High performance coprocessor boards of the 80s and 90s - was Re: SGI ONYX

Jules Richardson jules.richardson99 at gmail.com
Sat Apr 23 13:20:33 CDT 2016

On 04/20/2016 10:32 AM, Pete Turnbull wrote:
> On 20/04/2016 16:00, Toby Thain wrote:
>> On 2016-04-20 10:27 AM, Pete Turnbull wrote:
>>> It did indeed - I have one.  Also a couple of 6502 CoPros, a 65C102, a
>>> 32016 and a pair of Z80s, which were nice in their day.
>> Nice collection. I'd forgotten about the 32016! What software ran on
>> these respective processors?
> There was a collection of "scientific" software for the 32016 - things like
> Spice, some maths software, and assorted CAD stuff

I remember there being some connection with the ACW and Quickchip CAD, but 
IIRC the disks I had had been reformatted, and it wasn't obvious if any of 
the product actually ran on the 32016 side of the machine, or if it was 
just the same old 6502-side application which was available for regular BBC 

> licensed for the 32016 ACW and the Master Scientific, which came later.
> The Z80 CoPro ran CP/M - real licensed CP/M 2.2, not the bastardised
> often-not-compatible "CPN" lookalike offered by Torch, and came with GEM
> and various office software.  The ARM CoPro originally had little software
> beyond TWIN (the Two Window Editor), assembler, BASIC, and utilities.  The
> 6502 variants - including the 65C102 that was used for the Master Turbo -
> just ran whatever you'd otherwise have on the Beeb itself

On the back of that... the Cumana 68008 board ran OS-9, the 'bigger' of the 
two Torch 68000 boards could run System III Unix, and if I remember right 
the Casper 68000 board just came with a bunch of utilities and programming 
tools (although I think FLEX may have been available as an optional extra 
purchase). I'm not sure what the PEDL Z80 board came with. The Torch 8088 
board ran MSDOS, I believe.



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