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