Timer interrupt

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The timer interrupt is a 68k interrupt triggered when the 32-bit down-counter internal to LSPC reaches 0. As it is synchronous with the video output, it is mainly used for scanline effects.

Mode of operation

The value of this counter is decremented by the pixel clock (6MHz, every 166.7ns), and reloaded with the value specified in Reg.png REG_TIMERHIGH and Reg.png REG_TIMERLOW each time one of these 3 selectable events occur:

  • Just when Reg.png REG_TIMERLOW register is written to (immediately).
  • At the beginning of the frame blanking period (one-shot).
  • When the counter reaches 0 (repeat).

Range

  • Minimum time ($00000000): 166.7ns (1 pixel, useless)
  • Maximum time ($FFFFFFFF): 715.8s (42366 frames, 11.9 minutes)

Vector address

  • Cartridge systems: $68 (IRQ2)
  • CD systems: $64 (IRQ1)

Like the others, this interrupt needs to be acknowledged with Reg.png REG_IRQACK to trigger again.

Configuration

The Reg.png REG_LSPCMODE register is used to configure the timer's operation:

  • Bit 7 = 1: Reload counter when it reaches 0.
  • Bit 6 = 1: Reload counter at the beginning of the hblank of the first vblank line (start of each frame).
  • Bit 5 = 1: Reload counter as soon as Reg.png REG_TIMERLOW is written to.
  • Bit 4 = 1: Enable timer interrupt.

Note that if bit 5 is set, either bit 6, 7 or both must also be set to 1.

Caution: When the timer interrupt is enabled, the value of Reg.png REG_TIMERHIGH and Reg.png REG_TIMERLOW should always be set higher than 4, or the CPU will get flooded with interrupts and the program will lock up.

Examples

To trigger interrupts every N pixels, set the reload value to N-1. So 384-1 = $17F for exactly one scanline.

To trigger interrupts when rendering reaches multiple arbitrary display locations, set bits 4, 5 and 7 of REG_LSPCMODE. Then, in the interrupt handler routine, set the new interval between the next interrupt and the following.