Harris RTX-2000 - Re: High performance coprocessor boards of the 80s and 90s

Dave dfnr2 at yahoo.com
Sun Apr 24 21:51:18 CDT 2016

On Thursday, April 21, 2016 9:22 AM, "Tapley, Mark" <mtapley at swri.edu> wrote:

 On Apr 20, 2016, at 9:46 PM, dwight <dkelvey at hotmail.com> wrote:

> The RTX-2000 was an of shoot of the NC4000. Even at 10MHz, they could
> out compute a 40MHz 80386.
> One execution per clock cycle plus possibly using 3 16 bit busses in a single
> cycle.
> A 4MHz NC4000 could sort 1K 16 bit values in 19.7 milliseconds.
> Dwight
> ….
> On 2016-04-20 1:28 PM, dwight wrote:
>> There was a Harris RTX-2000 based accelerator card around
>> the 80386 time period.
> ...Interestingly: "The RTX 2000 is specifically designed to execute the
> Forth language"
> (https://users.ece.cmu.edu/~koopman/stack_computers/sec4_5.html)
> --Toby

(top-post …. bottom-post …. AAagh!) :-)

The Harris RTX-2010, in a rad-hard version, was for years the CPU of choice for spacecraft science instruments from Johns Hopkins APL. Those chips are *all* *over* the solar system! One of APL's lead SW engineers wrote one of the most widely-used Forth test suites, partly for that reason.

It’s a pretty nice chip, for multiple reasons.
                                - Mark

 This chip was also used in some industrial equipment.  In school, I worked with an MRI system that used this chip for the controller.  It was programmed in a C-like language using a C-to-FORTH compiler.  I used to have a manual for the RTX-2000, but sent it off to someone on comp.lang.forth to scan.  I wonder if it ever got scanned and placed on the net.
Come to think of it, I think I have one of these chips lying around, but no software.  I think MPE still supports this chip with their forth compiler system, but it's expensive.   I wonder if anyone has anything non-commercial that would run on it.

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