Lousy timing, but Symbolics Inc of Cambridge, Massachusetts, yesterday announced its Ivory chip, a micro-processor implementation of its basic Lisp CPU, and controversially claimed it to be the industry’s first single-chip implementation of a symbolic processor for commercial applications of artificial intelligence. Texas Instruments may well claim that distinction for its Explorer microprocessor. Symbolics says Ivory can be the basis of a single-board computer – and is claimed to offer three times the performance of current Symbolics 3600 CPUs, to rise to five times in future implementations. The two micron CMOS chip implements a 40-bit 40-bit tagged architecture. The firm says it will incorporate the chip into future products in the second half of next year, and as well as Lisp will be supporting Fortran-77, Ada, Prolog and Pascal on it. The chip is being offered OEM for designers who want to add a Lisp co-processor, and also as an embedded defence delivery system.
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