Home
Dave

Blog
Archives
By Subject

Recent:

Connection Machine Photo
Engraved Photos
Pad One
Whisker
Black Rice
Gabe Serbian
Inside The Machines
CDC 6600
Reading List 2021
The Cobras Were in Bloom
Baseball Card
Neo Art Deco
Model Ship
Jeanne Mammen
Reading List
Machine Vision Camera
Salome
Favorite Movies
Cactus
Tree

Cray

Seymour Cray gave a speech in 1974 about his new computer, the Cray-1. Around the 13 minute mark, he talks about isolating most of the processor from the outside memory, and how important that is. Today that is called a Load/Store Architecture, and is the primary defining characteristic of RISC processor design. The rest of the computer industry didn't realize this until the late 80s, when Hennessy and Patterson were beginning to have some success with MIPS and SPARC, respectively. (Cray's first load/store machine was the CDC-6600 introduced in 1964.)

The other thing was keeping the computational sequences, in a microscopic sense, away from the memory. Providing some intermediate registers which could be addressed with just a few bits, namely three, to designate the sources and destinations of operands. That made the instructions very simple and that thought is still with me, and is still very present in the machine that I'm designing now. And that is somewhat unique. Most machines have rather elaborate instruction sets involving more memory references in the instructions than the machines that I've designed. So simplicity I guess is a way of saying it. I am all for simpicity. If it's very complicated I can't understand it. So that's gotta be the way to go for me.