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Wild idea.

To: riscy@sunsite.unc.edu
Subject: Wild idea.
From: Bill Broadley <broadley@neurocog.lrdc.pitt.edu>
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 1994 22:17:44 -0500 (EST)
Waldorf has it's own agenda which seems to include MIPS.

Mips seems that the design complexity if forcing the use of some 
fairly complex/expensive chips. ($2711 for 0 ram, no L2 cache,
4600 with video, audio, and ethernet)

Are any of the hardware designers out there interested in doing our own
design with an eye towards price performance?  Please email me and/or the
list if you feel you could help design a motherboard.

I've talked to a few dec engineers and they seem to think that a very
cheap motherboard using the ALPHA 21066 should be possible.  They sent
me I believe almost everything I need to make a motherboard.  (Not
that I have any skill at such things.)

Big features of the 21066:
        Embedded graphics controller (on chip)
        L2 cache support (directly connects to sram.)
        PCI I/O controller on chip 
        8k/8k L1 cache
        3.3 V chip (cooler)
        70 Specint 105 Specfp (better then any 100 Mhz mips)

This has several big advantages of the mips design:
        Cheaper, faster, PCI.

Of course the disadvantages:
        No cheap production at Waldorf
        Software will be pretty tricky getting started/booted.
Seems like you basically hook up the PCI bus, vram, sram, and dram  to the 
pins, and you have a motherboard.

So any hardware designers interested in donating time?  I have parts list,
parts descriptions, schematics, and a product brief on the ALPHA
evaluation board.

It's a wild idea just thought I'd thow it out to the list.

Bill Broadley@{neurocog,schneider3,lrdc5}.lrdc.pitt.edu (in order of preference)
Linux is great.         Bike to live, live to bike.                      PGP-ok
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