Oh, man.scarybeasts wrote: ↑Mon Aug 31, 2020 3:21 amOk, I have a confession to make -- I did chat to Ken (http://righto.com blog owner) and we exchanged some notes and ideas.
And then Ken found a couple of extremely enlightening documents, which are attached:
- A paper abstract from a 1977 conference. You will recognize the photo in it.
- A patent application for the core.
Across the two documents there's a fabulous wealth of detail. What nuggets do you all find most interesting? For me:
- I'm quite pleased with the confirmation that the "byte engine" does seem to be a little 8-bit CPU with stack, PC, registers and program ROM. There's the specific claim of "46 instructions".
- The on-silicon multi-tasking support is very eyebrow raising and it hasn't sunk in for me yet.
- 22,000 transistors! Goodness me. They really could have just strapped a CRC16 and pulse shifter to the side of an 8080 and used less?
I'm only awake because I can't sleep, but I'm looking forward to reading these tomorrow.
Would a microcontroller of the era have been fast enough? I'm not sure it would? The 8271 had a DMA controller and stuff.
I wondered how many transistors there were. 22k? Ridiculous. I ain't tracing all those.
Also good news that there is some code involved.