Emulating digital logic using transputer networks (very high parallelism = simplicity = performance)
Modern VLSI technology has changed the economic rules by which the balance between processing power, memory and communications is decided in computing systems. This will have a profound impact on the design rules for the controlling software. In particular, the criteria for judging efficiency of the algorithms will be somewhat different. This paper explores some of these implications through the development of highly parallel and highly distributable algorithms based on occam and Transputer networks. The major results reported are a new simplicity for software designs, a corresponding ability to reason (formally and informally) about their properties, the reusability of their components and some real performance figures which demonstrate their practicality. Some guidelines to assist in these designs are also given. As a vehicle for discussion, an interactive simulator is developed for checking the functional and timing characteristics of digital logic circuits of arbitrary complexity.
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