Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

For the Internet USENET newsgroup:


This list is maintained by:

Robert Boys

Ontario, CANADA


August 24, 1995, Version 19

This is the new HTML version of the M68K FAQ. It will be stored on the following sites:


The complete set of files (GIFs and all) can be obtained by pointing your browser at:

Since I have now graduated - I expect my Homepage at to die during September. I will get another account somewhere to store my "work-in-process" FAQs. will still work for a few months or so.
This FAQ is still under construction: The MC683xx series will be organized according to the modules used.

The information contained in this FAQ is believed to be correct and up to date. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy. The maintainer cannot be responsible for errors and omissions. Check with a Motorola sales office to make sure a device is available before designing any products. Products or services listed here are for information purposes only - they are not endorsed or recommended. This article is copyright © 1995 and all rights are reserved. This article may be reprinted provided it is intact, proper credit is given and no cost is levied. Contact the author for permissions.

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What's New!


1) Motorola 16/32 Bit Product Line

2) Software Sources

3) Hardware (board level) Sources

4) Construction Information

5) General Specifications

6) Literature

1) Motorola 16/32 Bit Product Line:

Motorola introduced its first microprocessor in 1974: the 8 bit MC6800 with an extensive line of support peripherals soon available. The MC68000 was introduced in 1979 and was soon followed by a host of 16 bit peripheral chips. The 6800 and 68000 families soon became very popular due to their straightforward architecture and simple and easy to use bus connections.

The original 6800 evolved into the 6502 (MOS Technology ie Apple ][), 6802, 6805, 6809, HC11 and the HC16 series. Motorola also manufactured an unusual one (1) bit CPU called the MC14500 Industrial Control Unit (ICU). It is still listed in their current Master Selection Guide.

The first member of the 68K family - the MC68000, is not software compatible with the 8 bit 6800 series which includes the 68HC11 series. The 68K family itself is upwards software compatible. There are no multiplexed pins on the 68000 series. The instruction set is noted for being orthogonal.

The two Motorola divisions of interest here are the High Performance MPU and the Advanced Micro-Controller Unit (AMCU). The High Performance Group deals with the MC680x0 series, 68306, 68307, 68322, 68340, 68341 and 68349. The rest (including 680x, 68HC11, 68HC16) are from the AMCU division except the 68360, 68302 and 68356 which are from the Communications Division.

This FAQ divides the 68K family into three sections - MC680x0, MC68EC0x0 and the MC68300 series. A short section on 8/16 bit processors follows.

The Motorola integrated circuit product line (almost all of it) has the prefix of "MC" as in MC68030. 68030 and '030 are short forms of this. A prefix of "XC" indicates a part not yet fully qualified. A prefix of "SC" designates a part specially made for a customer. The terms M68K or 68K represent the 68000 processor line in general as in comp.sys.m68k. ( K = 10^3 or ,000 in scientific circles). A "*" as in DTACK* signifies the signal is active or true in the low state if level sensitive or on the presence of a negative edge if edge triggered. A byte is 8 bits, a word 16 bits and a long word is 32 bits. The prefix "$" as in $7F or $128 signifies a hexadecimal number.

Where the name Motorola came from

Motorola was originally the Galvin Mfg. Co in the early thirties. The name "Motorola" came from the fact that Motorola was once a major player in automobile radios hence the "motor". Autos were called "motor cars" ("motors" by those who were "hip") in the 1930s. The "ola" is the "derived 2nd element of pianola" according to the Oxford dictionary. Pianola was a turn-of-the-century machine that played pianos. The "ola" is a suffix used to form commercial nouns such as used in the music industry ie "Victrola"; just as "tronics" is a suffix commonly used today by electronics firms.

MC680x0 Family


The original MC68000 has the following general features:

program model 68000/08

Exception processing results from interrupts, TRAP instructions, a bus or address error or a reset. This feature simplifies software development by detecting bugs and errors and helps prevent "run-away" conditions. The Exception Vector table is normally made of 255 32 bit vectors using 1024 bytes of memory starting at location 0. The CPU loads the appropriate vector, containing the 32 bit address of the routine to service the exception, from this table at the occurrence of an exception such as reset, bus or address error, word access to odd memory location, TRAP and others. This table is usually constructed in RAM by the operating system during the initialization period. There are 192 user interrupt vectors reserved. The initial SSP (Supervisor Stack Pointer) and initial PC (for RESET) occupy memory location $0 and $4 which usually maps out to ROM. The CPU can only switch from USER mode to the SUPERVISOR mode via exception processing.

The majority of programs are meant to execute in the User Mode. The Supervisor Mode is used by the operating system to access system resources. The processor is in the Supervisor Mode at RESET. A system can operate continuously in the Supervisor Mode.


The 68008 is a MC68000 with a 8 bit data bus in a 48 pin DIP or a 52 pin PLCC. The RAM, ROM and peripheral chips must have 8 bit data paths. The DIP package address bus is 20 bits (1 mbyte) and the PLCC device has 22 bits (4 mbytes). A0 is present on both these parts. The 68008 is listed as "not recommended for new designs". Other devices such as the MC68HC001, 68EC000 and the 68302 have a switchable (at reset) 8 or 16 bit data bus.
68008 prgm model


The 68010 is a 68000 with the addition of virtual machine and virtual memory capabilities and a "loop mode" which acts like a 3 word instruction cache. This processor is listed as "not for new designs".

A 68010 will plug into a 68000 socket and work in most systems. Three new registers are added. The Vector Base Register (VBR) determines where in memory the vector table is located which allows for multiple tables to implement the virtual machine and memory functions. The Alternate Function Code Registers (SFC and DFC) allow the Supervisor mode to access user data space or emulate CPU space cycles. The instruction set is essentially the same for the 68000/08/10. The 68010 supports modular programming. The CPU32 processor used in the 68300 series is a 68010 with some 68020 instructions added.
68010 prgm model


The MC68020 incorporates 32 bit address and data paths and Dynamic Bus Sizing to "size" peripherals and memory on a cycle-by-cycle basis to 8, 16 or 32 bit lengths using signals supplied by external hardware to the SIZ0-1 pins. The 68020 is software compatible to all earlier 68K members. A co-processor interface is provided in the instruction set. All virtual features of the 68010 are preserved. The multiply and divide instructions use 32 bit operands and branch displacements can be 32 bits. A new data type, the "quad word" is 64 bits and used in the multiply and divide instructions. Over 20 new instructions have been added. A 256 byte instruction cache has been added along with two cache registers (CACR and CAAR). A Master Stack Pointer (MSP) (32 bits) has been added to facilitate Multi-Tasking Operating Systems.
68020 prgm model


The MC68030 is essentially an improved 68020. The MC68030 incorporates a paged memory management unit (MMU) and 256 byte instruction and data caches (modified Harvard Architecture). The internal MMU implements most of the functions of the MC68851 MMU. Two 64 bit, three 32 bit and one 16 bit registers have been added for MMU control functions. The improved bus interface supports "burst mode", asynchronous and synchronous memory accesses as well as dynamic bus sizing support. The Burst Mode fills the data and instruction caches with bytes from external memory independently with four accesses in a row. Many functions of the 68030 operate in parallel increasing throughput. The 68030 can switch between synchronous and asynchronous modes "on the fly". The '030 is a device useful for new designs and is available in PGA and surface mount packages up to 50 Mhz.
68030 prgm model


The MC68040 adds a Floating Point Unit (FPU), separate memory managers for data and instruction memory and 4 Kbyte data and instruction caches. The '040 has 32 bit data and address busses with synchronous bus cycles and uses a full Harvard architecture. The 68040 (as well as the 68060) does not support dynamic bus sizing as in the '020 and '030. The MC68150 will add this feature to the '040 and '060. A new instruction, "Move16", has been added which performs 16 byte block transfers using burst read and writes for high speed. The built-in FPU utilizes most of the instructions of the MC68882 FPU. For a no-cost software package that simulates the unimplemented instructions, see 040_fpsp under Free Software Available. The MC68040 is used in current high power computer systems.

There is a special companion mode on the MC68360 QUICC to replace the CPU32+ with a MC68EC040 to increase performance of the QUICC. The 360/EC040 pair reportedly performs at 22 MIPS @ 25 Mhz.
68040 prgm model


There is no known 68050 part. The rumour on the Net is that since people were pairing Intel and Motorola processors by part number - ie 6800/8080, 68000/8086, 68010/80186, 68020/80286, 68030/80386 and so on - Motorola decided to break the pattern and jump from the '040 directly to the '060. I have never seen any information from Motorola to suggest this story is true - it is just rumour. It does make appropriate marketing sense. Signetics once (still?) made a Scc68070 that is similar to the MC68000.

The official word from Motorola is that odd numbered parts represent minor changes from the previous chip. Even numbers are for major part changes. Another rumour is that the '050 existed at least on paper but when it was shown to major customers, this prototype did not fit into their strategic plans since it was only an improved '040. In view of this, Motorola decided to skip the '050 and go straight to the '060 which also existed on paper then and better fit into the strategies of major customers.


This is the latest and most powerful member of the 68K family. The '060 is designed as an upgrade from a '040 with 2.5 to 3.5 times the performance of the 25 mhz '040. It uses Superscalar pipelined architecture which means it can perform more than one instruction at a time. The 68060 allows simultaneous execution of two integer instructions (or 1 integer and 1 float instruction) and one branch during each clock cycle. A branch cache allows most branches to execute in zero cycles. This CPU has some RISC processor features. The chip is all hardwired - there is no microcode in it. It incorporates a JTAG interface to help simplify the debugging process.

The on-board caches have been increased to 8 Kbytes each and the '060 has 2.5 million transistors on the single die. The '060 uses various dynamic power management techniques to reduce power consumption. The '060 has a clock speed of 50 Mhz currently with a future model at 66 Mhz and since the '060 is a static device, the clock has no lower limit and can even be stopped. This part operates at a Vcc of 3.3 volts and interfaces to both 3 and 5 volt peripherals. The input pins can swing between 0 and 5 volts and the output pins between 0 and 3.3 volts. It has been available as a sample part for some time now and may now be entering quantity production. This may be the last member of the 68K family. The '060 does not support dynamic bus sizing except with the addition of the MC68150 chip.
68060 prgm model

The '060 offers 100 MIPS @ 66mhz and 250 million operations per second @ 50 mhz. SPECint = 50 @ 50Mhz. There is a M68060 software package (M68060SP) that supplies software emulation for unimplemented integer instructions, FPU software and other library subroutines. This package is available on the Motorola BBS system and now, AESOP.

Apple Computer has announced it will not use the MC68060 in the Macintosh. It has switched to the PowerPC RISC chips. The Motorola 68000 series no longer appears to have a future in the desktop market. The '060 will likely find application in advanced high power embedded controllers. It has a list price of $US 308 probably at quantity. (unverified) Motorola claims it will add peripheral devices to the '060 in the future as it has with its 8 bit parts. This is possible because the '060 is of a modular design. The '060 is available in a 223 PGA package and will fit into a 179 pin 68040 super-socket. The extra '060 pins are in towards the center of the socket.

The '060 is starting to appear in VMEbus computers from such companies as Motorola, Heurikon, EKF, Synergy (2 '060s!) and others. It appears the 68K line will have a long life due to its straight forward architecture, simple bus interface and ease of machine language programming.

     DEVICE          TRANSISTORS             DEVICE         TRANSISTORS

MC68000 68,000 MC68302 320,000 MC68008 70,000 MC68330 235,000 MC68010 84,000 MC68340 350,000 MC68020/EC20 190,000 MC68440 26,000 MC68030 273,000 MC68661 6,000 MC68EC030 251,000 MC68681 9,743 MC68040 1,170,000 MC68881 155,000 MC68EC040 962,000 MC68882 176,000 MC68LC040 813,500 MC68901 9,100 MC68060 2,500,000 MC68230 16,700 MC68322 422,000

PPC601 2,800,000 Alpha AXP 21164 9.3 million PPC603 1,600,000 MIPS R8000 3,400.000 PPC604 3,600,000 PPC620 7,000,000

Pentium 3,300,000 P6 > 6 million IntelDX4 1,600,000

  |  Feature       | 68000 | 'EC000 | 68010 | 68020 | 68030 | 68040 | 68060 |
  | Data bus       |    16     8/16     16   8/16/32  8/16/32   32      32  |
  | Addr bus       |    23      23      23      32      32      32      32  |
  | Virtual memory |     -      -       Yes     Yes     Yes     Yes     Yes |
  | Instruct Cache |     -      -        3      256     256    4096    8192 |
  | Data Cache     |     -      -        -       -      256    4096    8192 |
  | Memory manager |  <+ (68451 or 68851) +>   68851    Yes     Yes     Yes |
  | FPU interface  |     -      -        -    68881 or 68882  Internal  FPU |
  | built-in FPU   |     -      -        -       -       -      Yes     Yes |
  | Burst Memory   |     -      -        -       -      Yes     Yes     Yes |
  | Bus Cycle type |  <+++++++++++ asynchronous +++++++++>  both synchronous|
  | Data Bus Sizing|     -      -        -      Yes     Yes      use 68150  |
  | Power (watts)  |    1.2  .13-.26   .13      1.75    2.6     4-6  3.9-4.9|
  | at frequency of|    8.0    8-16      8       ?       ?     25-40  50-66 |


MC68EC0x0 and MC68LC0x0

This family is essentially a subset of the MC680x0 product line. It is designed for low cost embedded controller applications. The major differences between the two are listed below. Check the appropriate data sheet for more detailed information.

  1. MC68EC000 is a MC68000 with selectable 8 or 16 bit data bus and A0.
  2. MC68EC020 is a MC68020 with a 24 bit address bus rather than 32 bits.
  3. MC68EC030 is a MC68030 without a paged memory manager (PMMU).
  4. MC68LC040 is a MC68040 without a built-in math coprocessor (FPU).
  5. MC68EC040 is a MC68040 without a memory manager or built-in FPU.
  6. MC68LC060 is a MC68060 without a built-in math coprocessor (FPU)
  7. MC68EC060 is a MC68060 without a memory manager or built-in FPU.

External FPUs (MC68881/2) are not easily attached to 68000/08/10, 68EC040 or 68LC040 processors since the co-processor instructions are not present on these CPUs.

MC68300 series

This series incorporates various peripherals into various 68K core processors. They may be called "integrated processors". The core processors are the 68EC000 and CPU32. The CPU32 is derived from the 68020 processor. The CPU32 has a 16 bit data bus and the extended version (CPU32+) incorporates a full 32 bit data bus. The CPU32 and CPU32+ have a built-in background debugging mode (BDM) in the internal microcode.


  |  Feature       |   68302 | 68306 | 68307 | 68322 | 68356 |    ?   |
  | Core CPU       |   EC000   EC000   EC000   EC000   EC000     -    |
  | TPU (timer)    |     -        -       -       -       -      -    |
  | DUART (68681)  |     -       Yes     1/2     see      -      -    |
  | DRAM controller|    Yes      Yes      -     below    Yes     -    |
  | Static Ram     |  576 x 2     -       -      for    1152     -    |
  | Flash EEPROM   |     -        -       -     more      -      -    |
  | A/D Converter  |     -        -       -     info      -      -    |
  | Serial Ports   |  3 Duplex    -       -       -      3+2     -    |
  | DMA            |    Yes       -       ?       -      Yes     -    |
  | Timer          |     3        -       2       -       3      -    |
  | Parallel Ports |     2        2      bit      -    45+8 bits -    |
  | Chip Selects X |     4        8       4       -       4      -    |
  | PGA package ?  |    Yes       -       ?       -       -      -    |
  | Clock speed Mhz|   16/20      16     8/16   16/20    25      -    |
  | 3.3v available?|     -        -      Yes      -     @20 Mhz  -    |
  | Power (Watts)  |  .37-.93                                         |
  | at frequency of|   8-20                                           |


There are three new flavours of the MC68302:


|  Feature       | 68330 | 68331 | 68332 |     68F333 | 68334 | 68340 | 68341 |
| Core CPU       | CPU32   CPU32   CPU32   CPU32  | CPU32       CPU32   CPU32 |
| TPU (timer)    |    -       -      Yes     Yes  |  Yes          -       -   |
| DUART (68681)  |    -       -       -       -   |   -          Yes      -   |
| DRAM controller|    -       -       -       -   |   -           -       -   |
| Static Ram     |    -       -      2K      4K   |  1K           -       -   |
| Flash EEPROM   |    -       -       -      64K  |   -           -       -   |
| A/D Converter  |    -       -       -  8/10 bits| 8 ch          -       -   |
| Serial Ports   |    -       2       2       2   |   -  2     ch UART    2   |
| DMA            |    -       -       -      No   |   -          2 CH    2 CH |
| Timer          |    2      GPT      -       1   |   -           2      Yes  |
| Parallel Ports |    2       -       -    18 bits|   ?           2       2   |
| Chip Selects X |    4       12     12       9   |   ?           4       8   |
| PGA package ?  |    -       -       -       -   |  No          Yes      -   |
| Clock speed Mhz| 8/16/25  16/20    20      16   |   16        8/16/25   -   |
| 3.3v available?|   Yes      -       -       -   |   -          Yes     Yes  |
| Power (watts)  |   .63              .6          |              .95          |
| at frequency of|  16.78             ?           |              16.78        |


CPU32+ CPU CORE: (32 bit address bus) and 68HC16

|  Feature       |  68349 |  68360 |    |   HC16Y1 | HC16Z1 | HC16Z2   |
| Core CPU       |  CPU030   CPU32+     |    CPU16   CPU16      CPU16  |
| TPU (timer)    |     -        -       |      Yes      -         -    |
| DUART (68681)  |  similar  2 UART     |       -       -         -    |
| DRAM controller|     -       Yes      |       -       -         -    |
| Static Ram     |     4K      2.5K     |      2k      1k        2k    |
| Flash EEPROM   |     -        -       |    48k rom    -      8k rom  |
| A/D converter  |    No        -       |  all 8 channel -     10 bits |
| Serial Ports   |     -        4       |       2       2         1    |
| DMA            |    2 ch     2 ch     |       -       -         -    |
| Timer          |     2       4+16     |      GPT     GPT       GPT   |
| Parallel Ports |     2        3       |      Yes     Yes       Yes   |
| Chip Selects X |     4        8       |       9      12        12    |
| PGA package ?  |     -       Yes      |      QFP     QSP       QFP   |
| Clock speed Mhz|   16/25      25      |      16       16        -    |
| 3.3v available?|    Yes       -       |       -       -         -    |
| Power (Watts)  |             .3       |                              |
| at frequency of|             25       |                              |


  • The MC68360 has an optional -dual- Ethernet capability. (MC68EN360)
  • The 68349 has a 1 kbyte instruction cache or a 2k static ram. This memory has four partitions, each can be configured as cache or ram.
  • The 68349 is known as "Dragon I" and is the most powerful 683xx.
  • The serial channels in the MC68360 have a totally transparent mode which is useful since it can act as a ISDN controller.
  • The HC16 series use the same modules as the 683xx series. The HC16 series use a CPU16 which is upwardly code-compatible with the HC11.

General Notes on the MC683xx Series:

  • Availability of features is not necessarily mutually exclusive.
  • CPU32 has a 16 bit external data bus. CPU32+ has a 32 bit data bus.
  • The CPU32+(with cache) (as in the 68349) is referred to as a CPU030.
  • A CPU030 is a CPU32+, a configurable instruction cache and a quad memory module. A CPU030 has performance comparable to a MC68030.
  • Memory management is not supported in the MC68349.
  • Chip Selects X - programmable CS pins to select external peripherals.
  • ? - I do not have the data sheet for this device.
  • PGA avail - Pin Grid Array. Easier to use as surface mount devices are difficult to solder. (but not impossible)
  • These devices are very complicated. It is impossible to outline all the possible features. Refer to the appropriate data sheet.
  • Some devices have built-in background debuggers. See data sheets.
  • GPT = General Purpose Timer. See the appropriate data sheets.
  • The 68HC16 series is not software compatible with the 68k series.
  • The file from contains a list of documents available for products such as 68302, 68360 and others.
  • Technical Briefs for the MC68349(V), MC68322 and MC68356 are available in PCX format (zipped) via ftp from in the directory /pub/motorola/datasheets as files, and and from AESOP either by phone or via Internet.

Peripheral Chips

There is a large offering of peripheral chips available from various manufacturers. The MC68230 PIT (Parallel Interface/Timer) and the MC68901 MFP (Multi-Function Peripheral) are common and very useful. 68K peripheral devices have a DTACK* output that signals acknowledgement of the bus cycle to the CPU - this is how the asynchronous bus functions in the 68k family.

Devices from other families can be used with some ingenuity in the interface. The multiplexed bus on other competitive products and the lack of the DTACK* acknowledgement signal are two issues. Generation of the DTACK* signal in these situations is simple.

68K DEVICE DESCRIPTION note: prefix MC on all these numbers

68150          Dynamic Bus Sizer    (for 040, LC040, EC040 and 68060)
68160          EEST  (Ethernet driver) - glueless logic to MC68360.
68184          Broadband Interface Controller (BIC) IEEE 802.4
68185          Twisted Pair Modem -use with 68824 for low cost LAN
68194          Carrierband Modem - IEEE 802.4 Physical Layer 1

68195          Local Talk Adapter - MC68332 and 68302 to LocalTalk networks
68230          Parallel Interface/Timer - two 8 bit ports, 24 bit timer
68338          Mac-Media Access Controller - FDDI, see BR1104/D for family
68339          FSI-FDDI System Interface (Fibre Distributed Data Interface)
68440          Dual Channel DMA - 32 bit addressing R & FN packages

68450          DMA Controller (DMAC) - 4 channel
68451          Memory Management Unit (MMU)  (obsolete)
68605          X.25 Protocol Controller - two 22 byte FIFOs, DMA, HDLC
68606          X.25 Multi-Link LAPD Protocol Controller - in ISDN
68681          Dual Universal Asynchronous Receiver/transmitter (DUART)

68824          Token Bus Controller (TBC) - GM MAP Level 2
68836          FCG-FDDI Clock Generator - lower part of PHY of FDDI
68837          ELM Elasticity Buffer and Link - rest of PHY of FDDI
68851          32 bit Paged Memory Management Unit (PMMU) (obsolete)
68881/68882    Floating Point Coprocessor (FPU)

68901          Multi Function Peripheral - USART, 8 par I/O lines, 4 timers
10H640         MC68030/040 ECL/TTL Clock Driver (also MC100H640 @5v)
88915/88916    MC68030 and MC68040 clock drivers
End-of-line has been announced for the 68230, 68901, 68681, 68440, 68450.
CMOS versions of the 68901 and 68681 are in development.

Motorola MC6800 family peripherals are very common in M68K systems. Some popular (and useful) ones are:

6821      PIA - Parallel Interface Adapter.  (better to use 68230)
6845      CRT controller.   (as in IBM PC  Monochrome and CGA screens)
6850      ACIA - simple yet flexible serial port.  Cheap too.
68B52     Synchronous Serial Data Adapter (SSDA)
68B54     Advanced data Link Controller (ADLC)
68488     IEEE 488 Interface Adapter
146818    RTC with Ram - Real Time Clock.  (as in IBM AT Pcs)

Other manufacturer's parts are often used with 68K products.

AMD7992   Ethernet part (also AM79C970)
MB86961A  Fujitsu Ethernet part  ($9 US)
843x      National DRAM controller (low cost model)
844x      National DRAM controller with Burst Mode support
          National DRAM Management Handbook - (800) 272-9959
               - includes application notes for 68K, 80x86 and others.

8 and 16 bit Processors (HC16 series)

Motorola manufactures a wide range of 8 and 16 bit processors and controllers. The families are the 6800, 6801, 6805, 68HC05, 6809, 68HC11 and 68HC16 (16 bit) series. The HC16 series uses the CPU16 processor module which is upward compatible with the HC11. Many of these devices have built-in functions such as EPROM, analogue to digital convertors, PLLs and special drivers for stepper motors and LCD displays. Refer to the "Master Selection Guide" or SG166/D for more information. Information and free software is available on the Motorola BBS and most ftp sites. Dunfield Development Systems, Nepean Ontario, (613) 256-5820 or provides low cost compilers and emulators for these products.

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See the MSA BBS under the Motorola BBS. Much of the information in this FAQ pertaining to Motorola resources, ftp sites and general information is also applicable to these processors. BR261/D outlines these product lines.

The 68HC11 Microcontroller FAQ by Russ Hersch ( contains a listing of resource information about these processors. It is posted once a month to comp.robotics and other similar groups.
Mr. Hersch's 3 FAQs are archived at or

The PowerPc FAQ from the newsgroup comp.sys.powerpc is also available from http:/ It is written by Derek Noonburg of the USA.

Speed Comparisons

These figures are taken from various Motorola promotional literature. AESOP has a Mac program called MMTG Analyzer by Art Parmet that provides benchmark ratings for various Motorola processors. Search for "analyzer" w/o "" at the URL

CPU                        Dhrystones 
type     |   8 Mhz     16 Mhz    20 Mhz    25 Mhz    33 Mhz    40 Mhz     50 M|
68000       2100      4376
68EC000     2100      4376
68020                 7559      9069      11336     15100
68EC020               7559                11336
68030                 7830      9394      11743     15641     18788     23485
68EC030                                   11743               18788
68040                                     45460     60553     72736
68LC040                         36368     45460     60553
68EC040                         36368     45460     60553
68060 (50 and 66 Mhz)         - claim is about 3.5 times faster than 68040

EC000       2100      4376      5250
CPU32                 6742      8036      10045
CPU32+                7416                11049     14717

My Intel 80386 clone (with 80387) 40 Mhz is 11049 Dhrystones. My original IBM XT 4.77 Mhz computer shows 300 Dhrystones, my made-in-Canada 286 10 Mhz clone @ 1889, a Cray EL92 @ 14,286 and a Sparcstation IPC @ 23613. Motorola claims a Macintosh Quadra (68040) runs 15-20% faster than a 50Mhz 80486. Spec numbers are most useful to measure computer systems and are inappropriate for CPUs so are not shown here. The Cray EL90 is a 1 gigaflop machine; a J916 peaks at 3.2 gigs @64 bits.

The new IBM PowerPC Embedded Processor PPC403GA may achieve 72k dhrystones. A PowerPC NT 3.51 running in a Msdos mode gave 13k and 83k in native mode. (these two not confirmed as accurate). A 486 50 Mhz returned around 20k.

CPU                      MIPS (VAX MIPS)
type        8 Mhz     16 Mhz    20 Mhz    25 Mhz    33 Mhz    40 Mhz      50 M|

=============================================================================== 68000 1.2 68EC000 1.2 2.5 68020 4.3 5.2 6.5 8.7 68EC020 4.3 6.5 68030 4.5 5.4 6.7 9.0 10.8 13.5 68EC030 6.7 10.8 68040 26.1 34.8 41.8 68LC040/EC040 20.9 26.1 34.8 68060 100 @ 66 Mhz _______________________________________________________________________________ 68300 SERIES CPU CORES (VAX MIPS) EC000 1.2 2.5 3.0 CPU32 3.9 4.6 5.8 CPU32+ 4.3 6.3 8.4 _______________________________________________________________________________

 Floating Point Coprocessor Speeds:  (KFLOPS)
                    16 Mhz    20 Mhz    25 Mhz    33 Mhz    40 Mhz    50Mhz
MC68881             160       192       240
MC68882                                 264       352       422       528
MC68040                               3,500     4,662     5,600

My 80287 Math Co-processor reads 10 Mhz = 248 and my 80387 40 Mhz shows 3,948.

PowerPc - MPC601, MPC603, MPC604 series.

The PowerPC series are Reduced Instruction Set Computers (RISC). They were developed by Motorola, IBM and Apple Computer. These processors are featured in Macintosh, Motorola, VMEbus and IBM computers. Neither the 601, 603 or the 604 seem to have a Program Counter or Stack Pointers in the MC680x0 sense. See Motorola's Web site at

The 601 has three execution units: an Integer Unit (IU), a Branch Processing Unit (BPU) and a Floating Point Unit (FPU). It also has a MMU, RTC and a unified instruction and data cache with a separate L2 cache interface. It is a superscalar processor capable of processing 3 instructions per clock cycle. Motorola has never manufactured the 601. The sole world source is an IBM facility in Canada. Motorola is/will be making the 603, 604 and 620.

MPC601 Features: (the first PowerPC chip, used in current Apple desktops)

  • Thirty-two 32 bit General Purpose Registers (GPR). (user level)
  • Thirty-Two 64 bit Floating Point Registers (FPR). (user level)
  • Six 32 bit Special Purpose Registers (SPR). (user level)
  • Twenty-seven 32 bit Special Purpose Registers (SPR). (supervisor)
  • Sixteen 32 bit Segment Registers (SR) (supervisor). (for MMU)

  • Exception processing - uses vector offset table.
  • 32 bit address bus - linear, not multiplexed or segmented.
  • 64 bit data bus - not multiplexed (address bus not multiplexed).
  • single-beat (1-8 bytes) and burst (32 bytes) data transfers.
  • Two levels of privilege - Supervisor and User modes.

  • Floating Point Unit (FPU) - supports all IEEE 754 data types.
  • Memory Management Unit (MMU) - 52 bit virtual memory address.
  • 32 Kbyte unified data and instruction cache - with bus snooping.
  • 3.3 volt CMOS part - interfaces with TTL devices, 5.6 to 8.0 watts.
  • 2.5 volt part - MPC601v

  • 50, 66, 80 Mhz versions - 304 pin quad flat pack ceramic package.
  • uses instruction set from the IBM RS6000 Workstation.
  • the IBM RS/6000 Model 41 uses a 601 CPU @ 80 Mhz.
  • RS6000 binaries will run on the 601 at full speed.
  • The 601 data types are: integer (8/16/32 bits), floating point (32/64 bits)

Instructions - are grouped into these six categories: (MPC601)

  1. Integer - compare, rotate, shift, computational and logical.
  2. Floating Point - arithmetic, rounding, conversion, compare, *, +.
  3. Load/store - integer and floating load, store and move.

  4. Flow control - branching, trap, condition register logical.
  5. Processor control - move to/from SPRs, MSR, sync memory accesses.
  6. Memory control - control of caches, segment registers, lookaside.

The MPC603 is a low power version for use in battery operated portables and is used in Apple Powerbooks. It is made by Motorola in Austin, Texas and by IBM in Burlington, Vermont.

The MPC604 will be available in early 1995. It is similar to the 601 with separate 16 Kbyte data and instruction caches (Harvard Architecture), separate data and instruction MMUs, 3 Integer Units and a Load/Store Unit. The SPECint and fp 92 values are 160 and 165 @100 mhz. A 100 Mhz 604 will have twice the performance of a 80 mhz 601 and 50% more at floating point.

The MPC620 (64 bit) will be used in the next generation Apple desktops. It has an embedded L2 cache and reportedly can perform six (6) instructions per clock cycle. It is aimed at high end desktops, Workgroup servers and similar machines. It has a SPECint rating of 200 @ 150 mhz. SPEC ratings are most valuable for systems and not processors so be careful with these.

     |Model  | Speed  |  SPECint | SPECfp |  PriceUS$  |  Power (W) | Avail  |
     |PPC601 | 50,66  |    62    |  72    |    165     |    8 *     |  now   |
     |PPC601 |   80   |    85    |  105   |    249     |    8       |  now   |
     |PPC601 |   100  |   105    |  125   |    399     |    4       | Nov 94 |
     |PPC603 |    66  |    60    |   70   |    165     |            | Nov 94 |
     |PPC603 |    80  |    75    |   85   |    195     |    2.5 **  | Nov 94 |
     |PPC604 |   100  |   160    |  165   |    549     |   10   **  | Dec 94 |
     |PPC620 |   133  |200@150 * |        |            |   30   **  |        |


  • these figures from IBM Austin Texas October 1994. Prices are QTY 1000
  • * = from other unverified sources.
  • ** = power dissipation less than this with low power modes activated.
  • P54C-75, a 75 Mhz Intel RISC CPU with SPEC of 75&60 @ $495 or $535
  • The PPC601 100 Mhz is made with a different process that results in less power dissipation.
  • MPC930/950/972 are clock drivers for PowerPC and Pentium parts.

MPC601UM/AD - PowerPC 601 RISC Microprocessor User's Manual
MPC601/D - Technical Summary - PowerPC 601 Microprocessor
MPC601EC/D - Hardware Specs - PowerPC 601 Microprocessor
MPC603/D - Technical Summary - PowerPC 603 Microprocessor
MPC604/D - Technical Summary - PowerPC 604 Microprocessor

Motorola's first RISC processors are the MC88100 (CPU and FPU) and the MC88200 (cache and MMU). They have separate address and data busses for instruction and data memory space. The PowerPC is not an upgrade of these parts. The 88100 family are presumably still available, but no longer appear to have a high profile in Motorola's present product matrix.

PowerPC Embedded Controllers

The IBM PPC403GA is a 32 bit processor rumoured to deliver 72k Dhrystones per second @ 33 Mhz. It has a DMA, DRAM and I/O controllers, two-way associative instruction and data caches, serial port and multiple timer facilities. It runs at 3.3 volts and interfaces with both 3.3 and 5 volt peripheral parts. It comes in a 160 pin PQFP package and is priced at $49 @ 25 Mhz for 1000 pieces. It is being sampled now with volume production expected by the end of 1994 and 33 Mhz version is expected in early 1995.

The Motorola MPC505 has a floating point unit, 4 kbytes static ram, 4 Kbytes instruction cache, 32 bit RISC processor, 32 x 32 bits general purpose register file and 32 x 64 bits FP register file. There are chip selects, a watchdog timer and various I/O ports. It comes in a 160 pin QFP package @25 Mhz and with a clock speed of 25 Mhz and uses a 3.3 volt power supply. It will be sampled in November 1994 and is initially priced at $75 for small quantities. A 144 pin package will be offered later. Volume pricing is expected to be $55 by 1995 and down to $25 by 1997.

Other Manufacturers

Philips, Toshiba and Signetics make (made) M68K family processors. Motorola has not second sourced any of the higher number processors such as the '020 and up. This is certainly an incomplete list:


  • SCC68070 ( availability uncertain ). CMOS 68k core, similar to 68010 but no VBR or SFC/DFC. Includes 2 DMA channels, UART, IIC bus controller, 2 - 16 bit counter, a basic MMU and on-chip oscillator.
  • SCC68692 - CMOS 68681 DUART - with power-down mode & receiver time-outs
  • SC68C94 - also SC26C94. Dual CMOS 68681 (4 UARTs) with 8 byte FIFOs on Tx and Rx. Extended baud rate set.


  • 90C100 family, 93C100 (Signetics is owned by Philips)


  • TMP68301 - 68HC000 + UART, parallel I/O, timer, interrupt controller, chip selects. 12 or 16 Mhz clock.
  • TMP68303 - 68HC000 + UART, parallel I/O, timer, chip selects, DMA, interrupt and DRAM controllers. 12 and 16 Mhz. Stepper motor controller. PQFP100 package (TMP68301 also).

Sonnet Technologies Inc., Irvine, California (714) 261-2800 manufacture "booster" chip assemblies for Macintosh MC68020/030/040 computers. This system works by interfacing a higher speed Motorola processor to the lower speed system bus. The computer speed is "boosted" by utilizing the internal data and/or instruction caches of the higher speed processor. A "mathless" 68LC040 computer can be upgraded using a 68040 which includes the math processor. There is a possibility these parts could be used in other systems since they operate "invisibly". Sonnet also sells MC68882 math chips. See under Integrated Circuit Prices for prices.

Interesting places M68K devices are used

  • The 68349 is known as "Dragon I" and is the most powerful 683xx. The new SONY Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) will use this device.
  • A Canadian firm, Crossbow Electronics in Richmond Hill Ontario make some interesting custom boards utilizing MC68K processors. Things like radar processing and satellite terminals.
  • Tee-Comm, a Canadian Direct-To-Home satellite systems manufacturer, uses the MC68306 microprocessor in its receiver-decoder.
  • The Winwriter 150c printer from Lexmark uses a 68EC000 processor.
  • The HP Deskjet series use Motorola CPUs.
  • The HP 9000/s300 workstations for many years used the 68010/20/30/40 series.

2) Software Sources

Free Software Available

Assemblers, compilers and debuggers exist to run on Ms-Dos, Mac, Unix, 680x0 and Amiga platforms. This is an incomplete list of filenames to search for on the Internet using Archie:

  • - 68000/08/10 assembler and simulator, MS-Dos, with docs and source code, uses S-records, widely available via ftp. Easy to use, docs are clear and well organized. Simple function. Serious bugs have been reported in the simulator portion.

  • tutor.arc - source code for MEX68KECB (68000/08/10) monitor with one- line assembler/disassembler, S-records & terminal, no docs. The ECB docs are available from Motorola - MEX68KECB/D2

  • - as above, improved version(?), binaries and source code in 68K assembler, no docs. For modified Alberta ECB computer.

  • as68k.arc - source code in C of a 68000 assembler for the Amiga. Docs included. Look also for amigacc68k.lha and SOZOBON.*

  • - 68020/68881/68851 assembler, with docs and source code, uses s-records, MS-Dos. A little more advanced than

  • fbug68k.arc - A monitor program for m68000/08/10/20/30/40 processors in C source code. MC68881/882 (fpu) support and good docs.

  • - MS-dos FORTH code to native 68k machine language. No docs other than the source code. It is available via ftp from (Portugal)

  • 68343ffp.arc - A collection of 68000/10 assembly language floating point routines. Docs are in the ascii listings. Need an assembler.

  • cc68k.arc - optimizing C cross compiler for MS-dos. Generates MC68000 code. Minimal docs, source code included.

  • 040_fpsp - Floating Point software for the MC68040 unimplemented 68881/882 instructions. Located on the Motorola Free BBS and AESOP (as m68040FPSP). See below for phone numbers. Back to the MC68040 description.

  • x68000.arc - 68000 assembler (DDJ PP) for MS-Dos, no docs, source code. On the Motorola BBS, and

  • tbi68k.lbr - Tiny Basic for 68000 ECB board, with source, Found on the Motorola BBS, and

  • - GCC cross-assembler for MC68k to run on a MS-dos host. (about 1.8 mbytes) from Sweden.
    A problem concerning an error of not being able to find the preprocessor (cpp) can reportedly be cured by renaming the file ccc1.exe to cpp.exe.

  • - A FORTH O/S that will operate on any 68K system. It is easily adapted to a given system.

Not listed here are assemblers, cross-assemblers, C compilers, debuggers etc. for 68HC11 series, 68701, 68HC16, MC68332, MC68302, MC68360 and Digital Signal Processors (DSP). There is Macintosh software also. These files are all available on the Motorola BBS and most ftp sites. (see below)

Motorola and MIT are two syntaxes that exist for M68k assembler source code. As an example, the Motorola syntax is move.l xxx and the MIT syntax is movel xxx. These types of differences must be resolved before the source code can be compiled. This problem seems to be found in GCC code and appears to result from the inability of MIT's computer system to handle a ".". Rolf Spalink's file mit2mot.tar.gz converts from one syntax to the other. FTP from or

For sample source code on IDE drive, VGA, SIMM memory and ISA bus interfaces, try the Indiana University 68030 project listed below.

For drivers in source code for communications such as HDLC, Lapd, Bisync, LocalTalk and others, from, get the file motorola_bbs_listing. This file is a listing of the Motorola BBS in Texas.

Some files are mirrored on the ftp sites. See ftp and WWW sites.


DJGPP is a port of GCC to MS-DOS (386 or higher) which can be found via ftp on:
or any SIMTEL mirror site. Both sources and binaries are available.

Linux68K - Linux, a UNIX clone for 80386 and higher processors is now being ported to the Amiga, Atari and Macintosh machines. For information about Linux and the 68K port contact the www server in Germany:

The source code and some compiled code is available via ftp from:

A new cross-gcc mailing list is being run from Cygnus that focuses on environments for 68K processors. It is specifically suitable for those who want to build a crossgcc compiler with GNU tools.

To subscribe: Email with a blank subject line and a body of one line consisting of: subscribe crossgcc your_Email_address

Back to What's New!

A Cross-gcc archive is located at

For more GNU and Cross-gcc material see has a large collection of free software for embedded systems. Included is the Motorola BBS and mirror sites for RTEMS, VSTA and GNU. The GNU tools (ver 2.7.0) supports Motorola's IDP and BCC Datacard and MVME 6U VMEbus boards.

NetBSD - A freely available and redistributable UNIX-like operating system runs on a large number of hardware platforms, including the m68k-based Amiga, Atari, HP 9000/300 series, Macintosh, and Sun 3. For more information about NetBSD, contact the NetBSD www server: BSD stands for Berkeley Software Distribution and Net is a tribute to the Internet which made the project possible.

Other interesting sites are: and

RTEMS (Real-Time Executive for Military Systems) is a real-time O/S with C and ADA implementations. It and documentation is available via ftp from and the WWW page is The contact person is Joel Sherrill ( in Alabama.

For a listserver about a interest group designing and building a FORTH based O/S called FIRE using a MC68360: send Email to: with a subject line of SUBSCRIBE.

Commercial Software Available

There are many third party vendors of software for Motorola processors. Motorola BBS - Aesop which is described below, contains a large listing of these vendors. The Motorola 68000 Developer program exists to provide marketing support for 68k developers. Interested developers can join by calling (800) 367-8363. Developers are listed in "68k Source" (BR729/D) which is available free from the Literature Distribution Center or via the WWW: For European sources get the file europe.gz at

The firms listed below are representative examples: (being revamped)

Hewlett-Packard (Canada) Ltd.
Ottawa, Ontario
(613) 726-2111, FAX (613) 820 0377
John Mitchell (

Sells and rents emulators, debuggers, ROM Monitors and other development tools for various platforms (UNIX and PC). A mailing list available for developers for new products and seminars. H-P also make surface mount to PGA adapters.

SDS - Software Development Systems
815 Commerce Drive, Suite 250
Oak Brook, Illinois, 60521
(708) 368-0400 FAX (708) 990-4641 Support - (to change soon)
Back to What's New!

Makers of CrossCode C, C++ compilers, SingleStep debuggers and compilers for processors up to the 68060. Costs are $US 2,000 C compiler ($2300 - C++), Debugger $2,200, Simulator/debugger $1500. Platforms are Windows, DOS, NT, Sun/SPARC. There is a free starter kit with demos of SingleStep and their C compiler to run on Windows.

Orion Instruments
1376 Borregas Avenue
Sunnyvale, California 94089-1004
(408) 747-0440, (800) 729-7700, FAX (408) 747-0688

In Canada: Multitest Electronics Inc., (800) 567-0046

Orion offers a full range of high-quality integrated development tools for the embedded systems industry. Orion has several emulator families for all 68k, 680x0, and 683xx development needs, including support for the new 68356 (a 68302 and DSP56002 in one package).

Lauterbach Datentechnik
D-85649 Hofolding
+49 (0)8104 / 89 430 FAX +49 (0)8104 / 89 43 49

This firm produce a series of 68K emulators that work with MRI and GNU.

Motorola BBS

Motorola operates a free Bulletin Board System that contains documents and free software. There is also a Fax-Back service. The file faxndx.txt contains the documents available for faxback. The numbers are:


MOTOROLA FREE BBS SYSTEM There is NO cost for this.

Austin, Texas                 (512) 891-3733

The V.32 9600 Baud modems are now on-line using MNP-5!

Please connect at 8 Data bits, No Parity, 1 Stop Bit.


          Munich, Germany.              49-89-92103-111. (14400 baud)
          Stuttgart, Germany            49-7031-275496   (19200 baud)
          San Diego, California         (619) 279-3907
          Toronto, Ontario, Canada      (416) 497-8989   (1200 baud)

The MSA BBS (Microcontroller Software Applications) is now running on the Austin BBS. It supports MASM which is a cross assembler for the 68HC05 and HC08/11/16 products. A demo version is available for free downloading.


"Design-NET" is a new Motorola electronic link to customers. A database, Email, OEM pricing, NEWS database, and more is available. Request BR1307 from the Literature Distribution Centre or a Motorola sales office. The Specs in Secs disk contains a Membership Request Form in the main menu.

"Design-NET" also has a fax-back service for many Motorola documents at (602) 244-6609. A touch-tone phone (DTMF) is needed. This is an International service. An instruction fax is available from here.

Documents to be faxed can now be ordered via Internet Email. Contact for a copy of the instructions or see the 68HC11 FAQ.

FAXs can now be ordered through the Internet:

Or send any Email to for instructions.


DSP BBS: (Digital Signal Processing) (included here for reference)

Austin, Texas                 (512) 891-3773

AESOP - (Applications Engineering Support through On-line Productivity)

1-800-843-3451 (USA and Canada) (512)-891-3650 (elsewhere)

Also available via the Internet - and

This BBS has lists of third party support that supply M68k cross-compilers, C and other language compilers, emulators and analyzers. These lists are extensive. Chip and document errata are found here as well as ordering information for user's manuals and general information. No 8 bit parts.

AESOP has a series of FAQs on the 680x0, 68EC0x0, 683xx and the MC68681. These files are available via ftp as one file (aesopfaq) from: or
. The User's Manuals for the MC68040 and MC68322 for Windows and the Macintosh are available for downloading from AESOP only.

AESOP is now available via the Internet:

ftp and WWW Sites

Numerous sites exist around the world that contain software and information for Motorola products. This includes 8, 16 and 32 bit processors.

See the section "Free Software Available" in this faq.

Much of the information contained on the Motorola BBS in Texas is mirrored on the Internet. Here are three good sites: (Sweden)/pub/misc/motorola  } for M68K items   /pub/motorola  } look under /m68k            /              }

A current listing of the files on the Austin BBS is available via ftp from the Alberta site as /pub/motorola/motorola_bbs_listing.

A descriptive listing of files on the ftp sites can be obtained from: as the file INDEX.

From or get freeware.dir.

These files, along with the "Specs in Secs" data disk, should be considered as companion documents to this FAQ.

Motorola Internet ftp and WWW sites: (Motorola BBS) (AESOP & DR. BUB)

There are many links between each of these sites.

DR. BUB (DSP information) is not operational yet.

To obtain an information sheet regarding processors from the Communication Division (68360, 68302, 68356, etc), send any Email message to their automated server:

World Wide Web (WWW) links

Automation and Process Control:
North America:

General Interesting Links:

3) Hardware (board level) Sources

Integrated Development Platform (IDP), MEVB, BCC, et al

A series of products by Motorola that consists of a motherboard and various plug-in modules for different CPUs and I/O modules. The motherboard connects to a terminal or host computer through a RS-232 serial port. This system provides a low cost evaluation platform for developing software and hardware for M68K family members. The Product Brief part is M68KIDP/D.

M68EC000IDP    $510      M68EC000CPU    $160      (IDP numbers are mother
M68EC020IDP    $595      M68EC020CPU    $245      and daughter boards,
M68EC030IDP    $650      M68EC030CPU    $300      CPU are daughter boards
M68EC040IDP    $750      M68EC040CPU    $400      only) (US dollars)

Sierra 68306 Development Board (with compiler and debugger) is US $249.

Contact (512) 891-2592. for IDP and Sierra.

The AMCU (Advanced MicroController Unit) supplies a board similar to the IDP that supports the MC68330 series parts. It is called the MEVB (Motorola Evaluation Board). It is a small (3" by 3") platform board with a processor on it. It supports all the parts that use the Inter-Module Bus (IMB) such as 68HC05, 68HC11, 68HC16 and 68331-334. Try BR711/D for info.

Motorola also supplies the "Business Card Computer" (BCC). This is a stand-alone single board MC68340 computer. It is equipped with a monitor - 340bug which is also available on the Motorola BBS or the ftp sites. It is designed to interface between a RS-232 terminal and other boards such as the M68340 Platform Board. The Product Brief part number is BR753/D.

The Motorola Datacomm Unit manufacture a series of Application Development Systems: US$

M68302ADS      - MC68302 + DRAM, DUART, Eprom - $1995
M68360QUADS    - Master/Slave 68360 + DRAM, Eprom, Flash memory, Ethernet interface
                                                  and LocalTalk interface.  -  $1995
m68360quads-040 - ('040/Slave 68360 + DRAM, Eprom, Flash memory, Ethernet interface
                                                  and LocalTalk interface - $2995
These boards are available from any Motorola representative.

Motorola also made the ECB single board computer (MEX68KECB) that runs a MC68000 CPU with a wirewrap area for educational and development purposes. It uses the TUTOR monitor program which is a simple assembler and disassembler. They are no longer available but used units may exist. The TUTOR software is available (source code) from the Motorola BBS and ftp sites and can be used on home brew computers with some modification.

The documentation for the ECB is still available as MEX68KECB/D2 from the Literature Centre. It has schematics and TUTOR instructions.

Arnewsh Inc, Colorado, (303) 223-1616 / FAX: (303) 223-9573 makes a board similar to the ECB with a 5.25" floppy disk interface. It sells for US$375 with a 25% discount to universities and students. Arnewsh also make single board computers using the 68302 ($495), 68306 ($375) and the 68EN360 ($975, $1475 with the optional MC68EC040).

Mark Farnan in Australia, has developed a MC68332 microcontroller board that he would like to market. Its features include: 128 Kbyte Eprom, 64k or 256k Static RAM, Real Time Clock, 68681 DUART and an onboard monitor program. The board measures 3.75 x 6.25 inches and will sell for US$ 350 and will be available in 4 weeks. He has a 68340 board available now for the same price. For more information on either of these boards, Email Mark at and he will send you a data sheet via Email.

Scott Mackenzie at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada has developed a MC68000 educational demonstration board that is available from URDA in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, USA. It includes software and various i/o boards are available. The CPU board sells for around US$300 and i/o boards sell for $25 to $75. Scott has written support documentation including classroom experiments as well as a textbook om the 68000 and 8051. For more information:


VMEbus modules - see the FAQ for comp.arch.bus.vmebus

VMEbus modules are state-of-the-art and are used to construct very powerful and rugged computer systems. The VMEbus is an industrial open standard system. VMEbus boards have data bus sizes of 16, 32 or 64 bits. VMEbus boards contain processors such as DEC Alpha, MIPS, i960, various DSP chips, AM29000 (RISC chip), PowerPC and 80486 in addition to the Motorola 680x0 line. Many peripheral boards exist including VGA, telecom, analyzers, data acquisition, video processors and memory (1 gigabyte!). The VXIbus is an instrumentation bus compatible with the VMEbus.

A PMC (PCI Mezzanine Interface) is a proposed IEEE specification for a low profile mezzanine expansion bus for VMEbus, Multibus II and Futurebus+ systems. It has a 32 or 64 bit bus and has the same electrical specifications as the PCI bus (Peripheral Interconnect Bus).

There are over 200 vendors supplying products to the VMEbus community. VMEbus suppliers are most active in the USA, Germany and Canada and range from large corporations to small custom shops.

Information resources for the VMEbus come mainly from two sources: VITA and the VMEbus Systems Magazines edited by John Black. For complete information on how to contact these groups; see the VMEbus FAQ.


There are many manufacturers of VMEbus computer modules worldwide. Post to comp.arch.bus.vmebus for more information. Many VMEbus CPU boards have a built-in monitor program similar to the TUTOR monitor and have a RS-232 port that can be hooked up to a terminal or a host computer. Programs can be entered with the simple assembler/disassembler and executed. Peripheral devices can be attached easily to these boards. These boards are often available used and the older ones with 68000/10 CPUs have a low cost(<$50).

A neat setup is a VMEbus board with an internal monitor program connected to an IBM PC with a RS-232 port using a common communication program and an assembler such as 68asmsim or as68k. (Telix works good - treat the VMEbus as a modem) A power supply from an IBM PC will power a VMEbus board.(+5,+-12 volt)

Indiana University 68030 single board project

The schematics (in Postscript), GERBER artwork for the PCBs, sources and images for the monitor and PAL programming and some documentation are available via ftp from

This board uses a floppy disk, IDE hard drive, VGA monitor, a ISA bus and SIMM memory chips. It uses the MINIX operating system (copyrighted), NetBSD and bootp code to run either a wd8003 or 3c501 Ethernet card.

The contact person is Ingo Cyliax ( Ingo is also working on some 68302 designs. He has a minimum mode (8 bit) 68302 design that can load S-records from a PC parallel port. The schematic is available in:

He has added info about the '030 and 68302 board to his hyplan, the URL is: and he will add data as he works on it. He also is working on uC3, which is a 16 bit mode 68302 with PC/104 interface and takes up to 8Mb of DRAM.

Consumer computers and Workstations

Computers that use the 68K series of processors are Atari, Amiga, Apple MacIntosh and some older Radio Shack models. Opportunities for experimentation may reside in some of these machines. Cross compilers, such as amigacc68k.lha, are available via ftp for the Amiga.

There are older workstations that use M68K processors that may be available for low prices. The Sun 3/60 is very popular in the education field and the HP 9000 310 uses a 68010 and the 320 uses a 68020 CPU. The NeXT cube has a 68030 and the SGI Iris 3000 uses a 68020. The AT&T 3b1 computer uses a 68010, has a newsgroup on USENET and is a cheap way to get a SYS V UNIX.

Integrated Circuits Prices

Prices given are from Canadian sources in small quantities in Canadian dollars. Multiply CDN$ by approximately 0.75 to obtain US$ figures. All prices are for reference only and may (will) vary widely due to quantity ordered, marketing price setting, package and speed. This section will be revamped soon. Many prices are out of date.

There is now an OEM price list on the Motorola WWW site:

     MC68000P10     14.52          MC68302FC16    118.09
     MC68EC000??8   12.67          MC68302RC16C   242.03
     MC68EC000FU10  19.69          MC68331CF16    60.32
     MC68EC000??16  24.13          MC68332CF16    71.88
     MC68HC000P10   21.14
     MC68008P8       8.48          MC68340FE16    74.74
     MC68010P10     57.00          MC68882RC33A   1135.29 <??>
     MC68020FC16    72.37          MC68882FN33A   146.55
     MC68020FC33E   152.55
     MC68EC020FG16  51.71          MC68824FN12H   139.02
     MC68EC030FE25B 109.05
     XC68F333CFT16  242.92

MC68EN360 60.00 (QFP)(10K) these prices Apr. 1994 MC68360 50.00 (QFP)(10K) MC68160 10.00

MC68705R3 5.95 MC68701S 33.96 MC68705U35 21.95 MC68701U4S1 60.19

MC68B21 3.75 MC146818P 9.52 MC68B09 7.75 MC68488P 38.76 MC68B40 5.50 MC68B44 10.00

MC68185FN 19.85 MC68440P8 16.30 MC68195FN 12.49 MC68450R8 82.04 MC68230P8 9.68 MC68605RC10 137.61 MC68230P10 13.56 MC68606FN12B 207.50 MC68681 11.00


     HC11EVBU       140.00         MC68332BCC     71.73
     68EBLP11KIT    285.00         MC68701EVM     1028.41

-Sonnet- US$ dollars - QTY and terms unknown 68040RC25 299.00 MC68882FN16 39.00 68040RC33 349.00 MC68882FN20 44.00 MC68881RC16A 99.00 MC68882FN25 46.00 MC68882RC25 49.00 MC68882FN33 49.00 MC68882RC33 59.00 MC68882FN40 99.00 MC68882RC40 75.00 MC68882RC50 95.00

+Boosters+ note these are genuine Motorola processors mounted on a circuit board that plugs into the CPU socket of a slower motherboard and are made by SONNET.

MC68020   25 or 30 mhz   runs in a slower bus 99.00 or 129.00
MC68030   33 mhz  booster assembly                     189.00
MC68EC030 33 mhz  booster assembly                     199.00
MC68LC040 40 mhz runs in a 20 mhz bus system           249.00
MC68040   40 mhz runs in a 20 mhz bus system           399.00
MC68040   50 mhz runs in a 20 mhz bus system           599.00

4) Construction Information

I guess this is next, well, I am off to grad school year.
Well, I am now out of Grad school (MIS), so maybe for January 1996......

5) General Specifications

Integrated Circuit Package Information

     DIP       Dual-in-line-Package          only 68000/08/10/12/68HC000
     PGA       Pin Grid Array (ceramic)      easy for hand construction
     PPGA      Pin Grid Array (plastic)           ""             ""
     PLCC      Plastic Leaded Chip Carrier   not generally soldered
     QFP       Quad Flat Package (plastic)   difficult to hand solder
     CQFP      Ceramic Quad Flat Package          ""        ""
     BGA       Ball Grid Array               impossible to hand solder {??}

The DIP is the familiar package with the flexible pins at 0.10 inch spacing. This is the oldest package type used with the 68K family.

The PGA (and PPGA) is a square package with rigid pins coming out the bottom. Usually socketed and the pins have a 0.10 inch spacing.

The PLCC are meant to be in sockets soldered to a circuit board. They have a pin spacing of 0.050 inch. The package is square.

The QFP and the CQFP are surface mount devices and are the latest package type used with the 68K family. The package is square with a pin spacing of a mere 0.025 inches making hand soldering difficult but not impossible. Generally, specialized soldering equipment is needed but many people solder with a sharp tipped iron. The pins are flexible but due to their short length cannot be bent very much. AMP (a plug and socket manufacturer) apparently manufacture sockets for these packages. 3M may be another source. The sockets have a 0.10 inch spacing for easier construction.

The pins on a BGA package are solder-balls that are melted with special equipment to create the connection to the circuit board. The MC68356 which is a combination 68302 and DSP56002 uses this package. Advantages are very low profile and high pin count capacity. The BGA is also known as the OMPAC - Overmoulded Padded Array Carrier. Extremely nasty to hand solder.


"What is the pin for ...." is a frequently-asked-question. The question is often asked for older processors such as 6800 and 68000. This information is becoming available on the World-Wide-Web (WWW) and elsewhere. One place to try is This site contains information on M680x0, 68360, 68681 and 68461 parts. Included are instruction sets (mnemonics). Other makes of processors are at this site.

Oxford University has some CPU pinouts and instruction set information available. The list is not up to date. To contribute contact The information is available from: or by ftp from:


S-Records are Ascii characters in a protocol developed by Motorola and is used to transfer data and program code to and from host computers or to store such information. Details of this protocol have been archived as at and also at as s_record.gz.

CPU Clocks and Double-Clocking

CPU clock speeds are used by consumers to compare the performance of different microprocessors. This is the classic case of comparing apples and oranges in almost all cases. Clock speeds can only be used for comparison with the same processor and then with care.

For example, a 1 Mhz MC6800 processor runs at the same bus speed as a 4 Mhz MC6802: the 6802 has a divide-by-4 circuit so less expensive 4 Mhz crystals can be used. This is also a cheap way to make a CPU seem more powerful but runs the risk of marketing "numbers games". It is better to compare CPUs with test programs that return comparison values such as "millions of instructions per second (MIPS) or Dhrystones. Even then, one must be very careful using such comparisons - see Cray under "Speed Comparisons". Motorola clock frequencies should not be directly compared with other manufacturer's frequencies.

The effective speed of a processor depends not only on clock speeds but also on computer bus speed (ie memory speed), CPU registers, internal features (such as caches), FPU units, external features such as external caches and data bus width and the software used. An instruction and/or data cache usually dramatically improves system speed. A 25 Mhz part is not necessarily twice the speed of a 12.5 Mhz part since system speed also depends on the external resources the CPU is connected to.

The issue of "clock-doubling" with Apple products and the 68040 is a question often asked on the net. Apple (and others) advertises some of its notebook computers with "33/66 or 25/50" Mhz speed designations. This has been referred to as "clock doubling". The '040 has two clock inputs - PCLK and BCLK. PCLK runs at twice the frequency of BCLK. BCLK (1/2 PCLK) runs at the frequency of the part and is used to derive all bus signal timing. PCLK (2x BCLK) is used for internal logic timing. PCLK is not present on the 3.3 volt parts (MC68040V and 68EC040V). The 68020/030/060 do not have this feature but the 68360 does. Use BCLK as the part's true speed.

This is not the same as Intel's "clock doubling" on the 486 Overdrive chip.
"Overclocking" refers to increasing a CPU's clock frequency beyond the part's specification for higher performance (also called clock-chipping). This often causes reduced reliability and higher chip temperatures. It is usually (always?) a mistake to use this technique in a commercial product.

Sonnet's "clock doubling" or "booster" chips (for Macs) interface a slower system bus to a higher speed processor that has internal fast caches.

Big and Little Endians

M68K processors store the most significant byte (msb) of a word (16 bits) or long word (32 bits) or quad word (64 bits) at the lowest memory address. This is called "big-endian" memory organization. Other processors, notably Intel, store the least significant byte (lsb) at the lowest memory address. This is called "little-endian". The PowerPC supports both formats with big endian the default. This is also known as "byte ordering".

These terms reportedly stem from the Lilliputian's (in the classic book Gulliver's Travels) arguing over whether one should crack their egg open at the big or little end. A somewhat useless argument.

Obviously, problems arise when a big and little endian processor must share information. One of them must swap bytes to match the other and this can be done either in software or in hardware which is much faster. The debate of which is better is best left to posters to comp.sys.m68k the next time the subject comes up there. (I think it is arbitrary)

6) Literature

Motorola publishes a plethora of literature ranging from product brochures and data sheets to detailed technical application notes (AN). The "Specs in Secs" data disk has a listing with descriptions of various documents.

Motorola seems to have intentions of placing this material on the Internet.

Application Notes are examples of applications of all Motorola products. An example is "AN1310 - Using the MC68332 Microcontroller for AC Induction Motor Control". Schematics, drawings and short program code are often included in these informative and usually easy to read notes.

Article Reprints are reprints of articles from various publications that are of interest to users of Motorola products. An example is "AR217 - The Motorola MC68020". Articles are on the technical side yet easy to read.

Brochures are usually short yet comprehensive outlines of Motorola products. An example is "BR176/D - M68000 Family Brochure."

Selection Guides give information needed to choose among family members. The "Master Selection Guide" (SG73/D) lists all Motorola products. M680x0 series and the MC68300 series are in SG167/D and SG166/D respectively.

Engineering Bulletins are similar to application notes. An example is "EB111 - The Application of a Duplexer". Design Concepts are similar and are also listed in the "Specs in Secs" disk.

Data sheets are available in various stages of completion as the products mature. They are Product Briefs, Technical Summary, Advanced Information and regular. The Advanced Information is how most data sheets are made available. Data sheets part numbers contain the device part number followed (usually) by a /D. Examples are MC68360/D and MC68331TS/D. (TS means "technical summary"). Data sheet books have a suffix of DL and often have application notes in addition to specific data sheets for a family of parts. A listing is in the "Specs in Secs" data disk.

User's Manuals contain just about everything you need to know about a device (except price and availability and instruction set details). The part number is the device number with a suffix of UM/AD. Examples are MC68606UM/AD, MC68030UM/AD and MC68360UM/AD. The 68360UM is 3.5 cm thick.

Programmer's Manuals contain instruction set details such as mnemonics and data and addressing details. Most User's Manuals contain an overview of the instructions. Examples are M68000PM/AD (get this book) and CPU32RM/AD.

Many third party textbooks contain information about this material too.
Some more useful documents in addition to those listed above are:

BR135/D - "Applications & Products Literature Selector Guide etc" - A list of available application notes (AN), BR, AR, EB etc documents referenced by chip part number and product category for all Motorola products. In Europe order as SG410/D.

BR101/D - "Technical Literature and Information Guide" This lists (with short descriptions and prices) data books (DL), Selector Guides and Applications Literature, User's Manuals and textbooks. European edition - BR464/D.

FR68K/D - "M68000 Family Reference", a book that contains data sheets for most of the current 68K family. May be M68000FR/AD.

MPC601UM/AD - 601 RISC Processor User's Manual.

BR1133/D - High-Performance Product Portfolio Overview (HIPPO)
- a quarterly overview of 16 and 32 bit microprocessors. Too large to fax (61 pages). SG421/D in Europe.

DL409/D - collection of Application Notes, Article Reprints etc. ($14.85)

DL408/D - as DL409/D but for 8-bit MCU parts. ($14.85)

The file "" available from: contains a list of most Motorola data literature. This file is getting old though...the $100 subscription mentioned in the embedded file UPDATE_S is no longer available.

"Specs in Secs"

The Motorola "Specs in Secs" data disc contains the addresses for Motorola sales offices and distributors around the world besides product selection. A listing of various Application Notes and other publications is included. This disc is available from the Motorola BBS, and The file name for the latest version (6) is spec6.arc or This file is about 340k and is worth downloading.


For general technical information (voice) try 1-800-521-6274 (USA and Canada). For information concerning literature or ordering "UPDATE" (BR128) which is a brochure outlining recent product releases and new publications and data sheets, call 1-800-441-2447 (USA) or (602)-994- 6561.

"The 68K Connection"

The newsletter "The 68KC Connection" is available by mailing or faxing your name, address and company name to:

The 68K Connection
Motorola, MD OE310
6501 William Cannon Drive West
Austin, Texas 78735-2943
FAX = (512) 891-2943

This newsletter contains general news and information concerning 68K family members and their implementation in various products.

Master Selection Guide

A free book that lists all products manufactured by Motorola. Distributors should be able to provide a copy. Published periodically. Part # SG73/D. It is now on the Motorola WWW site and can be searched:

Motorola Addresses

For lists of Motorola Field Offices and Literature centres around the world, consult the "Specs in Secs" file or under the /marketing directory in the ftp sites mentioned above.

Literature Distribution Centres

USA: Motorola Literature Distribution
P.O. Box 20912
Phoenix, Arizona
85036 (800) 441-2447

Europe: Motorola Ltd. +44 908 614614 European Literature Center
88 Tanners Drive
MK14 5BP, England

Asia-Pacific: Motorola Semiconductors H.K. Ltd. Silicon Harbour Center
No. 2 Dai King Street
Tai Po Industrial Estate
Tai Po, N.T.
Hong Kong

Japan: Nippon Motorola Ltd.
4-32-1 Nishi-Gotanda
Tokyo 141, Japan

Training and Instructional Books

Motorola runs technical seminars on various processor families. BR348AD/D (if available) outlines these programs. (602) 897-3665 (Phoenix, Arizona)

There are many books available about Motorola processors. Check public libraries and universities (especially ones with Computer Science or Engineering faculties) for suitable texts in the QA76 area. Larger book stores often have some titles - look also under Macintosh computers. See the file described above under 6) Literature. (dated material)

The Motorola Literature Distribution Center has the following text books listed in BR135 with prices presumably correct, in US $ and plus shipping.

TB303/D Using Microprocessors and Microcomputers: The Mot. Family.$49.80
TB320/D The M68000 Family, Vol 1. Architecture, Addressing Modes and Instruction Set. $36.25
TB322/D Vol 2. Applications and the M68K devices. $37.15
TB323/D The 68000 Book (Southern, 1990) $19.50
TB325/D The MC68332 Microcontroller. $46.75
TPURM/AD MC68300 Family Time Processor Unit (TPU) Reference Manual. $1.90

University Support:

Motorola has two centres that provide support for university programs that feature Motorola products. These centres are geared towards providing assistance to professors but will help students. The Phoenix center focuses on discrete and logic devices while the Austin location handles microprocessors and D.S.P. products. Both locations are able to assist in each other's product areas. These centres can help provide literature, devices, training and equipment at low or no cost on a discretionary basis to qualified individuals or institutions.

Motorola University Support        Motorola Semiconductor Products Division
     505 Barton Springs Road            University Support
     Suite 100                          Mail Drop 56-106
     Austin, Texas  78704               P.O. Box 52073
     phone (512) 505-8836               Phoenix, Arizona  85072
     fax   (512) 505-8883               phone (602) 952-3857
                                        fax   (602) 952-3621

Trade Journals and Magazines

Electronic News - This publication has a newspaper format and is published weekly. It contains marketing information about the microprocessor chip industry. Timely announcements from manufacturers. Very good quality. USA - $69/year, Canada $159/year.

International Publications Corp
302 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY

Computer Select - A CD-ROM that has numerous trade magazines in full text. This CD-ROM is easily searched by topic.

Electronic Engineering Times:

See VMEbus Systems magazine in the comp.arch.bus.vmebus FAQ for magazines about the VMEbus, VXIbus and Real-Time Systems Engineering and VITA's products.

comments and corrections to

Thanks to all those who have helped me with this document.

     Greg Hawley    Wisconsin           Ingo Cyliax         Indiana
     Jeff Loeliger  Scotland            Ben Stuyts          The Netherlands
     Mike Coughlin  Massachusets        Graham Wood         Great Britain
     John Hauser    California          Frans Meulenbroeks  The Netherlands
     Frank Sautter  Deutschland         John Rummel         Canada
     Heiko Krupp    Deutschland         Toni Zollikofer     Deutschland
     Paul Nelson    Texas               Robert Federle      Deutschland
     Joel Sumner    Texas               Randy Sutherland    Ontario, Canada
     Gerry Belanger Connecticut         John Vickers        England
     Chris Boys     Ontario             Carl Boys           Ontario

Those names in BOLD are those who go out of their way to help me and deserve special mention.
Carl and Chris are my two sons who must put up with me working on this all the time.

Thanks to Kees den Hartigh (Alberta) and Olof Johansson (Sweden) for sparing a few K on their hard drives for me.

....and all the posters on comp.sys.m68k and comp.arch.bus.vmebus
....and all those who I forgot to mention. <apologies>
....and the very busy volunteers at
This FAQ would be a mess w/o all their i/p.

Of course, thanks to all those at Motorola who have always helped me with procuring information and for being so friendly on the phone.

Robert Boys

Guelph, Ontario