Open Microsystems Initiative: Microprocessor Architecture Project


OMI-MAP - 5386

Keywords microprocessor architectures, parallel architectures


Start Date: 01-OCT-90 / Duration: 30 months

[ contact / participants ]


Objectives and Approach

The OMI Microprocessor Architecture Project will be the central part of the European Microprocessor Initiative (OMI). It will evaluate market requirements for general-purpose processors across a wide range of applications, and develop the architecture of a new family of European microprocessor components. The architecture will be designed to exploit the technology of the mid-1990s to support high-performance, low-cost low-power or macrocell implementations. The components will exploit novel architectural techniques (such as dynamic instruction scheduling and ultra-fast context switching) to provide virtual processing, virtual memory and virtual communications in scalable general-purpose parallel computers.

Components, machines, macrocells and software conforming to this architecture will be developed within other ESPRIT projects (for example, IPS-2 project 5404, GP-MIMD, will develop components for high-performance computers). It is expected that further projects will exploit the architecture to develop workstations, provide components for embedded systems, and provide macrocell support.

Particular attention will be paid to minimising the costs of software migration from current architectures and systems. This will be achieved through a combination of processor emulation, the definition of a virtual binary interface, and the adoption and creation of appropriate international standards.

Bull will lead a workpackage involving the system companies (Olivetti, Acorn, ABC, Siemens, INMOS) to define system requirements and to subsequently evaluate the architecture against these requirements. INMOS will lead a workpackage concerned with the detailed architectural specification, and Siemens will lead a workpackage on implementation studies. Olivetti will lead the workpackage concerned with standards and compatibility.

This project is the central - but only initial - step in the Open Microprocessor Initiative, and the consortium will establish a management board to coordinate activities within the OMI.

As well as the direct industrial interest of the participating semiconductor and systems companies, it represents a key component in an important strategic activity for the future of the European electronic systems industry as a whole.

Further information about MAP is available from the MAP home page.


CONTACT POINT

Mr T. Gore
INMOS LTD
1000 Aztec West, Almondsbury
UK - BRISTOL BS12 4SQ
tel: + 44/ 454-611500
fax: + 44/ 454-617910
telex: 444723

Participants

INMOS LTD - UK - C
ACORN COMPUTERS LTD - UK - P
SIEMENS AG -
SEMICONDUCTOR GROUP - D - P
ING. C. OLIVETTI & C. SPA - I - P
BULL SA - F - P
THOMSON-CSF - F - P
ACTIVE BOOK COMPANY - UK - A
IMEC VZW - B - A
DEFENCE RESEARCH AGENCY (DRA) - UK - A
EUROPEAN EDUCATIONAL
SOFTWARE PLC - UK - A
UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER - UK - A


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OMI-MAP - 5386, December 1993


please address enquiries to the ESPRIT Information Desk

html version of synopsis by Nick Cook