Hardware support for X

Hardware support for X

Post by Phil Harbis » Tue, 03 Jul 1990 00:43:00



I  am  working  on  the  preliminary  design  of a workstation that will
support  X  Windows.   The  primary  design goal is to offer respectable
performance  with a price under $4000 for a diskless, monochrome system.
Color  must  be provided as an option by plugging in extra memory boards
or chips.  The main CPU will be a MC68030, and the operating system will
be  derived  from UNIX System V, Release 3.  I would appreciate comments
regarding the following design issues.

[1] Which graphics controller chip(set) best supports an X server imple-
mentation?   I'm  currently  considering the Texas Instruments TMS34010,
the  AMD 95C60 Quad Pixelplane Dataflow Manager (QPDM), and the National
Semiconductor DP8500 Raster Graphics Processor (RGP).  I have the option
of  putting  the  graphics subsystem on a separate board, so it might be
best to offer both a low cost option and a high performance option.

[2]  How  beneficial  is  an extra processor dedicated to X server func-
tions?  Is it necessary if I use one of the programmable devices such as
the TMS34010 or the RGP?

[3] Since X seems to be IPC intensive, would it make sense to dedicate a
processor to running X, the Ethernet, and the keyboard & mouse ports?

[4]  I have heard that X doesn't port well to systems lacking the select
system call.  Is the poll call supported by Streams an adequate replace-
ment  for select?  Would we be better off implementing the entire server
in a separate processor not running UNIX?

[5] I would like to leave hooks for an add-in accellerator.  How hard is
it to integrate an accellerator, such as the SGI Geometry Pipeline, into
a system running X?

Please send your response via electronic mail.  I will post a summary.

--
Live: Phil Harbison
USPS: 3409 Grassfort Drive, Huntsville, AL 35805-5421
UUCP: madhat!alvitar
PSTN: 205-881-4317 or 205-830-4310x210

 
 
 

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--
Bill McGarry  SW-Engineer          Phone:(206)865-5064 FAX:(206)865-2628
Boeing Commercial Airplane Company Org: 6-6C13 , M/S 7J-79

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