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 The Western Digital Pascal MicroEngine WD900 
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Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:54 pm
Posts: 1712
I think this is new to me - a mention of a CPU which runs P-code directly.


The list of programming languages for which such special CPUs exist(ed) is rather short:

Lisp (starting in 1975)
Forth (starting in the early 80s)
Prolog (starting in the 80s; research level only)
Java (starting in 1996)
Lisp machines did have some commercial success, but vanished in the early 90s.

(And of the course the mentioned P-code machine)

I was once in a conversation about making a BCPL machine, but some of the primitives are not at all primitive, and it didn't go anywhere.

Looks like an interesting (but rarely-updated) blog - subscribed!

Tue Sep 13, 2016 8:14 am

Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:11 am
Posts: 114
Location: Norway/Japan
That's very interesting, thanks for the link!
I used UCSD Pascal back in the eighties (with an Apple II), UCSD Pascal had a lot in common with Turbo Pascal (or rather, Turbo Pascal had copied concepts from the earlier UCSD Pascal), so the transition to CP/M and Turbo Pascal was easy. The reason for moving? Speed. The P-code interpreter wasn't very fast.
But I have looked into UCSD Pascal and P-code recently, trying to get an emulation of my old eighties setup running. And I wanted to write a P-code interpreter for my Linux box, but documentation is a bit sparse.
In any case, that WD900 is interesting. And of course, the idea of a P-code CPU in an FPGA follows. I imagine someone else must have had that idea already, so I'm sure there are many such implementations - but I haven't asked a search engine yet.


Tue Sep 13, 2016 10:03 am
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