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Old 11th June, 2005, 05:56 PM
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parallel port mode confusion

mmm, i just got a parallel port pci card today, and am kinda confused by its settings, it uses a SUN1888 chip and has Hardware 32bit FIFO aparantly, firstly what does 32bit FIFO mean? and im guessing the hardware bit means it does the processing onboard instead of just letting the processor do it. anyhow, my other question is although im pritty sure ECP is the "best" mode, would anyone care to explain what the following modes mean, stand for, and.....well are?

ECP, EPP, SPP, BPP
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Old 11th June, 2005, 06:19 PM
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A FIFO buffer is a First In First Out buffer. Given that the chip can do ECP, that's hardly surprising. (A FIFO buffer is required to do full ECP transfers).

SPP is Standard Parallel Port, as IBM originally designed the parallel port to be. It allows you to send a signal out.
BPP is Bidirectional Parallel Port, and allows you to send a signal and receive a signal in a rudimentary way.
EPP is Enhanced Parallel Port, and was really designed to allow non-printer peripherals more sensible interfacing, but is definately faster than SPP and BPP.
ECP is Extended Capability Port, and was designed for printers/scanners. It also has more sensible interfacing, together with support for RLE compression.

Both EPP and ECP require that both ends of the link support the same modes. Not all devices support EPP or ECP however. The 'best' mode is one that both the PC and peripheral support.
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Old 13th June, 2005, 03:46 PM
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I've been confused about parallel port settings for ages. Thank you very much, Aedan!
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Old 14th June, 2005, 09:29 PM
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so is EPP faster when using stuff other than a scanner or printer? just wondering.
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Old 14th June, 2005, 10:32 PM
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I believe that both EPP and ECP run about the same speed (around 150k bytes/second). However, ECP is designed for use with DMA transfers, where EPP is not. On the other hand, EPP doesn't have the same level of overhead when switching between reading and writing. Which one is better depends on what you are trying to do. Either one is better than SPP or BPP, though.
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Old 14th June, 2005, 10:33 PM
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ECP, when running in ECP mode is faster than EPP. However, both the computer and the device connected have to support ECP for that to happen! The same goes for EPP too.
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