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Standards Committee Activities: An Update

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000131416D
Original Publication Date: 1979-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-10
Document File: 8 page(s) / 33K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

David B. Gustavson: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Stanford Linear Accelerator Center

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

This record contains textual material that is copyright ©; 1979 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact the IEEE Computer Society http://www.computer.org/ (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.

Standards Committee Activities: An Update*

David B. Gustavson

Stanford Linear Accelerator Center

   (Image Omitted: The IEEE Computer Society Computer Standards Committee and the Microprocessor Standards Subcommittee have made progress on several fronts. This work is likely to have significant and lasting benefits for the computer industry.)

The projects being carried out by subcommittees for the Computer Society's Microprocessor Standards Subcommittee arose out of the frustrations of engineers working in microcomputer applications, initially due to the inadequate specification of the common microcomputer buses, and later expanding to include software aspects. The committee work is mostly carried out by volunteers on their own time, with interested companies contributing peripheral support such as use of duplicating facilities from time to time. Currently chaired by Gordon Force of Logical Solutions, San Jose, the subcommittee was organized in 1977 by Robert G. Stewart of Stewart Research Enterprises, Los Altos (who currently chairs the Standards Committee).

Bus standardization projects include Intel's Multibus, National's Microbus, and the S-100 bus. Another bus project, Futurebus, is searching for other buses which will be needed soon, in an effort to head off another round of chaos.

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Software-related projects include a standard for choosing assembler language mnemonics, a high-level language project which is attempting to make existing languages more suitable for use with microprocessors, a joint project with ANSI for the standardization of Pascal, a committee studying possible extensions of Pascal, and a project seeking a common standard for relocatable object code.

A project which has both software and hardware implications is the Floating Point Standard project, which is intended to facilitate communication at the hardware level among devices which use floating point, specify computational algorithms for arithmetic operations so that various processors will get the same results for the same calculation, and specify behavior under exceptional conditions in a way which maximizes the useful information returned to the programmer.

Because of the desire to get useful standards defined as soon as possible, most of these efforts have relied on small core groups to quickly create a draft document, which is then published as widely as possible for comment, and revised on the basis of the feedback received. Some topics have proved of such wide interest that the committees have grown to larger size and progress has slow...