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 An obscure, but advanced 16-bit computer from Poland c 1973 
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Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:23 am
Posts: 22
Not often you get to hear about obscure technology from the Soviet Block.

The K-202 was an advanced 1uS cycle time 16-bit cpu developed in Poland then marketed in the UK in the very early 1970's

An English language brochure is here

http://www.zenker.poznan.pl/k-202/dokum ... ma-ang.pdf


Ken


Wed Sep 27, 2017 8:57 pm
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Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:54 pm
Posts: 947
Nice find! That does seem advanced- 7 general purpose registers and up to 4 cpus.


Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:08 pm
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Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:54 pm
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Here's a post about the designer, Jacek Karpiński, and some other related posts and comments:
Image


Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:49 am
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Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:23 am
Posts: 22
Hi All,

According to this article the K-202 used Western sourced components but was built in then Communist , Poland. This upset the political masters, and Jacek Karpiński was essentially outcast. In a single stroke of communist idealistic stupidity, Poland went from being at the cutting edge of computer design to being in the backwaters.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacek_Karpi%C5%84ski

The team worked for three years and in 1973 first prototypes were completed. The result was a minicomputer highly innovative in many aspects. K-202 was constructed entirely with microchips, using breakthrough 1971 Intel 4004 chips. It was also asynchronic and used floating point representation, as KAR-65. Moreover, K-202 used memory segmentation with paging, the first minicomputer to do so. Additionally, it performed close to a million operations per second.

It suggests that it used Intel 4004s - could these have been used as 4-bit bitslices in the ALU of a 16-bit design?

4004 Datasheet http://datasheets.chipdb.org/Intel/MCS- ... l-4004.pdf


Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:21 pm
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Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:54 pm
Posts: 947
Oh, that's surprising, I thought the 4004 was extremely limited.


Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:57 pm
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Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:23 am
Posts: 22
Ed,

I too was surprised to read that he'd used Intel 4004, particularly as the clock speed was no where near capable of 1 million instructions per second.

It may be that a 4004 was used in the design for some minor function - and that fact has become embroidered into the restricted history of this machine.

I suspect it was actually a TTL processor based on 74181 - as this was in commercial use (DG Nova 1200) by 1970

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/74181

A video about the K-202 and its designer - in Polish

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ah7wAPCBuYI


Ken


Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:19 am
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Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:54 pm
Posts: 947
Hmm not sure that's the right video - maybe
https://youtu.be/KXJGrGhjBao

Or
https://youtu.be/gjqUxvESbsU

??


Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:44 am
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Joined: Mon May 22, 2017 12:11 am
Posts: 23
Location: NW Scotland
Hi All,
Yep think you're probably right, 74AS181's as the ALU ( 4 off ) and the rest v. early ttl and discrete
logic.I don't think ECL chips were available until approx 1974 ( and expensive ).
I think Schottky came out about '72 ish but I could be wrong, I've been wrong before.
Looks very similar to a PDP-8.
Keep up the good work people, it's entertaining, and informative.

Best Regards Ian Hughes ( carronjack )

Computer Definitions :-
Turnaround Time.
The time between feeding a stack of 80 column cards into an IBM 1200 card reader,
and getting back the remains.


Sun Oct 01, 2017 1:02 am
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Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:11 am
Posts: 97
Location: Norway/Japan
monsonite wrote:
The team worked for three years and in 1973 first prototypes were completed. The result was a minicomputer highly innovative in many aspects. K-202 was constructed entirely with microchips, using breakthrough 1971 Intel 4004 chips. It was also asynchronic and used floating point representation, as KAR-65. Moreover, K-202 used memory segmentation with paging, the first minicomputer to do so.
No, if it did that in '73 it wasn't first to do paging (on minis) etc. by far. But I thought they had that working even earlier, but even then they wouldn't have been first.
But from what I could find about the machine it was very impressive. What happened to it is a shame. [but the part about 4004 can't be right - way too slow etc.]


Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:51 am
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Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:23 am
Posts: 22
Hi All,

The schematics for the K-202 are here http://mera400.pl/K-202 - mostly dated 1972.

There's an overall block diagram plus a breakdown of what parts of the machine are utilised for each of the instructions.

An English text exists that holds significant detail of the inner workings of the machine

http://www.zenker.poznan.pl/k-202/dokum ... ma-ang.pdf

Most interesting is the 4-bit wide bitslice ALU http://mera400.pl/files/k202/k202-schemat-p-a3-2.png

This contains the ALU and 4 bits of each of the various registers

This uses 74xx83 as an adder, and has the means to invert the inputs or apply -1 to allow negation and subtraction.

Other parts of the circuit provide OR and NOR and shift functions

A bank of four 74xx150 - one of 16 data selectors is used to select the correct output from the ALU.

Attached is the top level diagram -

K-202 was similar to other TTL bitslice 16-bit machines of the very early 1970's - such as PDP-11 and DG Nova. Facinating how a team in Poland - relatively isolated from the rest of the technical world could design and produce such a machine.


Ken


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Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:41 am
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