Pentium for Non-PC (Was Statement & apology (was Re: 10 year whine fest)

Alexey Toptygin alexeyt at freeshell.org
Thu Aug 31 13:56:45 CDT 2006


On Wed, 30 Aug 2006, Roy J. Tellason wrote:

>>> Wasn't that "The Connection Machine"?
>>
>> Nope.  Connection Machines were made by Thinking Machines, Inc., and they
>> don't use Pentiums.  They use gobs (up to something like 16k) of
>> proprietary processors.
>
> I'm vaguely remembering something about what chip that was,  but now I can't
> remember what it was called.  Ah,  would that have been the "transputer",
> maybe?

No, transputers are 16 or 32 bit RISC chips, some with 64 bit IEEE 
floating point either in hardware or emulated via microcoded instructions.

Their best features are: 4 async 2-pair 5, 10 or 20MHz full duplex 
communication links on die, a minimal ammount of RAM on die, and the 
ability to be booted and debugged over any of the 4 links. Thus, you can 
build a parallel "computing surface" with just the transputer chips plus 
power and clock sources. They also have a fairly flexible RAM/ROM 
interface, but it's entirely optional. Finally, the whole family is 
machine language compatible (later members only extended the instruction 
set). In theory this let you mix family members in a machine, but 
unfortunately there was no "what family member am I running on" 
instruction.

 			Alexey



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