TTL computing

From: Richard Erlacher <>
Date: Mon Apr 15 13:36:30 2002

True enough, but the concept was cooked up by someone in their back room or
lab back in the days when TTL was still leading edge technology, and nowadays,
the most common remark about TTL is preceded by "where can I get a ..."


----- Original Message -----
From: "Tim Walls" <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, April 15, 2002 7:19 AM
Subject: Re: TTL computing

> >From: "Richard Erlacher" <>
> >Date: Mon Apr 15, 2002 03:45:30 am Europe/London
> >
> >> Actually, I can see one way that there could be a benefit from
> >> using TTL....
> >>
> >> The current advances in processor speed have come largely from just
> >> increasing the clock rate. There haven't been any major changes in CPU
> >> design to use those clock cylces more efficiently....
> >
> >That's only a small part of the acceleration. The use of multiple
> piplelines
> >accounts for much of the performance increase along with increased
> >datapath width, and other little features. The gradual increase in
> interest in
> >parallelism is also going to help quite a bit, so we'll be seeing even more
> >pipelines in the future.
> >
> >> But somebody stuck with old, slow, TTL, just might hit on some way to
> get
> >> more performance out of it (because it's all they've got, and they need
> >> the performnce). The trick they discover just might also be useful to
> >> speed up ASICs (or FPGAs, or ...)
> >>
> >And just exactly HOW would they extract more performance from it? A new
> >architecture would require new software, both in development tools
> >and in OS and as applications. Just verifying that their innovation would
> >take several hundred lifetimes, and the generation of a full set of
> software
> >would take that one individual working alone, until well after the next
> big-bang.
> I've been keeping out of this conversation so far 'cos I'm not qualified
> to comment on much of it <grin>, but this statement strikes me as just
> being Plain Wrong.
> Your own example of pipelines is a perfectly good example of
> something which could easily have been invented by someone
> in their back room building a processor out of TTL. OK, the resultant
> processor would not be commercially viable, but it would serve
> perfectly well to demonstrate the theoretical concept and a
> practical embodiment of it. Enough for the patent application you'd
> file before taking it to Intel to commercialise, for example!
> The argument that anyone interested in new architectures is wasting
> their time ('mentally masturbating' as you so delicately put it,) is
> entirely specious IMHO. The first stage is always proof of concept,
> commercialisation is an entirely different game. I doubt the
> researchers on quantum computers are going to give up and go
> home because the first devices they produce are the size of
> a room, require liquid nitrogen to run and - heaven forfend - don't
> run Windows 2000 or Microsoft Office. If a new architecture
> offers significant enough benefits, the software support and
> everything else necessary to capitalise on it will follow.
> Cheers,
> Tim.
> --
> Tim Walls at home in Croydon - Reply to
Received on Mon Apr 15 2002 - 13:36:30 BST

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