgeable people are at least 600 miles away. So either I fix it or it stays broken. I need in depth Techie-stuff, down to logic analyzer/ scope trace and test point voltage gen if it can be got.
Any pointers, URLs etc would be appreciated and thank you in advance.
best 73s, OldBlueBear

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Re: Internals of the duel R14k CPU modules, upgrading modules by replacing CPUs

Unread postby Raion-Fox » Sat Jun 03, 2017 4:43 pm

Ian Mapleson would be the man to contact regarding those things. http://sgidepot.co.uk/sgi.html
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Re: Internals of the duel R14k CPU modules, upgrading modules by replacing CPUs

Unread postby hamei » Sat Jun 03, 2017 8:08 pm

Jesus Christ. Can someone who has a clue please step in here ?

It was COMMON to swap out the pre-300 mhz processors. Worked in both single and dual forms. But at 360 mhz SGI went to soldered processor chips, which are a bear to replace. Even with the O2 boards and soldering on new outta the box chips, doing small lots of bga chips is expensive and has a lower-than-100% yield.

In practice, no one is going to make dual 600 boards from lower-spec boards because it would cost twice as much and only have about an 80% chance of success. Plus there's no source for new 600 mhz cpu's. What is the plan here, buy two old single-p boards, unsolder the chips to resolder them onto a dual-p setup ? Totally not sensible.
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Re: Internals of the duel R14k CPU modules, upgrading modules by replacing CPUs

Unread postby OldBlueBear » Sun Jun 04, 2017 6:18 am

Thank you Hanei, some one finally who sounds like they understand what my original technical question was about (but not why). My thinking was along the following lines: The supply of R14000@600MHz x 2 (ie dual CPU ) modules appears very thin on the ground and around US$1000 a throw. But low speed dual CPU modules are to be had . As well as 030-1805-002 Origin 300 Motherboards with 4 off R14000@600MHz CPUs at reasonable cost . What I proposed was to have the 4 CPUs removed from the Origin 300 bard and two inserted into the low speed R14000s module.
I also asked there any known technical reason why it would not work , and had anyone tried this as to me it was a no brainer. The feedback; the voltages would be wrong sounds odd as all the CPUs are R14000 although I also thought a dual R12000 might be usable. All the above was without access to good technical gen on either the construction of the dual CPU modules or the in-depth spec for the MIPS-R14000/R12000 Chips (pin outs,voltages etc). That gen may be out on the Web some place but I have been unable to locate it so far.
I calculate, depending on the cost of doing the un-soldering and re-soldering the end product would be cost effective.
If someone has drawings of the R14000 dual CPU module construction and internals, and/or the in depth spec for R12000 and R14000 CPUs would they please send me a copy. I source most of my kit direct from the US cheaper than the EU or UK which is overpriced and over here! I observea 2xR14000@600Meg module will cost me nearer US$ 1000 than Euros 400 quoted, based on four quotes so far . best regards, OldBlueBear :)

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Re: Internals of the duel R14k CPU modules, upgrading modules by replacing CPUs

Unread postby tomvos » Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:32 am

You might want to check the wiki ... just to put the topic at rest. ;)

The R12000 has 600 IO-pins and uses 2.3 volts.
The R14000 has 527 IO-pins and uses 1.5 volts.
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Re: Internals of the duel R14k CPU modules, upgrading modules by replacing CPUs

Unread postby kubatyszko » Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:44 am

hamei wrote:Jesus Christ. Can someone who has a clue please step in here ?

It was COMMON to swap out the pre-300 mhz processors. Worked in both single and dual forms. But at 360 mhz SGI went to soldered processor chips, which are a bear to replace. Even with the O2 boards and soldering on new outta the box chips, doing small lots of bga chips is expensive and has a lower-than-100% yield.

In practice, no one is going to make dual 600 boards from lower-spec boards because it would cost twice as much and only have about an 80% chance of success. Plus there's no source for new 600 mhz cpu's. What is the plan here, buy two old single-p boards, unsolder the chips to resolder them onto a dual-p setup ? Totally not sensible.


Not only <100% yield, those modifications even require X-raying the modules to ensure the soldering is done correctly, changes in voltages I think and most importantly modifications of PROM to correctly recognize the new CPU (and since there are no PROM sources it's all reverse-engineering and guesswork).

It's most certainly not worth the cost.
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Re: Internals of the duel R14k CPU modules, upgrading modules by replacing CPUs

Unread postby Y888099 » Mon Jun 05, 2017 2:05 pm

The R12000 has 600 IO-pins and uses 2.3 volts.
The R14000 has 527 IO-pins and uses 1.5 volts


This Is exactly what I meant in my previous post, where I wrote

Unfortunately CPUs in the MIPS family are different beasts which vary the Vcore and pinout even between two close generation.


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Re: Internals of the duel R14k CPU modules, upgrading modules by replacing CPUs

Unread postby OldBlueBear » Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:48 am

Hi All, thank you all for your input. In the end I have shelled out for the R14000 @ 600 Meg, twin CPU 030-1778-001 in a spare IP30 processor tray. :) :) :)

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Re: Internals of the duel R14k CPU modules, upgrading modules by replacing CPUs

Unread postby Vanne » Sat Jun 17, 2017 8:46 pm

I guess that was the overall end result all along, 400 euros for a dual CPU is actually bloody cheap.
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Re: Internals of the duel R14k CPU modules, upgrading modules by replacing CPUs

Unread postby Dalplex » Tue Jun 27, 2017 12:55 am

I think the idea of droping two 600mhz r14000 onto original dual 550 MHz r14000 module is interesting although benefit might be debatable as the difference is only 50 MHz with concerns of process and yield. But something have to be done, somewhere to boost the clock frequency. Otherwise the 600 MHz rated CPU will run at original clock frequency of 550 MHz as the original dual module designated for.

That is come to my question, how to change the clock frequency? It might be entirely possible the 550 MHz CPU can run at higher frequency and stable as the over clock game on Intel world.
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Re: Internals of the duel R14k CPU modules, upgrading modules by replacing CPUs

Unread postby SAQ » Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:04 pm

The other issue is that documentation for the silicon starts drying up at about the R12k. You can find lots on the R10k and earlier, but after 12k it was pretty much SGI-only. I don't have much that new, but on the earlier chips multiplier was set on startup from a serial EPROM, along with cache size and timing. Indigo2-era used jumpers, Origin used the flash utility, can't recall about Octane (though I do have a busted R12k IP31 PIMM @300MHz that I'm considering transplanting to my 2x250 R10k).

N.B. that voltages HAVE been known to change within the same processor number - R4400 has 5V and 3.3V parts, and R10k >200MHz is 3.3v, <200MHz is 2.5V. I have never seen docs on R14k, so can't speak to that one.
I'm not sure if the 550 -> 600 jump would be really worth it, especially given the risks.
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Re: Internals of the duel R14k CPU modules, upgrading modules by replacing CPUs

Unread postby Kumba » Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:11 am

SAQ wrote:The other issue is that documentation for the silicon starts drying up at about the R12k. You can find lots on the R10k and earlier, but after 12k it was pretty much SGI-only. I don't have much that new, but on the earlier chips multiplier was set on startup from a serial EPROM, along with cache size and timing. Indigo2-era used jumpers, Origin used the flash utility, can't recall about Octane (though I do have a busted R12k IP31 PIMM @300MHz that I'm considering transplanting to my 2x250 R10k).

As someone who has been searching for R14K and R16K errata for quite a while now, I can confirm that this information is extremely hard to come by. That said, Renesas bought what was left of NEC's chip fab division, so you can acquire the final version of R12K docs from their website if you search hard enough. Information regarding the CPU registers, addressing formats, and coprocessor 0 info will be the same for R14K/R16K. The most notable change from R12K --> R14K is the use of DDR memory for the L2 cache and a bump in clock speeds. For R14K --> R16K, the major change is just clock speed increases.

The R18K "Beast" CPU was, reportedly, going to have all-new features and functions (including MIPS-V ISA support). But that CPU never got manufactured before SGI fell apart.

As far as I know, HPE is likely the only entity left now that would have knowledge of R14K/R16K hardware, as they still support those processors on their NonStop family of hardware.
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