Welch, Peter H.
Emulating Digital Logic using Transputer Networks (Very High Parallelism = Simplicity = Performance).
Parallel Computing, 9
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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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