Advanced Search
Apple Developer Connection
Member Login Log In | Not a Member? Contact ADC

Previous Book Contents Book Index Next

Inside Macintosh: Devices /
Chapter 4 - SCSI Manager 4.3

About SCSI Manager 4.3

The SCSI Manager 4.3 application program interface (API) is modeled on the Common Access Method (CAM) software interface being developed by ANSI committee X3T9. The SCSI Manager 4.3 interface, however, includes Apple-specific differences required for compatibility with the original SCSI Manager and the Macintosh Operating System.

The CAM specification defines the operation of three functional units--the transport (XPT), the SCSI interface module (SIM), and the host bus adapter (HBA). The XPT is the entry point to SCSI Manager 4.3 and is responsible for passing requests to the appropriate SIM. Each SIM is responsible for managing the HBA for a particular bus.

In addition to the XPT, SCSI Manager 4.3 includes a SIM for managing the NCR 53C96 SCSI controller used in high-performance Macintosh computers. Other SIM modules and HBA hardware can be added at any time by Apple or third-party developers. For example, a NuBus or PDS expansion card can provide an additional SCSI bus, which device drivers can access through SCSI Manager 4.3 in exactly the same way as the internal bus. Figure 4-1 shows the relationship between device drivers, SCSI Manager 4.3, and the SCSI controller hardware.

Figure 4-1 The SCSI Manager 4.3 architecture

The features and capabilities of SCSI Manager 4.3 include


The SCSI Manager 4.3 transport (XPT) provides the software interface to applications and device drivers, and is responsible for

SCSI Interface Modules

A SCSI interface module (SIM) provides the software interface between the transport (XPT) and a host bus adapter (HBA) in SCSI Manager 4.3. The SIM processes and executes SCSI requests directed to it by the XPT and is responsible for handling all aspects of a SCSI transaction, including

System Performance

In terms of maximum data transfer (bytes-per-second) over the internal SCSI bus, SCSI Manager 4.3 performs similarly to the original SCSI Manager. This aspect of performance is limited by the capability of the SCSI controller hardware and can be improved by adding a faster HBA.

In terms of overall system performance, the asynchronous capability of SCSI Manager 4.3 can provide significant benefits by allowing application code to regain control of the system while a SCSI transaction is in progress. This concurrency is a key benefit of asynchronous operation. In addition, support for disconnect/reconnect allows applications to initiate multiple I/O requests on multiple targets simultaneously, allowing further increases in throughput.

Multiple bus systems offer the added benefit of concurrency between buses. If DMA is used for both buses, their data transfer periods can be overlapped as well.


All the functions provided by the original SCSI Manager are emulated by the SCSI Manager 4.3 XPT and SIM for the internal SCSI bus. This level of compatibility is optional for third-party SIM/HBA developers. When a SIM registers its HBA with the SCSI Manager 4.3 XPT, the SIM specifies whether or not it is able to emulate the original SCSI Manager functions by setting the oldCallCapable field of the SIM initialization record.

When an application or device driver calls the original SCSI Manager function SCSIGet, the XPT sets a flag preventing any additional SCSIGet function calls but performs no other action. Upon receipt of a SCSISelect function call, the XPT issues a SCSIOldCall request to the appropriate SIM, which places the request in its queue. Once the SCSIOldCall request begins execution, the SIM emulates subsequent original SCSI Manager function calls passed to it by the XPT. During this emulation, no new requests are processed until the entire transaction is completed and the SCSIComplete function returns. Any SCSIGet or SCSISelect requests received after the start of a SCSIOldCall request are rejected and return the scMgrBusyErr code.

While the original SCSI Manager emulation is in progress, asynchronous requests made by other applications or device drivers (using SCSI Manager 4.3 functions) are queued but do not execute until the emulation is complete. Requests to other SIMs are not affected and continue to execute normally.

The SCSIReset function resets only those buses that are capable of handling original SCSI Manager functions. The SCSIStat function returns results as accurate as possible for the SIM/HBA handling the request.

The scComp (compare) TIB instruction is not supported by SCSI Manager 4.3 because DMA transfers do not permit this type of compare operation. This should pose few compatibility problems because this instruction is rarely used. You can, of course, write your own code to compare data on a SCSI device with data in memory.

Applications or device drivers that bypass the SCSI Manager for any part of a transaction are not supported and will interfere with the operation of SCSI Manager 4.3.

Previous Book Contents Book Index Next

© Apple Computer, Inc.
3 JUL 1996

Get information on Apple products.
Visit the Apple Store online or at retail locations.

Copyright © 2004 Apple Computer, Inc.
All rights reserved. | Terms of use | Privacy Notice