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 HP's 32 bit MPU, computer and OS from 1981 
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Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:54 pm
Posts: 1789
There's lots of interesting technical detail about HP's first workstation, the 520, later called the 9000/520, in some issues of HP Journal.

The (microcoded) CPU was called FOCUS, and had 450,000 transistors, running at 18MHz and a million instructions per second, at a time when Intel and Bell Labs were announcing 32 bit CPUs with a tenth as many. There were heat management challenges.

The system allows for symmetric multiprocessing and independent I/O processors all on the same shared memory.

First issue, about the CPU and the system around it, going into great detail on the micro architecture, instruction set design, the chip process, the RAM chips they designed specially for this system, the clock distribution, managing the heat... see p27 for the design rules, which were very dense, allowing for contacts over gates and needing no contact surrounds: ... 983-08.pdf

Two further issues have articles about the computer product:
- about the physical design, production engineering: ... 984-03.pdf

- about the software including HP-UX and the SUN kernel which sits under it: ... 984-05.pdf

(More info at my post here.)



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Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:45 am
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