High performance coprocessor boards of the 80s and 90s - was Re: SGI ONYX
derschjo at gmail.com
Thu Apr 21 15:06:55 CDT 2016
On Wed, Apr 20, 2016 at 8:27 PM, Toby Thain <toby at telegraphics.com.au>
> On 2016-04-20 11:10 PM, Josh Dersch wrote:
>> Ok, this one's from the 70s, and it's a large, external unit rather than
>> a single board, but I have a Floating Point Systems AP-120B, essentially
>> an array processor for fast floating point operations. There's a bit of
>> information here:
> Impressive! I guess documentation would be quite a challenge.
There are docs on Bitsavers, at least for programming it. Not enough
information to build the interface to the host machine, though.
I also have an AMT DAP 610 (similar to this:
http://www.computermuseum.org.uk/fixed_pages/AMT_DAP.html only with 64x64
processors instead of a mere (hah) 32x32).
It's actually a SCSI device the size of a refrigerator. I have it hooked
to a Sun IPX because I find the size differential between host and
coprocessor to be amusing. It's currently running, but I haven't yet spent
too much time learning AMT's parallel FORTRAN variant to do anything fun
with it. It renders the Mandelbrot set in full color quite quickly,
though. (And now that the weather's heating up, I've missed my window for
running it for any period of time :))
> It seems like the sort of thing you'd want to do ray tracing on in the
> TRON (1983) era. I wonder if there were CGI users of it.
A cursory search doesn't reveal any uses in CGI (but I agree it would be
suited for it), but there were a good number of applications in image
>> I'd love to get it running one of these days, just need +5V at 100A and
>> a set of interface boards for a PDP-11...
>> - Josh
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