11. Controllers (I/O)

Any standard serial/parallel/joystick/combo cards. Linux supports 8250, 16450, 16550, and 16550A UART's. Cards that support non-standard IRQ's (IRQ > 9) can be used.

See National Semiconductor's ``Application Note AN-493'' by Martin S. Michael. Section 5.0 describes in detail the differences between the NS16550 and NS16550A. Briefly, the NS16550 had bugs in the FIFO circuits, but the NS16550A (and later) chips fixed those. However, there were very few NS16550's produced by National, long ago, so these should be very rare. And many of the ``16550'' parts in actual modern boards are from the many manufacturers of compatible parts, which may not use the National ``A'' suffix. Also, some multiport boards will use 16552 or 16554 or various other multiport or multifunction chips from National or other suppliers (generally in a dense package soldered to the board, not a 40 pin DIP). Mostly, don't worry about it unless you encounter a very old 40 pin DIP National ``NS16550'' (no A) chip loose or in an old board, in which case treat it as a 16450 (no FIFO) rather than a 16550A. - Zhahai Stewart < zstewart@hisys.com>

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