Parallel Associative Development Machine as a Vehicle for Artificial Intelligence
This ESPRIT Project, started in 1986, is a cooperative effort between THOMSON-CSF (prime contractor — France), GEC (United Kingdom), and FIRST (Greece). PROLOGIA (France) and NSL (France) are also involved as sub-contractors.
Its objective is to develop a machine for symbolic and time critical applications, such as image recognition, natural language, and parallel expert systems. PADMAVATI is a MIMD machine connected to a SUN host. It is composed of 16 Inmos T800 transputers, with a 16Mbyte DRAM. A Content Addressable Memory with a capacity of 48kbytes (up to 680kbytes) is also attached to the memory bus of each transputer and is especially usefull for symbolic languages. A dynamic Network and a static ring connecting the 16 transputers provide non local communications. Symbolic languages, such as Lisp, Prolog, extended with parallelism and associativity mechanisms, have been ported on this architecture.
In spite of the fact that PADMAVATI is a transputer based architecture, it has innovative features that no other current transputer machine has, some of which will be incorporated in the next generation transputer architecture which INMOS plan to release in two years time. Thus, this project can considered as an early prototype for the next generation.
KeywordsAssociative Memory Message Passing Processing Node Virtual Channel Symbolic Language
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