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The design of a microsupercomputer

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9 Author(s)
Mudge, T.N. ; Michigan Univ., Ann Arbor, MI, USA ; Brown, R.B. ; Birmingham, W.P. ; Dykstra, J.A.
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A description is given of work to develop a prototype microcomputer that will realize the best of both the supercomputer and the microprocessor traditions. It does so by using GaAs MESFET enhancement/depletion direct-coupled FET logic, a high-speed technology that has good integration density, and state-of-the-art packaging technology to prevent chip crossings from dominating the overall speed of the system. The focus of the research reported is the relationship between hardware implementations and emerging technologies. The MIPS Computer Systems instruction set was implemented to bound the architectural options and to eliminate the need to develop compilers and operating systems. Efforts are concentrated on developing the processor and cache. The resulting system will be a general-purpose computer that runs a conventional Unix environment and supports standard programming languages and networking protocols. The machine will significantly accelerate execution of the existing large base of application software.<>

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:24 ,  Issue: 1 )