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Motorola Modem Chipsets SM56 Updated 30-Nov-05

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Jun'03 - It looks like Motorola is back in the Analog 56k SoftModem business..... Motorola's site includes SM56 datasheet with V.92 support. As of Nov. 05, Motorola's site has Universal Drivers for Windows 98, Me, 2000 & XP version 6.09.07 -Click here for Motorola drivers. The Universal Driver supports data, fax and voice in both PCI and AC'97 (also known as AC-Link and AMR) form factors. There are also drivers for data/fax PCI modems for SUSE 9.0, Mandrake 10.0 and 9.2, and RedHat 7.3, 8.0, and 9.0 versions of Linux on the Motorola Softmodem Driver Download Page.

The vast majority of modems come with either USR/TI, Lucent/Agere, or Rockwell/Conexant chipsets. Others include  ESS, PCTel, Cirrus/Ambient/Intel, Broadcom, and Motorola chipsets. I do not recommend the purchase of a modem with these chipsets. In July '01, Motorola exited the software modem business and discontinued all soft modem products and development. Motorola indicated its third-party support center will remain in operation until March 30, 2002.
In DECEMBER, 2001, almost all INTERNET-BASED SUPPORT & DRIVER DOWNLOADS disappeared from the Motorola site.  Old SM56 drivers are also available from Modemsite's Download Area. Motorola has also re-posted Legacy drivers for Windows 95, 98, Me, NT and 2000 on their Softmodem Driver Download Page

Claims that (a company?) called NetoDragon "formerly Motorola" Modem Technology are not accurate. NetoDragon is making what they call a 'MDV92XP' chipset supporting V.92. Their website has a driver download page with drivers for Windows 95, 98, Me, NT, 2000, and XP. Caution: whois Netodragon? A Taiwan-based company whose front-page was a 90k jpg scanned image of a product sheet, plus a link to drivers. Sellers of these modems may call them NetDragon "formerly Motorola". This "formerly Motorola" part is inaccurate.  (The NetoDragon or NetDragon modem is a soft (HSP) modem that includes a Motorola DAA (data access arrangement - the interface between the modem and the analog phone line), integrated into a 'MDV92XP modem controller'.) The driver version available from NetoDragon's website is 2.92.04P - and it appears upon examination of the files, that NetoDragon is neither 'it's own' chipset, nor a 'formerly Motorola' chipset: NetoDragon/NetDragon but is based on or licensed from Smartlink. However, Smartlink drivers, unless modified (see next paragraph) do not support the NetoDragon modem - reporting an incompatible codec. The NetoDragon website was modified to remove reference to "formerly Motorola" and now includes the statement "NetoDragon trade name belongs to its respective owner and does not represent any other trade names."

Netodragon Modem & Smartlink Driver: As described in this newsgroup post, it is possible to use the latest Smartlink driver with Netodragon modem by taking the Netodragon-supplied SLAMR.v__ file, and placing it in the same directory as the Smartlink driver.

WINDOWS XP: Before it was completely removed, Motorola's site indicated a clean install (not an upgrade) of Windows XP is required to get the SM56 to function in XP; and, that once installed, the driver cannot be upgraded. The Windows 2000 driver should be used for XP. See Modemsite's XP Page - an upgrade from older version of Windows to XP should work if the old SM56 modem is removed from the machine before upgrading to XP.

A Windows 2000 & XP driver, version, may be available from Microsoft's Windows Update: Link (link may not work unless you have Microsoft browser and Windows 2000 or higher).

The Motorola SM56 is a SoftModem chipset -  lacking a DSP (digital signal processor) -  that places a high load on your PC's CPU. This type of modem is also known as HSP (host signal processor).

As with any 56k modem, assuming you have a 56k-compatible line, the firmware (driver) for your modem is the single most important factor in the quality of your connection. While these modems will get 56k connects under some conditions, there are more interoperability problems with these modems - and you should check to see if new firmware is available for your modem.

The Motorola SM56 is available as Data/Fax, or Data/Fax/Voice, and will not operate without a driver designed specifically for your operating system. Supported Operating Systems include: Win9x,Me, and 2K. Windows NT and Linux are supported only on the Data/Fax model.

As with any 56k modem, you may experience improvements if you Limit the Maximum Connect Speed or disable 56k. The pages on this site include the appropriate commands for Motorola as well as most other chipsets.

Motorola did not make modems - they made the chipsets and licensed the software driver to the companies that actually make the modems. These companies are supposedly responsible for support of end-users, however, many of them provide little or no support.

Feedback from Spawn in Israel:

For those with Motorola SM56 PCI, i have a solution that doesn't make the modem disconnect every time your hdd is overworking or whenever you run large programs. I had a serious problem in which every time I even put a cd on my cdrom, un archived a file, or played a game, i got disconnected. I couldn't work on my pc that way at all, therefore I've spent hundreds of hours searching in webpages for something that might help, like init strings or whatever.. none worked. Only what i did worked, and I hope this works out for other pci-based modems, too:

Go to control panel > system > device manager
> view devices by type > system devices
under that you should find "pci bus", double click on it, go to settings and choose
"use bios"
then go to irq steering and make sure to set it all like this:

(checked) use irq steering
(unchecked) get irq table using acpi bios
(checked) get irq table using ms specification table
(unchecked) get irq table from protected mode pcibios 2.1 call
(checked) get irq table from real mode pcibios 2.1 call

do the same in device manager > view devices by connection > system devices > pci bus

then click ok and restart your pc.

Driver Feedback:

From Hank in California: The Win98 SM56 driver set from the WDM was a fast and easy install on a two year old Motorola SM56, originally a "56K" modem.
It did indeed install the ability to use the call waiting feature, and connects in approx. one fourth the time to my ISP's V92 line.
There is a small improvement in load and download times, but that is miraculous considering the copper problems that I have on a dial-up that is two and one-half miles from the switch. I have joked about the barbed wire fence being part of my circuit, but in rainy weather it could be believed!

From Henk in the Netherlands: I've got a Motorola SM56 PCI modem and couldn't find a driver for XP. With your help I found the driver on the Motorola site. First I tried the newest one (6.05.00) but that wouldn't work (Device Manager tells me that the device wouldn't start). But, the other driver on the site (6.02.13) works fine! One thing, I had to disable the "Modem on hold" feature in the "sm56hlpr" application before I could dial out.


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