Article 36397 of comp.sys.cbm:
From: diku0748@diku.dk (Asger Alstrup Nielsen)
Newsgroups: comp.sys.cbm
Subject: Uncovering the noise waveform of the SID
Date: 18 Apr 1995 23:42:17 GMT
Organization: Department of Computer Science, U of Copenhagen
Lines: 482
Sender: diku0748@berling.diku.dk
Message-ID: <3n1iop$31n@odin.diku.dk>
NNTP-Posting-Host: odin.diku.dk
X-Newsreader: NN version 6.5.0 #13
Uncovering the waveforms of the SID
-----------------------------------
Document version 1.0, 19 Apr 1995.
After posting to comp.sys.cbm for info on an algorithm for reproducing the
output of the noise-waveform, someone followed up with an article on how to
do pseudo-random generators in hardware. The poster described a leftshifting
register scheme with an exclusive-or gate as feed for the outshifted bit 0.
This inspired me to examine the SID and especially the noise-waveform in more
detail.
This document descibes some of the things, I discovered in my search. I give
algorithms for reproducing the pulse- and noise-waveforms. Introductory work
on reproducing the waveforms corresponding to specific frequencies have been
done, but rather than finish that job, I'd like to give you the info on the
noise waveform first.
Sampling the waveform
---------------------
The waveforms of the SID in the c64 and c128 can be examined, because the SID
provides a 8-bit output register of the waveform of voice 3 in register $1b.
The exact waveform can also be examined from the "start" of the waveform,
because the test-bit (bit 3 in register $12 for voice 3) can be used to reset
the random-waveform.
To examine the data, we want to be able to sample the output in a consistent
way. First step is to establish the sampling-rate to be used. Of course the
sampling-rate must depend on the frequency used in registers $0e and $0f, so
our job is to determine the dependency between the frequency and the waveform
"wavelength" in cycles, i.e. the number of cycles between the waveform-values
change.
To this end, we want to read the waveform output of register $1b as fast as
possible. With a REU it is possible to sample the value every cycle, and with
the program "Cyclewise", which samples $10000 bytes of the waveform output
into bank 0 of a REU, I have collected the data in table 1 which are valid for
the noise waveform. The number in the first column is the frequency put into
registers $0e and $0f. The second number is the number of cycles each value
of the waveform at least lasted, while the third number is the number of
cycles the first value ($fe) lasted when the sampling is done using the
construct:
sta $d412 ;Start waveform
stx $df01 ;Start sampling
The STA and STX instructions take 4 cycles, but the data in the table suggests
that the sampling is delayed only 3 cycles. Furthermore the first value count
is probably 1.5 times longer than the waveform.
Table 1: Frequency, wavelength and initial delay
Frequency Wavelength 1st value cnt
$ffff $10.001000 $16
$C000 $15.555555 $1D
$AAAA $18.001800 $22
$8000 $20 $2D
$6000 $2A.AAAAAB $3D
$4000 $40 $6D
$3222 $51.B3F644 $78
$3000 $55.555555 $7D
$1000 $100 $17D
$0100 $1000 $17FD
This leads to the conclusion that the frequencies can generated with a loop
like this for the noise waveform:
void Frequency-generator(long freq) {
long delay=0x180000; /* C-notation for $180000 */
long cycle=0;
for (;;;) { /* Repeat forever */
delay= delay-freq;
if (delay<0) {
delay= delay+0x100000; /* C-notation for $100000 */
waveform_output= calculate new value for waveform;
};
waveform[cycle]= waveform_output;
cycle= cycle+1;
}
}
Furthermore, we notice that the highest frequency that is 100% cycle-aligned
is $8000, which gives us a wavelength of 32 cycles. In the following dis-
cussion this frequency is assumed to be used.
Notice that the above program is not garanteed to be 100% correct, since I
haven't tested it. Specifically is the value of $180000 a quick hack and
it might be $17ffff just as well.
The noise-waveform
------------------
The next step is to determine whether the noise waveform loops, since this
knowledge is useful in respect to an algorithm based on manipulating an
internal register. If the algorithm is based upon manipulation an internal
register (by doing for instance shifting and exclusive-or), the values _have_
to restart sometime, because an internal register on n bits can only hold 2^n
different values. In other words, we will try to establish whether the output
stream from $d41b will repeat itself and if it doesn't in a set period of
time, say n clockcycles, we will know that the internal register will be of at
least log2(n/32) bits, since the value changes each 32 clockcycles (note:
log2(x) is the same as log(x)/log(2)).
The program "Loopchecker" checks for loops with an algorithm like this:
void Loopchecker() {
start_noise-waveform();
/* We want to sample *inside* the potential loop */
wait_a_while();
/* Sample 256 values */
for (i=0;i<256;i=i+1)
data[i]= peek($d41b);
/* Sample until those 256 values arrive again */
do {
i=0;
while (peek($d41b) = data[i]) do
i=i+1;
while (i<256);
end;
This program will terminate if a sequence of 256 recorded bytes will appear
again later. If the 256 bytes reappear, we can be quite certain that the
waveform loops, since the chance of this happening with a totally random
source is infinitely small (well below 1e-500).
Marko Makela and I hacked a loopchecker together over the IRC, and our results
with a 16 cycle sampling-rate was that the computer terminated after approxi-
mately 2 minutes and 15 seconds. However, our results weren't consistent,
partly because of the 16 cycle sampling frequency, which isn't completely
cycle-aligned and partly because the reseting of a waveform with the TEST-bit
does not reset the waveform immediately, but rather $2000-$8000 cycles later
(this figure varies greatly, does anybody know of a way to reset the waveform
fast?).
The "Loopchecker" program given below fixes these errors, and if you run this
program, the computer will terminate after approximately 4 minutes and 32 se-
conds or 272 seconds. Firstly this means that the waveform repeats.
Secondly, when the waveform changes every 32 cycles, this means that the
length of the loop is approximately
(272 sec * 980000 cyc/sec)/32 cyc/bytes ~= 8.0 Megabytes.
Thirdly, this implies an internal register length of log2(8.0 MB)= 23 bits.
And finally, we must admit that it would be a difficult task to sample the
entire 8 MB on a c64 with only 64Kb memory. It is possible to sample the lot
in chunks and saving it on multiple disks, but this is not a trivial task.
Notice that the data probably can't be packed much since they are random.
It should be mentioned that by changing the delayloop after the noisewaveform
is selected, it can be demonstrated that the waveform indeed loops after 8
megabytes of data nomatter where in the waveform cycle you are.
With the implication of an internal register of 23 bits, the next step is to
find a pattern in the data which might hint the algorithm used to produce the
data. Since we know a shifting and eor scheme can be used, it might be useful
to take a look at the data in binary:
11111110
11111100
11111100
11111100
11111000
11111000
11111000
11111000
11110000
11110000
11100000
11100000
11100000
11000000
11000000
11000000
11000000
10000001 New value for bit 0!
10000001
00000011
00000011
00000011
00000110
00000110
00000100
00000100
00001100
00001000
00011000
00011000
00011000
00110000
00110000
...
It should be quite clear that some kind of shifting scheme is used. Further
examination of the data suggests that the internal register indeed is on 23
bits, where the mapping between the 8 bits in the output and the internal
23 bit register is like this:
Internal register bit number
22 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
Output bit from register $1b
7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
The first data from the output can be reproduced with this layout if the
internal register is leftshifted, and the initial value of the internal
register is:
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0
Now we need to explain the new bits appearing in bit 0 of the data. Even
further examination of the data implies that an eor-gate is used to feed bit 0
of the internal register. I have found that the bits 22 and 17 of the inter-
nal register provides the feed for bit 0 through an eor-gate, which gives us
the entire mechanism:
22<-21<-20<-19<-18<-17<-16<-15-14<-13<-12<-...<-8<-7<-6<-5<-4<-3<-2<-1<-0
| | |
+---->----->-----> eor ->----->----->----->----->----->----->----->---->+
This can also be expressed as a C-program like this:
/* Test a bit. Returns 1 if bit is set. */
long bit(long val, byte bitnr) {
return (val & (1<freq
sta $d40e
stx $d40f
;Set up REU
ldx #<$d41b ;Define REU read address to be $d41b.
ldy #>$d41b
stx $df02
sty $df03
lda #$00 ;Record into $0000
sta $df04
sta $df05
sta $df06 ;in bank 0.
sta $df07 ;Transfer $10000 bytes.
sta $df08
lda #$00 ;No interrupts from the REU.
sta $df09
lda #%10000000 ;Fix c64 adress at $d41b.
sta $df0a
lda #$80
ldx #%10010000 ;REU command: Do transfer from c64->REU.
;start waveform and do the sampling
sta $d412 ;Enable noise-waveform
stx $df01 ;and start recording.
jmp done ;After sampling, wrap it up
;Loopchecker - checks for a loop in the noise-waveform.
;------------------------------------------------------
* = $1100
block = $2000
loop jsr init ;Init screen
lda #$08 ;Set testbit to reset the waveform.
sta $d412
jsr pause ;Give it time to settle - nescessary on my machine.
lda #$00 ;Set frequency to $8000
sta $d40e
lda #$80
sta $d40f
lda #$80 ;Start noise-waveform
sta $d412
jsr pause ;Wait a while, so we get well into the waveform
inc $d020 ;Signal that the recording starts now
ldx #0 ;Sample 256 bytes at 32 cycles
l1 lda $d41b
sta block,x
bit $ffff
bit $ffff
bit $ffff
bit $ffff
nop
inx
bne l1
nop ;Wait exactly 1 value
bit $ea
bit $ffff
bit $ffff
l2 ldy #$1d ;See if the 256 bytes repeat
ldx #$00
l3 lda $d3ff,y ;(Trick to get 5 cycles execution time)
bit $ffff
bit $ffff
bit $ffff
bit $ffff
cmp block,x
bne l2
inx
bne l3
jmp done ;And exit if they do
;Misc subroutines
;----------------
* = $1800
;Init screen
init sei ;Secure accurate timing by
lda #$00 ;disabling sprites
sta $d015
in1 lda $d011 ;and screen.
bpl in1
and #$ef
sta $d011
rts
;Wait 50 frames so waveform can be reset
pause ldx #50
p1 bit $d011
bpl p1
p2 bit $d011
bmi p2
dex
bne p1
rts
;Wraps it up
done lda $d011 ;Reenable screen
ora #$10
sta $d011
cli ;and exit.
rts
[cut here]
Output from "cyclewise" with a frequency of $ffff (The data are correct:
the wavelength is effectively 16 cycles for the first $10000 or so values):
Value (number of times)
$fe ($16), $fc ($30), $f8 ($40), $f0 ($20), $e0 ($30), $c0 ($40), $81 ($20),
$03 ($30), $06 ($20), $04 ($20), $0c ($10), $08 ($10), $18 ($30), $30 ($20)
...