Browse Prior Art Database

Front End Processor

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000085793D
Original Publication Date: 1976-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-03
Document File: 3 page(s) / 41K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Plant, JW: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

A miniprocessor or microprocessor is natively attached to a host processor or main processor for relieving the main processor of various chores heretofore required of it and for providing additional desirable functions.

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Front End Processor

A miniprocessor or microprocessor is natively attached to a host processor or main processor for relieving the main processor of various chores heretofore required of it and for providing additional desirable functions.

The main processor 10 is a large-scale digital computer or central processing unit (CPU) having the usual main storage, arithmetic and logic (ALU) and control sections. It communicates with various input/output (I/O) devices 11 by input/output (I/O) control units 12 in the customary manner.

The front end processor is represented by an auxiliary processor 13. It is a high-speed microprogrammed minicomputer or microcomputer having its own internal storage, ALU and control sections. It is natively attached to the main processor 10. In the illustrated example, front end processor 13 series as an interface between the main processor 10 and the main processor console devices represented by diskette unit 14, keyboard and cathode ray tube (CRT) display unit 15 and printer 16. Front end processor 13 controls the operation of devices 14-16 and passes data back and forth between such devices and the main processor 10. The diskette unit 14 is a magnetic recording unit for reading and writing data on a small removable "floppy disk" similar to a 45 RPM phonograph record but coated with a layer of magnetic recording material.

In general, the front end processor or auxiliary processor 13 provides the following desirable functions:

1. It loads the main processor 10 with initialization diagnostics and indicates when an error occurs in the main processor 10. In other words, it provides various diagnostic and maintenance functions for the main processor 10. This is accomplished by appropriate diagnostic and maintenance programs stored in the internal storage of auxiliary processor 13, or on an appropriate floppy disk in diskette unit 14 or some combination of the two.

2. It loads the main processor 10 with its functional microcode. This is accomplished by placing an initial microprogram load (IMPL) floppy disk in the diskette unit 14.

3. It acts as a console display station (or stations) for the main processor 10. As such, it may be either locally attached or remotely attached to th...