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VLSI system design by the numbers: Design frames and system kits promise to simplify the development of VLSI-based systems

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4 Author(s)
Gaetano Borriello ; California Univ., Berkeley, CA, USA ; Randy H. Katz ; Alan G. Bell ; Lynn Conway

Two new concepts for computer development now being developed are design frames and system kits. The design frames take care of the details of interfacing new integrated circuits with a standard bus, and system kits provide a hardware and software standard for prototypes consisting of one or many design-frame-based circuit boards. A system kit starts with the basic prototyping hardware required to build a complete computer system: card cages, power supplies, memory boards, and so forth. These off-the-shelf parts are chosen so that they can work together through standard bus protocols, circuit-board form factors, and software conventions. The prototyping hardware is then augmented by design frames-a special interfacing technique for closely integrating custom chips and printed-circuit boards into the system.

Published in:

IEEE Spectrum  (Volume:22 ,  Issue: 2 )