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Product information for the AST VGA Plus adapter

Headline Bulletins Section                                    AST On-Line!

06/02/92: MEMORY, GRAPHICS, ACCELERATOR AND I/O BOARDS

  > A -=> 02/07/89: AST Advantage and RAMvantage Memory Products
  > I -=> 06/30/90: AST I/O Board Products
  > R -=> 09/21/90: AST Rampage! Products
  > S -=> 06/02/92: AST SixPak Memory Products
  > V -=> 05/19/89: AST Video Board Products
  > M -=> 02/28/89: Miscellaneous Memory Products
    H -=> 02/15/91: AST HotShot Accelerator Board for 8088/8086 system

05/19/89: AST VIDEO BOARD PRODUCTS

    1 -=> AST 3G Video Adapter               P/N 202091-001
    2 -=> AST 3G-Plus Video Adapter          P/N 202104-001
    3 -=> AST 3G-Plus II Video Adapter       P/N 202161-001
    4 -=> AST-VGA Video Adapter              P/N 202249-001
    5 -=> AST-VGA Plus Video Adapter         P/N 202262-001

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AST VGA                                            AST Part Number 202249-001

The AST VGA is a Video Graphics Array video adapter for use with the IBM PC,
PC/XT, PC/AT, and 100% compatible machines.  It comes standard with 256K of
video memory and a 15-pin connector for sending analog video signals to a
PS/2, VGA, or Multisynch monitor.  Video modes supported by the AST VGA are
MDA, HGC, CGA, EGA, and VGA, all on analog monitors.


JUMPER SETTINGS

    The AST VGA has only one user-configurable jumper setting; a three pin
    jumper that must be connected on the left or right pair of pins depending
    on the kind of monitor connected to the adapter.

    The left pair (1 & 2) of pins should be connected if the monitor is a PS/2
    or other analog only VGA monitor.

    The right pair (2 & 3) of pins should be connected if the monitor is a
    Multisynch monitor.  Note that the Multisynch must be set for analog
    operation.  Most Multisynch monitors come with a standard 9-pin TTL cable.
    If this is the case, a 9-pin to 15-pin adapter cable must be obtained from
    the manufacturer of the monitor.


JUMPER LOCATION

    ╔═════════════════════════════════╗
    ║                                 ║ ╔═══
    ║                                 ╟─╢
    ║                                 ║ ║
    ║                                 ║ ║
    ║                                 ║ ║
    ║                                 ║ ║
    ║                                 ║ ║
    ║                             *** ║ ║
    ║                             123 ║ ║
    ║                                 ╟─╢
    ╚═══════════════╗            ╔════╝ ║
                    ╚════════════╝      ║
                                        ║

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
AST VGA PLUS                                       AST Part Number 202262-001

The VGA PLUS is a Video Graphics Array video adapter for use with the IBM PC,
PC/XT, PC/AT, and 100% compatible machines.  This board can operate in either
8-bit or (in an AT compatible) 16-bit mode. It comes standard with 256K of
video memory (expandable to 512K) and a 15-pin connector for sending analog
video signals to a PS/2, VGA, or Multisynch monitor.  Video modes supported
by the VGA PLUS are MDA, HGC, CGA, EGA, and VGA, all on analog monitors.


SWITCH SETTINGS

    There is one bank of four switches accessable through the rear bracket
    of the board.  They control the following features:

    SW1  ON - Monitor attached is a multisynch operating in analog mode.
        OFF - Monitor attached is a PS/2 or other analog display.

    SW2  ON - Data transfer rate is 16-bit (board must be in 16-bit slot).
        OFF - Data transfer rate is 8-bit.

    SW3  ON - Adds one wait state to buss speed.
        OFF - Board operates at speed of buss.

    SW4 OFF - AT ALL TIMES


SWITCH BLOCK LOCATION

    ╔═════════════════════════════════════════╗
    ║                                         ║ ╔═══
    ║                                       +-╟─╢
    ║                                    SW1| ║ ║
    ║                                       +-║ ║
    ║                                         ║ ║
    ║                                         ║ ║
    ║                                         ║ ║
    ║                                         ║ ║
    ║                                         ║ ║
    ║                                         ╟─╢
    ╚═══════════════╗      ╔═╗             ╔══╝ ║
                    ╚══════╝ ╚═════════════╝    ║
                                                ║

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
FILE DIRECTORY OF LIB SBS   AST Software Bulletins

     File           Bytes  Source     Description
     ----           -----  ------     -----------
     0076.SB         2977  Sysop      AST VGA Plus Utilities Software
     0077.SB         2438  Sysop      AST VGA Utilities Software
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
=============================================================================

AST RESEARCH, INC.         SOFTWARE BULLETIN #0076B                  11-28-90

=============================================================================


                        AST-VGA PLUS UTILITIES SOFTWARE


Production Release 3.03        Available November, 1990

Part Number: 910417-001        5.25 inch, 1.2MB diskette

             910417-031        3.50 inch, 760KB diskette

Please note: The part number has changed from the previous release of these
             utilities (see below).

Includes enhancements and problem fixes of previous versions plus the
following:

    ENHANCEMENTS:

    - VGA now supports IBM PS/2 display modes of the VGA standard.  This
      implies the ability to use either VGA color or VGA monochrome displays
      interchangeably with software applications.  These utilities are to be
      used in conjunction with release 3.10 of the VGA Plus BIOS (part
      numbers 107000-682 and 107000-683).

    - Added 800x600 drivers for Windows 3.0, WordPerfect 5.0 and Autocad
      release 9 and 10.

    - Added driver PVGA480.DRV for support of Windows 3.0 640 x 480
      resolution.  Updated SETUP.INF to include above driver.

Production Release 3.01A       Available October, 1989

Part Number:  910373-001       5.25 inch diskette 1 of 4
              910373-002       5.25 inch diskette 2 of 4
              910373-003       5.25 inch diskette 3 of 4
              910373-004       5.25 inch diskette 4 of 4

              910373-031       3.50 inch diskette 1 of 2
              910373-032       3.50 inch diskette 2 of 2

    PROBLEMS RESOLVED:

    - Use of 800x600 resolution mode with AutoCad release 9 was not fully
      supported.  The optional "pull-down" menus would not operate.
      (PR#B47001)

    - No 800x600 resolution mode was available with the previous utilities
      for AutoCad release 10.  (PR#B47013)

    - Support did not exist in the utilities for the application GEM version
      2.1 in 800x600 mode.  (PR#B47015)

Production Release 1.03        Available September, 1988

Part Number:  910243-001       5.25 inch diskette 1 of 2
              910243-002       5.25 inch diskette 2 of 2

    PROBLEMS RESOLVED:

    - Resolved problems with Windows drivers.

    - Resolved problem with FASTVGA.SYS.  In previous version, if FASTVGA was
      installed in the system, the program FASTVGA.SYS could not be copied
      from any source to any destination or the system would hang.
      (PR#B47002)

    - The diagnostics now report the correct switch settings of the VGA Plus
      adapter.  (PR#B47003)

Production Release 1.02        Available June, 1988

    ENHANCEMENTS:

    - The utility FASTVGA.SYS was added to the diskette.

Production Release 1.00        Available April, 1988

This is the initial release of the software.
=============================================================================

AST RESEARCH, INC.         SOFTWARE BULLETIN #0077A                  11-28-90

=============================================================================


                          AST-VGA UTILITIES SOFTWARE


Production Release 3.03        Available November, 1990

Part Number: 910427-001        5.25 inch, 1.2MB diskette

             910427-031        3.50 inch, 760KB diskette

Please note: The part number has changed from the previous release of these
             utilities (see below).

Includes enhancements and problem fixes of previous versions plus the
following:

    ENHANCEMENTS:

    - VGA now supports IBM PS/2 display modes of the VGA standard.  This
      implies that the ability to use either VGA color or VGA monochrome
      displays interchangeably with software applications.  These utilities
      are to be used in conjunction with release 3.10 of the VGA BIOS (part
      number 107000-684).

    - Added 800x600 drivers for Windows 3.0, WordPerfect 5.0 and Autocad
      release 9 and 10.

Production Release 3.00        Available October, 1989

Part Number: 910363-001        5.25 inch, 360K diskette 1 of 4
             910363-002        5.25 inch, 360K diskette 2 of 4
             910363-003        5.25 inch, 360K diskette 3 of 4
             910363-004        5.25 inch, 360K diskette 4 of 4

             910363-031        3.50 inch, 760K diskette 1 of 2
             910363-032        3.50 inch, 760K diskette 2 of 2

    PROBLEMS RESOLVED:

    - An incompatibility with the OS/2 operating system whereby the screen
      would appear blank when OS/2 was booted.

Production Release 1.03        Available September, 1988

Part Number:  910204-001       5.25 inch diskette 1 of 2
              910204-002       5.25 inch diskette 2 of 2

    PROBLEMS RESOLVED:

    - Resolved problems with Windows drivers.  Drivers for 640 by 400, 256
      colors operate correctly with this release.  (PR#B43002)

    - The diagnostics now report the correct switch settings of the VGA
      adapter.

Production Release 1.01        Available May, 1988

    ENHANCEMENTS:

    - Includes Microsoft Windows drivers for extended video modes of
      operation.

Production Release 1.00        Available March, 1988

This is the initial release of the software.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Technical documents for the AST VGA Plus adapter

0619.tb     1798 #0619  03-20-90 RUNNING COMPATIBILITY TESTS ON THE VGA PLUS
0629.tb     1408 #0629  06-27-90 AUTOSENSING OPERATION OF THE VGA PLUS
0638.tb      902 #0638  10-10-90 VGA PLUS AND WESTERN DIGITAL ETHERCARD PLUS
0642.tb     2533 #0642  11-12-90 VGA MODES SUPPORTED ON AST VGA PRODUCTS
0658.tb      845 #0658  01-21-91 VGA PLUS - IRQ 2 CONFLICTS
0685.tb     1335 #0685  05-24-91 THE SUPER VGA MONITOR WITH AST VGA ADAPTERS
0710.tb     2286 #0710A 10-28-91 SCO OPEN DESKTOP IN 800X600 VIDEO MODE
0742.tb     1192 #0742  01-24-92 MICROSOFT WINDOWS 3.0 AND ENHANCED VGA MODES
0752.tb     1393 #0752  04-08-92 VGA DRIVER SUPPORT FOR WINDOWS 3.1
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
=============================================================================

AST RESEARCH, INC.         TECHNICAL BULLETIN #0619                  03-20-90

=============================================================================


                 RUNNING COMPATIBILITY TESTS ON THE VGA PLUS


The IBM VGA standard supports two methods of addressing monochrome and color
displays:

    - The VGA included on PS/2 systems allows software to address both
      monochrome and color monitors at the same time with no restrictions
      (colors in monochrome appear as shades of gray).

    - The VGA adapter for AT type systems allows software to address either
      color monitors or monochrome monitors, but not both.

The AST VGA Plus adapter is compatible with the VGA standard for the IBM AT
adapter.  This means that software used with the VGA Plus will only address a
color display in color mode or a monochrome display in monochrome mode.
Switching between display modes is accomplished through the use of the
ASTVGA.EXE utility included with the VGA Plus utilities.

The adapter, by design, will not pass diagnostics written to test VGA
monochrome modes while the adapter is in VGA color mode.  In particular,
tests from "PC Magazine" issue commands which are meant to test a PS/2 type
adapter and will fail on an adapter which follows the IBM AT adapter
standard.  This is normal operation for any VGA adapter which follows the IBM
AT VGA adapter standard.

Some compatibility tests may also fail because of a hardware conflict.  The
IBM AT VGA adapter supports the use of hardware interrupt IRQ2.  However, the
AST VGA Plus adapter does not.  The VGA Plus will fail tests such as one from
"PC Tech Journal" (test 13) which attempts to use IRQ2.
=============================================================================

AST RESEARCH, INC.         TECHNICAL BULLETIN #0629                  06-27-90

=============================================================================


                    AUTOSENSING OPERATION OF THE VGA PLUS


When the AST VGA Plus (part number 202262-003) is configured to operate in 16
bit mode (switch position "two" = ON) the entire memory address range from
C0000h to DFFFFh is in 16 bit mode for all system memory accesses.  This is
due to the design of the IBM AT standard I/O bus.  This means that an 8 bit
adapter which is configured to reside in this region will not be recognized
by the system.

Version 3.0 of the VGA Plus BIOS (part numbers 107000-682 and 107000-683) has
the ability to detect the standard IBM ROM signature "AA 55".  If, when the
system is being initialized, the VGA BIOS detects this signature anywhere in
the 128K range where it resides, the VGA Plus will switch back to eight bit
operation to avoid conflicts.

The BIOS cannot detect the presence of RAM (e.g., shared memory) on an
adapter, however.  In order for adapters which have this type of memory
(e.g., IBM Token Ring II adapters) to be configured to operate in this
address range, the VGA Plus has to be manually switched back to 8 bit
operation (switch position "two" = OFF) to avoid conflicts.
=============================================================================

AST RESEARCH, INC.         TECHNICAL BULLETIN #0638                  10-10-90

=============================================================================


                 VGA PLUS AND WESTERN DIGITAL ETHERCARD PLUS


The Western Digital EtherCard PLUS 16 bit network adapter may not operate
reliably in a system where an AST VGA Plus adapter (AST part number
202262-002) is also installed (and operating in 16 bit mode).

Some versions of the Novell Netware driver supplied with the EtherCard PLUS
cannot operate in a memory address area being accessed in 16 bit mode.  This
is the situation that occurs when the VGA Plus is configured for 16 bit
operation.

For the EtherCard PLUS to operate in this environment, the network driver
supplied by Western Digital must be version 3.08A (or higher).
=============================================================================

AST RESEARCH, INC.         TECHNICAL BULLETIN #0642                  11-12-90

=============================================================================


                   VGA MODES SUPPORTED ON AST VGA PRODUCTS


VGA is defined by IBM as a set of display modes up to and including 640 x 480
resolution in 16 colors.  "Super" VGA is a super set of VGA, defined by the
Video Electronics Standard Association (VESA) to be 800 x 600 resolution, 16
colors.

Other display modes are also called "Super" VGA or "Extended Mode" VGA,
depending on the manufacturer of the VGA hardware. These modes do not fall
under the above definition of "Super" VGA, even though they are sometimes
referred to as such.

AST VGA products (VGA Plus adapter and embedded VGA) support Super VGA as
defined in the first paragraph above, plus other high resolution modes.  The
following table summarizes the resolutions and color combinations supported
with AST VGA products:

                                +---------------------------------+
                                |           Embedded VGA          |
+-------------------------------+---------------------------------|
| Resolution | Color | VGA Plus | CUPID Enh. | Prem II | Bravo II |
|------------+-------+----------+------------+---------+----------|
|  640 x 480 |   16  |   Yes    |    Yes     |  Yes    |  Yes     |
|------------+-------+----------+------------+---------+----------|
|  800 x 600 |   16  |   Yes    |    Yes     |  Yes    |  Yes     |
|------------+-------+----------+------------+---------+----------|
| 1024 x 768 |   16  |   No     |    No      |  No     |  No      |
|------------+-------+----------+------------+---------+----------|
|  320 x 200 |  256  |   Yes    |    Yes     |  Yes    |  Yes     |
|------------+-------+----------+------------+---------+----------|
|  640 x 400 |  256  |   Yes    |    Yes     |  No     |  No      |
|------------+-------+----------+------------+---------+----------|
|  640 x 480 |  256* |   Yes    |    No      |  No     |  No      |
|------------+-------+----------+------------+---------+----------|
|  800 x 600 |  256  |   No     |    No      |  No     |  No      |
|------------+-------+----------+------------+---------+----------|
| 1024 x 768 |  256  |   No     |    No      |  No     |  No      |
+-----------------------------------------------------------------+
* Requires 256K upgrade
=============================================================================

AST RESEARCH, INC.         TECHNICAL BULLETIN #0658                  01-21-91

=============================================================================


                           VGA PLUS - IRQ 2 CONFLICTS


The VGA Plus adapter, part number 202262-003 revisions A or B, causes a
conflict with other adapters in the computer that requires the use of IRQ 2.
Such adapters include the IBM 3270 emulation adapter, or networking adapters
which may be configured to use IRQ 2.

This conflict is due to the VGA Plus seizing IRQ 2 on the system bus and
preventing any other adapter from utilizing this signal.

To resolve this incompatibility, replace this VGA Plus adapter with one that
carries the part number 202262-003 revision C (or above).
=============================================================================

AST RESEARCH, INC.         TECHNICAL BULLETIN #0685                  05-24-91

=============================================================================


                  THE SUPER VGA MONITOR WITH AST VGA ADAPTERS


In January of 1991, the "dot clock" frequency of the AST Super VGA monitor
(part number 500783-XXX) became 36 megahertz in order to comply with industry
standards.  This is designated by the characters "36MHZ" on the back of the
monitor.

This change causes an incompatibility with AST VGA display adapters in
certain display modes.  The symptoms appear when the "Enhanced Text Mode"
(132 characters by 25 lines or 132 characters by 43 lines) is chosen for the
display mode.  The monitor will display only horizontal scan lines instead of
readable text.

The following table describes the revision level of a given VGA display
adapter required to maintain compatibility with the "36MHz" Super VGA
adapter.

Description              Part Number          Revision Level

VGA Adapter (8 bit)      202249-005            C or above
VGA Plus Adapter         202262-003            D or above
CUPID System Board       202360-001            S or above
DSX-16 VGA Adapter       20H004-001            X4 or above

AST RESEARCH, INC.         TECHNICAL BULLETIN #0710A                 10-28-91




                   SCO OPEN DESKTOP IN 800X600 VIDEO MODE


PROBLEM:     When using the Open Desktop release 1.0 and 1.11 in SuperVGA
             (800x600x16) mode, vertical bars and multiple horizontal images
             are displayed on the screen.  The 640x480 and 640x350 modes work
             fine.

CAUSE:       The "grafinfo" file for the video contains some additional
             information which is only required for the AST VGA Plus card.

SYSTEMS
AFFECTED:    All systems with integrated video.

SOLUTION:    To fix this problem complete the following steps:
             (Lines starting with the # sign indicate commands that should be
             entered at the root prompt).

             1) Bring the system down to single user mode (init 1).
             2) # cd /usr/lib/grafinfo/paradise.
             3) # cp vgaplus.xgi vgaplus.orig (you are saving the
                file vgaplus.xgi as vgaplus.orig).
             4) Edit the file vgaplus.xgi.
             5) Search for, and remove the following two lines
                from the file:

             out (0x3CE,0x0B); out(0x3CF,0x44); / *256k 16 bit */
             out (0x3CE,0x0C); out(0x3CF,0);

             6) Save the file and exit you editor.
             7) # mkdev graphics.
             8) Select "update" from the main menu.
             9) Choose the Paradise VGA Plus from the list of
                Adapters.
            10) Choose the VGA 800x600 16-color option from the
                list of Modes.
            11) Press return twice to accept the Default
                configuration, and accept the current setting.
            12) Choose "Quit" from the main menu, then "save".
                (This will update the grafinfo database to reflect
                the changes you have made to the file).

The system does not need to be re-booted, just go back to multiuser mode and
ODT will now work in 800x600 mode.  This updated file will work correctly on
the regular VGA Plus board also.
=============================================================================

AST RESEARCH, INC.         TECHNICAL BULLETIN #0742                  01-24-92

=============================================================================


                MICROSOFT WINDOWS 3.0 AND ENHANCED VGA MODES


PROBLEM:       When running the application WordPerfect 5.1 in 132x43 column
               text mode under Windows 3.0 (Real, Standard, or Enhanced
               modes) and switching between tasks using the <ALT> + <TAB> key
               sequence, or using the Task List, when the user switches away
               from and then back to the WordPerfect session the screen is
               blank with only a flashing cursor on the screen.

CAUSE:         Microsoft has advised AST that Windows does not support DOS
               applications (WordPerfect and others) running in extended
               graphics modes such as 132x43 column text mode or 640x400x256
               graphics mode.  Windows will only support standard VGA text
               and graphics modes for these applications.

SOLUTION:      Run DOS applications in standard VGA modes only.
=============================================================================

AST RESEARCH, INC.         TECHNICAL BULLETIN #0752                  04-08-92

=============================================================================


                     VGA DRIVER SUPPORT FOR WINDOWS 3.1


PROBLEM:       VGA drivers distributed with the AST systems do not support
               Microsoft Windows 3.1.  The following two problems will occur
               when attempting to load these drivers under Windows 3.1:

               1) The Windows 3.1 logo will be overwritten with a 3.0 logo.

               2) The 256 color drivers for both the 800x600 and 640x480
                  resolutions operate slowly and with considerable flicker.

               The video drivers experiencing problems are contained on the
               following diskettes:

               DESCRIPTION                        PART NUMBER

          Premium II Integrated VGA drivers       910403-003/033
          Bravo Integrated VGA drivers            910524-031
          Advantage Integrated VGA drivers        910527-031

CAUSE:         These drivers were written to support Windows 3.0 and were not
               meant to support Windows 3.1.

SOLUTION:      There is no solution for the above problems until drivers for
               Windows 3.1 have been released.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
End of file.
inserted by FC2 system