ATA-IDE Interface


japanese version

 The ATA-IDE interface is available

T he IDE interface is used for connecting ATA-compatible devices (commonly referred to as IDE) to a MSX-2/2+/turboR computer. These are also the devices that are used for most PC's, so these devices are rather cheap and can be found anywhere. There are harddisks, CD-ROM drives, ZIP drives, LS120 drives, DVD drives, CD-Recordable, etc. So with this interface cartridge it is possible to expand your MSX with the newest storage media that can be found today. It all works like a normal floppydisk, but with a much higher capacity and about twenty times faster.

A bout the internal software: the cartridge contains 512kB of FlashROM memory and can be reprogrammed at least hundred thousand times! With a simple program you can always download the newest IDE bios version into the cartridge. Currently the IDE bios supports harddisks, CD-ROM, ZIP drives and the LS120 drive. With the last one, it is even possible to use 1.44MB floppies on your MSX. For your convenience also DOS 2.20 is contained in the FlashROM, so you don't have to spend another cartridge slot for that purpose. It is even possible to use the DOS 2.20 without any IDE device. Since there is still a lot of unused memory, it will be possible in future to install additional applications into the interface (for example, the G9000 BASIC).

M ore and more software is coming available for the IDE. Today there is already an audio CD player, an EVA movie player, etc...

S peed: the IDE interface is very fast. Of course all depends on the speed of your MSX and the device you use. Therefore it is very difficult to give exact speed results. However here are some DOSSCAN results to indicate what you may expect:

MSX2/+ @ 3.58 MHz
Normal floppy:
9 kB/s
Harddisk: 151 kB/s
113 kB/s

LS120-DD media: 21 kB/s
LS120-HD media:
40 kB/s
LS120-UHD media: 49 kB/s
MSX2/+ @ 7.16 MHz
Normal floppy: 9 kB/s
Harddisk: 289 kB/s
IOMEGA ZIP: 196 kB/s
LS120-DD media: 21 kB/s
LS120-HD media:
40 kB/s
LS120-UHD media: 53 kB/s
MSX Turbo R
Normal floppy: 12 kB/s
Harddisk: 270 kB/s SyQuest

Harddisk: 291 kB/s Mode 3
LS120-DD media:
21 kB/s
LS120-HD media:
40 kB/s
LS120-UHD media: 53 kB/s

LS120 and ZIP Drives (Important)
Are supported, but that a 100% correct operation of all types of
these drives is not guaranteed. If people want us to, we can always proviced some device types of which we're sure that they work 100% fine.

Harddisk and CD-and DVD-ROM (Important)
It is for us impossible to test all Harddisk's and CD-ROM of the world.

Price of updating an ALREADY MODIFIED IDE to IDE version 4.0. The price excl. shipping costs will be Hfl. 30.- = Euro 14.- This includes the costs of all necessary components, and the labour costs. The costs for updating a NON-MODIFIED IDE to IDE version 4.0 will be free.

See the
Download-section to get the newest BIOS-software.


by Sunrise for MSX Team