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LSI Modular Computers, Systems, and Networks Disclosure Number: IPCOM000131327D
Original Publication Date: 1978-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-10
Document File: 14 page(s) / 50K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Steven I. Kartashev: AUTHOR [+4]


University of Nebraska -- Lincoln

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This record contains textual material that is copyright ©; 1978 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact the IEEE Computer Society (714-821-8380) for copies of the complete work that was the source of this textual material and for all use beyond that as a record from the SPI Database.

LSI Modular Computers, Systems, and Networks

Guest Editors' Introduction

Steven I. Kartashev

DCA Incorporated

Svetlana P. Kartashev

University of Nebraska -- Lincoln

Modular LSI-based design makes possible new patterns of computer and network organization, providing greater computational power and flexibility.

We have now seen four generations of computers, each distinguished by the technology used to construct a basic computer building block: the vacuum tube, the transistor, the integrated circuit, and the LSI module. By the late 60's, the high cost of vacuum tubes, transistors, and diodes had prompted development of design techniques that minimized the component count in a computer. Subsequent evolution of these techniques led to the appearance of such scientific disciplines as automata and switching theory. Designers expected these disciplines to replace intuitive computer design with a set of rigorous and formal synthesis procedures. The anticipated result was construction of a computer or system containing a minimal number of discrete components and possessing prescribed properties.

Optimistic predictions stated that such formalizations would allow completely automated synthesis of computers and systems by the beginning of the 70's. It has since become clear that such predictions were unrealistic and that the idea of a computer which gives birth to other computers has greater currency among science fiction writers than among computer designers.

Why did such elegant theories of digital design fall short of their enthusiastic forecasts?

The reasons are two-fold. First, theoretical research in formal computer design has failed to advance beyond the level of small computer devices such as counters, sequencers, and adders. Therefore, when the designer considered concurrent operation of all computer units on the system level, he found problems of such magnitude that the narrow and idealistic assumptions of formal models could not explain them. Second, integrated circuit technology made many of the minimization techniques of formal synthesis obsolete, because the costs of minimization significantly exceeded the cost of saved hardware components. That is why it is now more economical for a computer designer to create redundant hardware devices rather than to apply complex techniques of hardware minimization. This is especially true for current LSI technology, which gives computer designers low-cost LSI modules with high computational throughput.

New criteria for computer design

LSI modules have significantly altere...