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Design of the B 5000 System

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129530D
Original Publication Date: 1987-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-06
Document File: 8 page(s) / 95K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

WILLIAM LONERGAN: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Computing systems have conventionally been designed via the 'hardware' route. Subsequent to design, these systems have been handed over to programming systems people for the development of a programming package to facilitate the use of the hardware. In contrast to this, the B 5000 system was designed from the start as a total hardware- software system. The assumption was made that higher level programming languages, such as ALGOL, should be used to the virtual exclusion of machine language programming, and that the system should largely be used to control its own operation. A hardware-free notation was utilized to design a processor with the desired word and symbol manipulative capabilities. Subsequently this model was translated into hardware specifications at which time cost constraints were considered.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Copyright ©; 1987 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.

Design of the B 5000 System

WILLIAM LONERGAN

PAUL KING

(Image Omitted: "Design of the B 5000 System" was published in Datamation, Vol. 7, No. 5, May 1961, pages 28-32. It is reprinted here with permission of DATAMATION ® Magazine, copyright by Technical Publishing Co., 1961 -- all rights reserved.)

Computing systems have conventionally been designed via the 'hardware' route. Subsequent to design, these systems have been handed over to programming systems people for the development of a programming package to facilitate the use of the hardware. In contrast to this, the B 5000 system was designed from the start as a total hardware- software system. The assumption was made that higher level programming languages, such as ALGOL, should be used to the virtual exclusion of machine language programming, and that the system should largely be used to control its own operation. A hardware-free notation was utilized to design a processor with the desired word and symbol manipulative capabilities. Subsequently this model was translated into hardware specifications at which time cost constraints were considered.

Design Objectives

The fundamental design objective of the B 5000 system was the reduction of total problem throughput time. A second major objective was facilitation of changes both in programs and system configurations. Toward these objectives the following aspects of the total computer utilization problem were considered:

Statement of problems in higher-level machine-independent languages; efficiency of compilation of machine language; speed of compilation of machine language; program debugging in higher- level languages; problem set-up and load time; efficiency of system operation; ease of maintaining and making changes in existing programs, and ease of reprogramming when changes are made in a system configuration.

Design Criteria

Early in the design phase of the B 5000 system the following principles were established and adopted:

Program should be independent of its location and unmodified as stored at object time; data should be independent of its location; addressing of memory within a program should take advantage of contextual addressing schemes to reduce redundancy; provisions should be made for the generalized handling of indexing and subroutines; a full complement of logical, relational and control operators should be provided to enable efficient translation of higher-level source languages such as ALGOL and COBOL; program syntax should permit an almost mechanical translation from source languages into efficient machine code; facilities should be provided to permit the system to largely control its own operation; input-output operations should be

IEEE Computer Society, Jan 01, 1987 Page 1 IEEE Annals of the History of Computing Volume 9 Number 1, Pages 16...