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Technology / AI and automation


The latest acquisition by Scientific Micro Systems Inc, Levco Corp, of San Diego, California is working on an Inmos Transputer based accelerator package for the Unix-based Macintosh II and Macintosh SE. The package, due for launch in Europe after the Which Computer Show? in January, is called TransLink. A TransLink card is plugged into the Macintosh: for the Macintosh II this is a single-slot NuBus card that can hold up to four Transputer modules; the TransLink SE card for the Mac SE plugs into the SE Bus and holds up to two Transputer modules, which can be either the the T414 integer processor or the 20MHz T800 floating point processor. Inter-Transputer links are configured using a Levco-developed programmable link switch which functions like a switchboard and enables up to 32 Transputer links to be interconnected – links have a DMA transfer rate of 20 Megabits per second. Individual Transputers can be configured with 256Kb 120nS memory option or 1Mb and 4Mb with 100nS RAM. Transputers with different memory sizes can be mixed on a card. All software for the TransLink system runs under the Macintosh Programmer’s Workbench and includes a C compiler, Occam assembler, linker and loader as well as the Inmos Occam development system. Levco is currently developing a software simulator for the system. TransLink is intended for applications such as scientific computing, signal processing, image processing, artificial intelligence, high-resolution graphics and bid databases. Prices will be available just prior to the Which Computer? Show.

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