InfiniteReality: The Graphics Engine EEPROM Commands

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InfiniteReality: The Graphics Engine EEPROM

The Graphics Engine (GE) on SGI Onyx2 and Onyx3 Infinite Reality (IR) systems store microcode in an EEPROM. In addition to microcode that enables the Graphics Engine, the EEPROM stores specific user defined video format combinations prepared with the InfiniteReality Video Format Combiner, ircombine.


ireeprom is a command-line tool that allows users with root level privileges access to the Onyx2 InfiniteReality Graphics Engine microcode. With ireeprom, the contents of the IR GE EEPROM can be queried, verified, erased/reset to the default state, or flashed to a older/newer microcode revision. ireeprom does not have a man page; some of its functions will be described here.

ireeprom Command Options

ireeprom supports the following command options:

    -c - erase the video combination stored in the EEPROM
    -e - erase the EEPROM (use with caution)
    -f <path to EEPROM microcode file> - the microcode file is typically /usr/gfx/ucode/KONA/tport.bin
    -F - force overwrite of same/older version of microcode
    -h - help
    -i - information: prints current EEPROM info
    -p <pipenumber> - specify pipe in multi-pipe systems (pipe numbering typically begins at 0)
    -r - read the contents of the EEPROM into a file
    -v - verify the contents of the EEPROM
    -w - write a file to the EEPROM (see -f)

Accessing ireeprom

Successful use of some ireeprom commands require that the graphics sub-system be stopped and re-started, so ireeprom should be run from a terminal connection or a remote shell.

As root, change to the directory that contains ireeprom:

    #cd /usr/gfx/KONA/bin

Typical Uses of ireeprom

In multi-pipe systems, the -p n to specify a pipe (n is replaced with the pipe number - note the space between the p and the number.)

Check Current Microcode Revision

    ./ireeprom -i 

Included in the output will be the microcode "State" (good or bad) and "Revision".

Flash the GE EEPROM

    ./ireeprom -w -f /usr/gfx/ucode/KONA/tport.bin

If you wish to re-flash the EEPROM with the same (or an older) microcode revision, include the -F option.

You must stop and restart the graphics sub-system to successfully to load the microcode to the EEPROM:

    (/usr/gfx/stopgfx; /usr/gfx/startgfx)&

Erase Bad Combination Files that May Prevent Display of Graphics

Loss of graphics output can be the result of a bad combination file or the use of a particular graphics resolution not supported by your monitor. If after loading a combination file, or using the Onyx2 (or GE board) for the first time, your monitor fails to display output, you can erase and reset the EEPROM:

    ./ireeprom -c

then stop and restart the graphics subsystem to restore a default combination with a resolution of 1280x1024

    (/usr/gfx/stopgfx; /usr/gfx/startgfx)&

Further Reading

Silicon Graphics® Onyx2™ Deskside Workstation Owner's Guide

Silicon Graphics® Onyx2™ Rackmount Owner's Guide

Origin™ and Onyx2™ Theory of Operations Manual

InfiniteReality™ Video Format Combiner User's Guide