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

Liam Proven lproven at gmail.com
Mon Apr 25 11:12:38 CDT 2016

On 25 April 2016 at 17:24, Adrian Graham <binarydinosaurs at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 25 April 2016 at 16:02, Liam Proven <lproven at gmail.com> wrote:
>> The Communicator is a *far* more interesting beast, with no 6502 or
>> copro -- it's a native 16-bit machine in the BBC family. Remarkable.
> I haven't seen a Communicator since 2006 when I exhibited some machines at
> the Wakefield RiscOS show -
> http://www.binarydinosaurs.co.uk/Museum/Acorn/WROCC2006/index.php
> That show produced an entire skip full of Archimedes machines and a LOT of
> scrap BBC Micros.

Nifty. I wish I'd been there. Never made it to an Acorn Wakefield
show. As a non-car-owner (or indeed a car driver at that time), it
would have been a long, expensive trip on British trains.

I am surprised that I didn't know about the actual significance of the
Communicator. It's not like it was lost in the noise of the multitudes
of 65816-based hardware or anything!

Looking back, the chip deserved to do better. Now I know that the 3
biggest 6502 families all got 16-bit 65816 versions...

* the Commodore 64's CMD SuperCPU

* The Apple ][GS, apparently limited to just 2.8MHz for tech reasons
rather than so as not to compete with the 8MHz Mac:

And now I learn of the Acorn Communicator.

There was also the 65832, a 32-bit successor to the 65816 was
designed, but never made...

(I learned of that CPU from list member Peter Corlett.)

Liam Proven • Profile: http://lproven.livejournal.com/profile
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