Cornell Update

Cornell Update

Post by gdbu.. » Tue, 02 Jan 1990 17:16:00

The latest from Cornell:

As of 12/21/87 Trillium 1.0 Beta has been in the books.  We expect to be
installing the system on the T40 and T20 at Michigan Tech. and Clemson
respectively within a few weeks.  Our short term plan is dig trenches and
do little besides support these two universities until the product is
stable enough to call it official 1.0.  We also plan to look at other
transputer systems in the hope that all our portability work will have some

Trillium is an open architecture operating system for a concurrent message
passing machine, directly attached UNIX frontends and any UNIX machine
capable of reaching a frontend over a TCP/IP network (proven on Vaxes,
Goulds and Suns).  To the level of message passing and file access,
application code is source portable over all participating CPU's.  Our intention
is to provide a highly functional system by using processes/tasks to
implement ALL services outside of the message passing kernel (naturally,
we let UNIX and the transputer take care of process scheduling).  Another
important goal is to foster creative R&D by others; Trillium provides highly
flexible development tools and an easy way to add/change/delete the components
of the OS.  Basically, we have done two years of quality grunt work and left
the parallel programming tools to people who know more than we do.

The current native (non-UNIX) implementation is for a box of transputers
and more specifically, the FPS T-Series.  We lose performance on the
links (15% - 38%) if you have a machine with no alternate path to the
nodes (like the T-Series, but not like some other transputer products).
In every other respect, you pick your own form of poison for maximum
freedom of expression.

Goodies List

Penguin C, Fortran, TASM, Linker, Librarian, etc.
Create/inquire/kill/spawn processes, complete node to node message
passing (block/poll/ack/buffer, you mix 'em up), complete UNIX file
system access, stdio, mlib, malloc and friends, more LED control than
you want, a transputer simulator, baby de*, generalized UNIX device driver
for FPS Q22 transputer interface card, speech synthesis (requires extra h/w).
FPS floating point vector processor library (T customers only).

Oh, no Occam here, folks.  We're not against it, we just believe in
one compiler/one vote.

Greg Burns
Andy Pfiffer
Dave Fielding

The Trillium Diving Team

"...that's the way a Transputer works, right?"


1. Cornell Trillium Update

Trillium Update:

sed -e "s/Trillium/Trollius/"

Trillium is a trademark of a software company and we therefore
had no choice but to change the name.  We settled on another
New York State protected wildflower called Trollius, our new
official name.  If this is confusing, "the NYS wildflower OS"
will get the meaning across.

The focus of the project has changed considerably since the days
of trying to build a suitable OS for the FPS T-Series.  Fortunately,
one of the major project goals was portability.  We are currently
working with vendors and universities who are in need of transputer
programming and development environments.  Trollius has been ported
to the NiCHE NT1000 platform.  The whole job took ten days, mostly
due to Trollius abstraction and portability but also due to an
existing NiCHE device driver and a straight forward hardware design.
Feel free to email questions to me about the NiCHE product.

A member of the original Trillium Diving Team, Andrew K. Pfiffer
is hard at work at Topologix, his new home, making the Pentasoft
tools sing T212 tunes and porting Trollius to the Topologix hardware.

Back at Cornell, a project will be starting shortly to put Trollius
on IBM Watson Research's Victor machine.  The details are an IBM RT
running Mach and up 256 transputers.

Another project will be starting at Cornell to demonstrate Trollius
to scientists on NiCHE/Topologix/IBM/anybody else's hardware.
Once an application is working, it works on all machines.
We will help strategic scientific codes get implemented under Trollius
and then let the user decide what is the best hardware to buy
from first hand experience.

Naturally, we would like to add to the list of "anybody else".
Unix ports are easiest right now, but VMS and OS/2 are distinct
possibilities.  Cornell is licensing Trollius to industrial and
academic institutions.  You also need a Pentasoft license to have


Cornell Theory Center / Cornell U.              cornell!batcomputer!gdburns
                                                (607) 255-8686
"...that's the way a Transputer works, right?"  Trillium Diving Team

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