- Home /
- Psion II /
- Technical Reference Manual /
- Chapter 2
Internally the Organiser consists of two circuit boards. The system
board holds all the digital electronics and has integral interfaces to the
display and keyboard. The power supply board controls power regulation and
distribution to the system and also carries connectors to the I/O slots and
buzzer. The two boards are connected together by a 27 way strip connector.
This section describes the system board hardware, and the following
two sections complete the Organiser hardware description. Reference should
be made while reading this section to the following separate data :-
1. Fig 2.1 System board schematic diagram
2. HD6303X Microprocessor family users manual
3. HD44780 LCD driver users manual
The System board is a CMOS 8 bit computer including the following :-
- 8 bit HD6303X processor running at 0.912 MHz
- 32 kbyte prom containing system code
- 8,16,31 kbyte static ram option slots (CM,XP,LA versions
- 16 character by two line dot matrix LCD and driver ICs
- PCB pads and interface for 36 key keyboard
- real time clock running from 32768 Hz crystal
- 27 way connector to PSU board for external I/O, power and power
The board has been engineered to minimise space and power
requirements. Small size is achieved through the extensive use of
surface-mounted components and by design of a semi-custom IC to perform
control functions. Low power is achieved by the use of CMOS circuitry
throughout and by taking advantage of the special power saving modes of the
2.2 CIRCUIT DESCRIPTION
Figure 2.1 is a schematic of the System board circuit. This section
describes the circuit in general terms, and specific areas are covered in
more detail later.
There are 8 positions for ICs on the board, some of which are optional
to provide different memory configurations. All ICs are CMOS with low
power standby modes, and all are surface-mounted.
IC1 is the HD6303XFP microprocessor in an 80-pin flat package. This
is an 8 bit processor derived from the 6800 family, with standard 8 bit
data and 16 bit address busses shown to its left on the diagram. In
addition it has three 8 bit I/O ports inbuilt, and these are shown to the
right. The oscillator formed by XTAL2, C2 and C3 provides an input
frequency of 3.6864 MHz, which is divided by four internally to an
operating frequency of 0.9216 MHz. Processor startup and shutdown are
controlled by the STBY_B and RES_B signals from the control IC.
IC2 and IC3 control the LCD display. The HD44780 (IC2) is the master
driver with inbuilt character-generator ROM and display data RAM. The LCD
is accessed in the processor memory-map, decoded by the EOUT signal from
the control IC. IC3 is a slave driver to extend display width to 16
characters. The LCD plate is mounted to the board through conductive
rubber connector strips. There are 96 connections, 16 to drive each
horizontal dot row (commons) and 80 to drive each vertical dot column
(segments). The display has two rows of 16 characters, with each character
as an 8 by 5 dot matrix.
IC4 is a semi-custom IC to supervise circuit operation. It's main
functions are :-
- To decode and select devices in the processor memory-map. Address
lines A6-A15 are input and are used together with the processor E
clock to decode memory device blocks (CS1_B to CS6_B), the LCD
driver (to the EOUT signal) and internal control latches.
Internal latches are used to control a variety of functions
including processor startup and shutdown, polling the keyboard,
clock output to the processor NMI interrupt, the buzzer ALARM
signal and the PULSE signal to the power supply.
- To provide the real-time clock facility. XTAL1,R9,R10,C1 and C2
form a 32768 Hz oscillator circuit. This is divided down in two
stages. The first stage provides a 1 Hz output which is normally
switched to the processor NMI input to update the clock when the
processor is on. When the Organiser is off, the second stage is
used to record elapsed time since switch-off, and when the
Organiser is next switched on the processor reads the elapsed time
to re-synchronise its time registers. The Organiser is
automatically switched on if the second stage divider times-out,
after an interval of 34 minutes 8 seconds.
- To control processor startup and shutdown sequences. Startup is
initiated by either a rising edge at the AC input or by timeout of
the second stage counter. The ON_B signal to the power supply
immediately goes low to switch on supply rail regulators. After a
time delay to allow power rails to settle, the processor is
started by sequencing the STBY_B and RES_B signals. Shutdown is
initiated by the processor itself, by accessing a control latch.
STBY_B and RES_B are immediately brought low, and the ON_B signal
- To poll the keyboard. The keyboard is arranged as a 7 by 5 switch
matrix. The seven outputs K1-K7 are open-drain, and to poll the
matrix they are set low one at a time, with the rest floating. At
each step the processor reads the inputs KBD1-KBD5 via port 5,
detecting a key pressed if an input is low. The processor
controls the K1-K7 outputs via control latches within the control
IC. The AC key is separate to the matrix, being input directly to
the IC4 AC input and to a separate bit of the processor port 5.
The keyboard switches are PCB pads underneath the Organiser keys.
When a key is pressed a conductive rubber pad shorts the key
The control IC is reset by the RC network R12, C5. This is only done
on "cold start" i.e. when power is first applied to the board.
Power to the board is supplied through the VCC1, VCC2 and V_LCD rails
from the power supply. VCC1 is always present and powers all circuit ICs
except the LCD drivers. Power consumption is typically 30 microamp when
the Organiser is off, mainly due to the real-time clock oscillator. RAM
data in both the processor and external RAM devices are retained in this
mode. When the Organiser is on (ON_B low) the VCC2 and V_LCD rails are
switched on to power the LCD drivers. Contrast adjustment is achieved by
adjusting the V_LCD voltage. Power consumption in this state can be 20
milliamp with the processor running code, reducing to 4 milliamp when the
processor is set into its "sleep" mode. Capacitors C6-C8 decouple the VCC1
The HD6303XFP processor is a member of the 6301-6303 family (which are
CMOS parts derived from the 6800 series). This member is a romless part
with a full 64k external memory-map, 1 MHz maximum operating speed and
mounted in an 80 pin flat package. The processor is described in depth in
the 6301-6303 family users guide, and the notes in this section only add
information in the context of the Organiser application.
2.3.1 OPERATING MODES
The processor has five operating states: standby, reset, active, halt
and sleep. The Organiser does not use halt mode, and reset is only used
during the switch-on sequence as a transition between standby and active.
The three remaining states are used in the following way :-
1. Standby mode. When the Organiser is powered but is switched off,
the processor is in this state (with the SBY_B and RES_B pins both
low). The processor is inactive with all port pins tri-state and
the oscillator shut down. In this state the power consumption of
the processor is negligible, and the internal RAM is retained.
2. Active mode. When the Organiser is switched on, the processor is
put into Reset mode (SBY_B high and RES_B low) for 30 to 60
millisecs to allow the oscillator and E clock to start up, and is
then set into Active mode (SBY_B and RES_B high). The memory
busses are made active and the processor starts running code. The
I/O ports remain set as inputs until initialised by the software.
In active mode the processor is in control of the whole circuit.
To return to Standby mode (Organiser off) the processor accesses a
switch-off address in its memory-map. This triggers an "ON/OFF"
latch in the control IC which immediately sets SBY_B and RES_B
3. Sleep mode. This is used to reduce power consumption when the
processor is active, and is entirely under software control.
Processor ports 1,3,4 and 7 control the 64k memory-map. Ports 1 and 4
form the 16 bit address bus A0-A15, port 3 the 8 bit data bus D0-D7, and
port 7 supplies the control lines R_B, W_B and R/W_B. External access
cycles are decoded and synchronised with the E clock by the control IC.
The memory map is assigned in four address areas :-
$8000-$FFFF are assigned to external PROM devices.
8,16 or 32 kbyte may be present, filled
from the top down.
$0400-$7FFF are assigned to external RAM.
8,16 or 31 kbyte may be present, filled
from $2000 up except for the 31 kbyte
option which is from $0400 up.
$0100-$03FF are assigned to external I/O devices
including the LCD and latches in the
$0000-$00FF are reserved for internal processor
RAM and registers.
External devices are described further in the following sections.
2.3.3 PORT 5
2.3.4 PORTS 2 AND 6
2.4 MEMORY DEVICES AND OPTIONS
System software is carried on the board in the form of PROM (strictly
speaking they are One-time programmable CMOS EPROM devices). Three options
are catered for :-
8 kbytes at addresses $E000-$FFFF
16 kbytes at addresses $C000-$FFFF
32 kbytes at addresses $8000-$FFFF
Note that in all options the processor re-start and interrupt
addresses at the top of the memory-map are included in the PROM area.
The PROMs used are byte-wide CMOS devices in 28 pin flat packages,
with access times of 250 ns or better. The two types used are:-
27C64FP with 8 kbyte capacity
27C256FP with 32 kbyte capacity
PROMS installed are powered at all times, and have a typical power
consumption in standby mode (with the CS_B pin high) of 1 microamp.
PROMS are fitted to IC5 and IC6 positions on the board. IC5 is always
present in either 8 or 32 kbyte size. IC6 is only used for the 16 kbyte
option, which needs two 8 kbyte chips.
As with the PROM above, there are three options for RAM in the memory
8 kbytes at addresses $2000-$3FFF
16 kbytes at addresses $2000-$5FFF
31 kbytes at addresses $0400-$7FFF
Note that in all cases RAM is continuous from address $2000 upwards,
and this address is used by the system for the start of system variables.
The RAMs used are byte-wide CMOS devices in 28 pin flat packages, with
access times of 250 ns or better. The two types used are :-
6264LFP with 8 kbyte capacity
62256LFP with 32 kbyte capacity
RAMS installed are powered at all times, and hence retain their data
when the Organiser is off. In the standby mode their power consumption is
typically 2 microamp.
RAMs are fitted to IC7 and IC8 positions on the board. IC8 is always
present in either 8 or 32 kbyte size. IC7 is only used for the 16 kbyte
option, which needs 8k chips in both positions. For the 31 kbyte option, a
32 kbyte chip is used but the bottom 1 kbyte ($0000-$03FF) is never
In addition to the RAM devices above, their are two other areas of RAM
on the board and common to all options :-
The processor includes 192 bytes of RAM at addresses $0040-$00FF,
and this is also retained when the Organiser is off.
The LCD driver has its own RAM for display data. This is not in
the processor memory map and is not retained when the Organiser is
2.4.3 MEMORY DECODING AND LINKS
The six memory selection signals from the control IC (CS1_B to CS6_B)
are mapped to the following memory areas :-
CS1_B $8000-$FFFF (32k)
CS2_B $E000-$FFFF (8k)
CS3_B $C000-$DFFF (8k)
CS4_B $4000-$5FFF (8k)
CS5_B $2000-$3FFF (8k)
CS6_B $0400-$7FFF (31k)
They are normally high, and go to their active-low state when the
relevant memory area is addressed by the processor. These six outputs
cover all PROM/RAM options, and a maximum of four can be used at any time.
Links L1-L8 on the board are used to match the correct signals to the
available memory options. They are arranged as four pairs: L1-L2, L3-L4,
L5-L6, and L7-L8. Of each pair only one should be fitted, with the other
If a 32 kbyte PROM is fitted in IC5 then links L1 and L4 should be
fitted. L1 routes CS1_B to the PROM to decode it in the $8000-$FFFF range.
L4 makes the A14 address line available to the PROM.
If an 8 kbyte PROM is fitted in IC5 then links L2 and L3 should be
fitted. L2 routes CS2_B to the PROM to decode it in the $E000-$FFFF range.
L3 pulls the PROM pin 27 high since A14 is not required.
If a 32 kbyte RAM is used in IC8 then L6 should be fitted, to route
the CS6_B signal to the RAM and decode it in the $0400-$7FFF range.
If an 8 kbyte RAM is used in IC8 then L5 should be fitted to route the
CS5_B signal to the RAM and decode it in the $2000-$3FFF range.
Links L7 and L8 set the state of the control IC CTRL input. L7 is
normally fitted, and in this case the CS1_B to CS6_B outputs are internally
gated with the processor E clock so that they are active only when the E
clock is high. If L8 is fitted the decode outputs are dependent on the
address lines only.
2.4.4 OPTIONS FOR CM, XP AND LA
The three production versions of the Organiser have the following
device options and links :-
- CM version 32 kbyte PROM $8000-$FFFF
8 kbyte RAM $2000-$3FFF
links fitted: L1,L4,L5,L7
- XP version 32 kbyte PROM $8000-$FFFF
8 kbyte RAM $2000-$3FFF
8 kbyte RAM $4000-$5FFF
links fitted: L1,L4,L5,L7
- LA version 32 kbyte PROM $8000-$FFFF
32 kbyte RAM $0400-$7FFF
links fitted: L1,L4,L6,L7
2.5 MEMORY MAPPED I/O
2.5.1 ADDRESS ASSIGNMENT
The previous sections have covered memory areas $0000-$0100 (processor
internal functions) and $0400-$FFFF (memory devices). The area between
these ($0100-$03FF) is used to decode the LCD and latches within the
control IC. The control IC decodes these from its address inputs A6-A15,
and since A0-A5 are not available each function must span addresses in
blocks of 64 bytes or multiples of this. The functions and their address
ranges are :-
$0100-$017F not used
$0180-$01BF LCD ENABLE
$01C0-$01FF SWITCH OFF
$0200-$023F PULSE ENABLE
$0240-$027F PULSE DISABLE
$0280-$02BF ALARM SET
$02C0-$02FF ALARM RESET
$0300-$033F COUNTER RESET
$0340-$037F COUNTER CLOCK
$0380-$03BF NMI ENABLE
$03C0-$03FF NMI DISABLE
The LCD ENABLE function is a simple decoding one which is output
to the EOUT signal on pin 39. This is normally low, and is set high
when any address in the range is selected. The LCD is covered further
in section 2.7.
All the other functions listed perform actions within the control
IC which are address-controlled, latched events. Address-controlled
means that any processor access to an address within the range will
cause the event, irrespective of whether it is a read or write access
or of data on the data bus. Once an access has occurred, the affected
latch remains in the state set until a further access alters it. If
a latch is set, then further accesses to set it will have no effect
and a reset access is required to change its state.
2.5.2 PULSE SIGNAL
The PULSE output is a control signal to the power supply board, used
in generating the voltages necessary to program datapacks. It is
controlled by an internal PULSE latch. When set, the PULSE signal is
enabled and a 32 kHz square-wave signal of between 40-60 percent duty cycle
is output to the PULSE output pin. When reset, the output is disabled and
is low. The latch is automatically reset when the Organiser is off.
Caution should be used when accessing the PULSE latch, as damage could
occur to the power supply if it is left enabled for too long. PULSE is
only used by the Organiser during datapack programming, and in a strictly
controlled loop using the READY signal as a feedback input. In this loop,
PULSE is disabled as soon as the READY input goes high. This is discussed
further in the power supply section.
2.5.3 ALARM SIGNAL
The ALARM signal is a direct output from the ALARM latch. It is used
to drive the piezoelectric buzzer element mounted from the power supply
When the ALARM latch is set, the output signal goes high and the
voltage is applied across the buzzer element. When reset, the signal is
removed. ALARM may be left in either state, but the buzzer only produces
sound at transitions between the two states. To produce a tone, the
software must access the ALARM set and reset functions alternately to
produce the frequency required.
The alarm signal is also used as an interlock in the power supply
circuit, to allow datapack programming voltages to be applied to the packs.
This is described further in the power supply section.
2.5.6 SWITCH OFF
2.6 CLOCK AND KEYBOARD
The real-time clock and keyboard poll are both functions dealt with by
the control IC. Although at first sight they are completely independent
functions, they are linked together in the control IC since the keyboard
poll outputs K1-K7 are part of the clock divider chain. For this reason
they are described together in this section.
2.6.1 DIVIDER CHAIN
The clock divider chain is implemented in the control IC as a 27 bit
binary counter split into two stages :-
Stage 1 is a 15 bit free-running binary counter clocked by the
32768 Hz oscillator input. Each cycle of the clock increments the
counter, and when all bits are high the next cycle resets them all
to low. In other terms, each bit of the counter alternates high
and low at a frequency of one half the previous bit. Hence the
last bit, bit 15, oscillates at a frequency of 1 Hz.
Three of the bits of this stage may appear at output pins :-
- Bit 0 (32768 Hz) is gated with the PULSE latch, and when PULSE
is enabled appears at the output pin.
- Bit 5 (1024 Hz) is gated with the processor RES_B output, and
when the processor is active (RES_B high), appears at the OSC
- Bit 15 (1 Hz) is gated with the NMI latch, and when enabled
appears at the NMI output to interrupt the processor every
second. When NMI is disabled, the 1 Hz signal is gated
internally to clock the stage 2 counter.
Stage 2 is a 12 bit binary counter which may be clocked from one
of two sources: either from the 1 Hz signal if NMI is disabled,
or by a processor access to the COUNTER CLOCK area of its
memory-map. In addition this stage may be reset by an access to
the COUNTER RESET function. Eight of the twelve bits of this
stage appear at the output pins. Bits 1-7 appear as the keyboard
poll outputs K1-K7 respectively. Since they are open-drain
outputs they are pulled low when the counter bits are low, and
float when the counter bits are high. Bit 12 appears as the ACOUT
signal, and when high internally sets the ON/OFF latch to start a
With the two stages linked together (i.e. with NMI disabled), the last
bit (ACOUT) would have a cycle time of 68 mins 16 secs if left as a
free-running counter. In practice the counter is never left to free run,
and if started from a reset condition is interrupted after half a cycle (34
mins 8 sec) when it switches the Organiser on.
2.6.2 KEEPING TIME
The date and time are kept and updated by the processor in its
internal RAM. When the Organiser is on, it is normally receiving an NMI
interrupt every second, and so can update the time on a second by second
basis. Clearly when the Organiser is off this cannot be done, and in this
case the stage 2 counter is used instead to keep track of elapsed time
since the Organiser was switched off.
To explain this process, imagine that the clock is set exactly with
the processor running and receiving NMI interrupts every second. The time
is incremented immediately following each interrupt. When the Organiser
switches off it follows the following sequence :-
1. Wait for NMI and increment clock
2. Access COUNTER RESET address to reset the stage 2 counter
3. Access SWITCH OFF address. This automatically disables the NMI
output and switches the 1 Hz signal to start clocking the stage 2
The next and subsequent 1 Hz cycles will increment the stage 2
counter, and this will continue for 34 mins 8 secs until the last bit
(ACOUT) is set high. This starts the switch-on sequence to re-start the
processor. When running, the processor enables the NMI latch to start
updating the clock directly every second. It also reads the state of the
ACOUT signal, and because it is high it knows the clock is 34 minutes 8
seconds slow, and adds this to its time registers. Hence the time and date
are accurate again and being updated every second.
This explains the general mechanism of keeping time when the processor
is off, using the stage 2 counter. A few other details need clarifying to
explain the system fully:-
1. On switch on, the test on the ACOUT signal determines the reason
for the processor to be started. If ACOUT is high then a counter
timeout has occurred as indicated above. In this case the
processor will update its time registers as described and
immediately switch off again. When left off, the Organiser keeps
time by automatically switching on every 34 min 8 sec, updating
the time and switching off again.
2. If ACOUT is low when the processor starts, then a counter timeout
is not responsible (i.e. the AC key or the external AC input must
have been activated). In this case the same startup procedure is
followed, but the processor does not immediately know how much
elapsed time to add to bring its clock registers up to date (i.e.
how long since the Organiser was switched off). To find out, it
repeatedly accesses the COUNTER CLOCK address until the ACOUT
signal goes high. The number of clock cycles required effectively
gives the number of seconds until the next counter timeout was
due. This can be subtracted from 34 min 8 sec to give the elapsed
time since switch off, and this time is added to the time
3. If the Organiser is about to switch off and an alarm has been set
within the next 34 min 8 sec, it can pre-load the stage 2 counter
instead of resetting it just before switch-off. To do this it
first RESETs the counter and then clocks it using the COUNTER
CLOCK address Each clock will reduce the time to the next counter
timeout by one second.
4. The stage 2 counter is normally used to keep track of elapsed time
when the Organiser is off, but the same mechanism can also be used
when the processor is running. This is sometimes done when
running time-critical code where NMI interrupts would be
5. Two adjustments are required to make the descriptions above fully
accurate. Firstly, in any sequence where time-keeping is switched
from direct NMI interrupt to stage 2 counter and back again, one
second is gained and must be adjusted for in the software. This
is a result of the hardware mechanism used to switch the 1 Hz
signal between NMI and the counter. Secondly, during the
switch-on sequence following a counter timeout (ACOUT high), an
extra clock cycle to the counter may have occurred between the
initiation cycle and the time that the processor switches to NMI
interrupt. To detect if this has happened, the processor clocks
the counter through (as after an AC press) until ACOUT switches
2.6.3 THE KEYBOARD
The AC key at the keyboard top left is a special case since it is used
to switch the Organiser on. As such it is the only key on the keyboard
whose function cannot be totally software defined. The AC key switches the
AC signal on the board, and is input both to the control IC AC input and to
the processor port 5 bit 7. It is normally low, and is pulled high on
pressing the key. Pressing AC when the Organiser is off will set the
ON/OFF latch in the control IC and start a switch-on sequence. When the
processor is running, it polls this key by reading port 5 bit 7. (1=AC
pressed, 0=AC not pressed). The external AC input from the Organiser top
slot is in parallel with the AC key. This is used to switch the Organiser
on from an external input, but it is disabled whenever the ON/OFF latch is
set and so cannot be polled.
The other 35 keys on the keyboard are arranged as a 7 by 5 switch
matrix. They are polled using the K1-K7 outputs from the control IC and
the KBD1-KBD5 inputs to the processor port 5. The inputs are normally
high, and are pulled low when a key is pressed and the relevant output is
set low. The keys are arranged in the following way :-
input: KBD5 KBD4 KBD3 KBD2 KBD1
port5 bit: 6 5 4 3 2
K7 D J P V S
K6 F L R X EXE
K5 G K Q W DEL
K4 C I O U Z
K3 B H N Y Y
K2 A G M S SH
K1 RA LA DA UA MODE
To poll the matrix, the processor first RESETs the stage 2 counter.
All outputs K1-K7 will now be pulled low and all rows of the matrix
accessed simultaneously; i.e. if any key is pressed then one of the port 5
inputs will be pulled low. Conversely, if all inputs are high then no keys
are pressed and no further polling is required. If a key press is detected
at this stage then the processor polls each row of keys in turn to isolate
which key is responsible.
To do this it accesses the COUNTER CLOCK address until the K7 output
is low but K1-K6 are all floating. The first row of the matrix above are
now accessed, and depression of the D,J,P,V or S keys is detected if a low
is present at the corresponding bit of port 5. To poll the next row, more
COUNTER CLOCK accesses are required until the K6 output is low with K7 and
K1-K5 floating. This process is repeated 7 times until all rows have been
Because this process uses the stage 2 counter, the keyboard can only
be polled when the NMI latch is set to directly interrupt the processor.
2.7 LCD DISPLAY
The LCD is driven by IC2 and IC3, parts HD44780 and HD44100
respectively. Both these ICs are described in detail in the LCD Driver LSI
Databook, and the notes in this section only add information in the context
of the Organiser application.
The Organiser display is 32 characters arranged in two lines of 16
characters each. In this configuration the HD44780 provides the 16 common
lines and the display is driven with a 1/16 duty cycle. The two display
lines are each 7 dots tall plus a separate cursor line. Each character is
5 dots wide and so 80 segment lines are required. The first 40 of these
(left half of the display) are provided by the HD44780, and the rest by the
HD44100 slave driver.
The display is accessed by the processor in the memory area
$0180-$01BF as described in section 2.5. The two registers are selected by
the A0 address line, so even addresses in this range access the Instruction
Register, odd ones the Data Register. The 8 bit mode is used to transfer
data to the processor, and this must be selected when the drivers are
The display drivers and LCD plate are powered by the VCC2 and V_LCD
rails from the power supply board. These are swished off whenever the
Organiser is off, and so the LCD must be initialised at each processor
start-up. The intermediate voltages required are provided by the resistor
chain R1-R5. Contrast adjustment is controlled by the thumbwheel on the
power supply board, by adjusting the V_LCD voltage between limits of +0.6
and -3 volts. Power required is typically 2 milliamp from VCC2 and 0.5
milliamp from V_LCD.