Linked by Eugenia Loli on Tue 15th Jul 2003 18:26 UTC
OpenStep, GNUstep Every so often I have this urge (maybe more of an itch) to spend hours and hours on the web trying to find information about old, obsolete computers of the past. I am intrigued by the XEROX Alto and Star ('70s-'82), the Apple Lisa ('83) and, of course, CRAYs ('75-ish). These were revolutionary machines indeed, they wrote golden pages in the history of computing. In the end of the 1980s, a new innovative product was ready to ship, created by a bunch of people coming from Apple: The NeXT platform.
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Re: i860
by whaaa on Wed 16th Jul 2003 19:24 UTC

"Ironically despite being quite a potent processor for it's day NeXT used it as a graphics co-processor!"

Well so did SGI, RealityEngine uses 8 i860s and the RealityEngine2 used 12 i860s for graphics processing. A lot of graphics boards from DEC also used the 860. I believe very few companies tried to use the i860 for general purpose (Oki, and maybe Stardent, and intel on their supers) since the chips was a total bitch to program. The graphics unit was that savaged that chip, since it had a lot of support for graphics primitives in silicon... hence their widespread as graphics coprocessors.

Another piece of interesting trivia. The internal codename for the 80860 inside intel during its development was NT. And originally NT at microsoft was targeted for this processor, however it became clear that it was not going to be a good general purpose cpu, they switched to MIPS as their primary development platform. MS developed a reference platform using MIPS processors (I think it was called the magnum) for the ACE consortium in the early 90s.