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[hemmerling] Freescale "Coldfire"

MCF5206 Coldfire evaluation board SBC5206 ( today: M5206AN )

History and Motivation for this Page

I got the MCF5206 Coldfire evaluation board SBC5206 ( today: M5206AN ), for about 100 EUR, a special offer, called “M5206PROMO”, valid until 1997-06-10, bundled with a complete software package, as mentioned below. I will tell my experiences with the processor, this board and the software on this WEB site.

Freescale Semiconductor Inc.

Freescale Semiconductor Inc. - Coldfire

Freescale Semiconductor Inc. - Coldfire Documents

Here is a list of useful documents to order for COLDFIRE users:

MCF5200PRM/AD COLDFIRE Programmer´s Manual
MCF5206UM/AD COLDFIRE User´s Manual
MCF5206/D MCF5206 COLDFIRE Integrated Microprocessor 96
MCF68HC901UM/AD MC68HC901 Multi Function Peripheral User´s Manual

For comparison, You should cross-read these documents, too (e.g. if You would like to know about the exact differences in the exception vector assignments or between the opcode sets):

M68000PM/AD M68000 Family Programmer´s Reference Manual
M68000UM/AD M68000 8/16/32-Bit Microprocessor User´s Manual
M68000UMAD/AD M68000UM/AD Addendum
M68020UM/AD MC68020 Microprocessors User´s Manual
M68040UM/AD MC68040 Microprocessors User´s Manual

MCF5206 Coldfire Evaluation Board SBC5206 ( today: M5206AN )

Specifications, Datasheets, Hardware Tools

The ISA-BUS slot power lines of the COLDFIRE board

I/O channel (8-Bit), soldering side B3 +5 Volt
B5 -5 Volt
B7 -12 Volt
B9 +12 Volt
B29 +5 Volt
I/O channel (16-Bit extension), soldering side D16 +5 Volts

Ethernet Cards Compatibility with the COLDFIRE Board

As a bonus, a NE2000 compatible Ethernet network adapter KNE 2000 TLC by KINGSTON is supplied with the MCF5206 COLDFIRE evaluation board SBC5206 ( today: M5206AN ). It may be plugged into the 16-bit ISA-BUS compatible slot. It needs +5 Volt for power supply. For this card only the operation is guaranteed in the ISA-BUS slot.

Unfortunately for me at that time, in the late 1990th, the network adapter is just equiped with a jack for the 10BaseT unshielded twisted pair wire. I finally found another NE2000 compatible card for which a +5 Volt power supply is sufficient and which operates in the COLDFIRE board !

Kingston KNE2000 TLC NE2000 compatible Ethernet card, 10BaseT needs +5 Volt software configuration on PC is necessary, shipped configuration is $300, IRQ3 works
ND5000 by NDC NE2000 compatible Ethernet card needs +5,+12 Volt software configuration on PC necessary works
ReadyLINK ENET 16-COMBO by COMPEX INC. NE2000 compatible Ethernet card, 10BaseT, 10Base2, AUI needs +5,+12 Volt jumper configuration only works
LanPro EN-2000PXA NE2000 compatible Ethernet card ? ? fails
ZOT-N200E2/EC/ET NE2000 compatible Ethernet card, 10Base2 needs +5 Volt jumper configuration only fails
CNET PowerNIC CN650Eplus NE2000 compatible Ethernet card, 10Base2, 10BaseT needs +5 Volt software configuration on PC necessary, shipped configuration is $300, IRQ3 works
Allied Telesis AT-1700 Network Adapter Card NE2000 compatible Ethernet card, 10Base2, 10BaseT needs +5 Volt software configuration on PC necessary fails

Comment of KINGSTON about direct connections by a 10BaseT twisted pair wire: “If you are connecting two machines together using RJ45 cabling only (no hub), make sure your cross-over cable is built correctly, crossing pins 1&3 and 2&6. Even though pins 4,5,7, & 8 are not used, it is mandatory that they be present in the cable. (NOTE: A cross-over cable is necessary for connecting PC to PC, or hub to hub, unless your hub has a built-in cross-over switch on one of the rear-panel ports)”.

Power supply

  • Although the COLDFIRE board itself is running with +5 Volt, the power for the lines -5 Volt, +12 Volt and -12 Volt of the ISA-BUS slot must be fed by the power connector J2. Many I/O cards need +/- 12 Volt, especially cards with standard RS-232 serial interfaces, but for some Ethernet cards, +5 Volt is sufficient. As power supply, I bought the Stable Regulated Power Supply #512729 by CONRAD (1200 mA). I configured the power supply for an output voltage of 9 Volt. At 12 Volt output voltage (exact value: 12.57 Volt) of this power supply, the operation of the COLDFIRE board is not stable. If the UARTs are used or even ISA-BUS cards are plugged into the COLDFIRE board, then an 800 mA power supply is much too low !
  • Alternatively, I assembled a set of cables so that the COLDFIRE board may be fed by a standard PC power supply. I robbed the “male” AT-board mainboard power supply connector from an old AT486/25 board (a nice gift from a local computer recycle company). A power supply connector for 3 1/2” floppies is plugged on the J2 connector. If you plug the two “female” connectors of the power supply on the male connector, be warned about the twist and permutation danger: If you do it the wrong way, you blow up the whole board ! Easy twisting is prevented by the shape of the connectors, but permutation is not ! Remember “black is next to black”, i.e. the ground line cables of each “female” connector, usually marked by the color black of its plastic isolation, are situated next to each other if the connectors are not permuted.
  • If you want to use ISA-BUS cards in the COLDFIRE board, please check at the ISA-BUS connector of the cards which connector contacts for other voltages are in use, and connect a PC power supply if necessary.

ISA-BUS slot extenders

If you need more than one ISA-BUS slot for development purposes, then please have a look at these ISA-BUS slot extenders:

  • BUF-E by MEILHAUS ELECTRONIC. One 16-bit ISA-BUS card (called PC-E) fits in the ISA-BUS slot of the COLDFIRE board. A cable of 91 cm length connects this card with another 16-bit ISA-BUS card (called BUS-PAC-E), which is plugged in a slot of an external PC backplane. The PC backplane is not included in this package. You may get PC backplanes with four ISA-BUS slots from a local computer recycling company, with a little bit of luck (for very low fair prices).
  • The DECISION BUS++ ISA Bus Expansion Slot by Priester Datentechnik, Luisenring 17/18, D68159 Mannheim, Germany was designed to extend the number of slots of IBM PC/XT/AT or their compatibles. It consists of an interface card that is plugged into the computer expansion slot and a 6 slot passive backplane (or unit) which is located outside of the PC. With the BUS++, it´s save and easy to plug and unplug add-on cards without turning off the PC. Its signal lines and power lines are isolated, and can be disabled by turning off the onboard local power. The BUS++ is ideal for the applications such as add-on card testing and trouble shooting, extending slots for Laptop PCs, industrial applications requiring a lot of slots and so on.
  • The ISA Bus Extender AX 6025E by AXIOM was a similar product, but it supplies 4 slots only. The manufacturer AXIOM cancled the product in late 1997, so it is not available anymore !
  • However, I am using a totally different ISA-BUS slot extender, which consists of a single ISA-BUS card armed with 5 ISA-BUS slots. This type of card is called “Riser Card”. The card is labeled as “KCS-202 RISER CARD VER 0.2”. From a DELL 486P33 computer (486DX33 CPU, 1 ISA slot, Motherboard with integrated FDC, HDC, IO, VIDEO controllers), I got a similar ISA-BUS card armed with 3 ISA-BUS slots. The card is labeled as “KALEX K368 UL94U-1”, ”Dell © 1991”.
  • Michael, another Coldfire user, got a similar “Riser Card” by Strixner+Holzinger. The card is labeled as “PM-C-011”.

In general, “Riser Cards” are provided for free with “Pizza Box” alike flat network pc cases !

Address Decoder

Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP)


  • The firmware of the MCF5206 Coldfire board SBC5206 ( today: M5206AN ) is ready to transfer files by using the Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP). On the host development system, an IBM-AT running WIN95/98, WIN-NT or LINUX, so, you must install a TFTP server.
  • Most TFTP servers may also act as clients, but just for testing the TFTP servers, there are another few TFTP clients.
  • Sorry, the TCP/IP stack of the COLDFIRE ROM firmware answers to “PING” request only while the “DN” command is running !

Free Tools



I am still looking for a suitable box for the Coldfire Board !


The ATARI_ST is equipped with the same i/o chip (e.g. the 68901) like the COLDFIRE board :-).

Free & Giftware Software Tools



CF Flasher for Windows

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