CADC

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In 1968, Garrett AiResearch (which employed designers Ray Holt and Steve Geller) was invited to produce a digital computer to compete with electromechanical systems then under development for the main flight control computer in the US Navy's new F-14 Tomcat fighter. The design was complete by 1970, and used a MOS-based chipset as the core CPU. The design was significantly (approximately 20 times) smaller and much more reliable than the mechanical systems it competed against, and was used in all of the early Tomcat models. This system contained "a 20-bit, pipelined, parallel multi-microprocessor". The Navy refused to allow publication of the design until 1997. For this reason the CADC, and the MP944 chipset it used, are fairly unknown Ray Holt graduated California Polytechnic University in 1968, and began his computer design career with the CADC. From its inception, it was shrouded in secrecy until 1998 when at Holt's request, the US Navy allowed the documents into the public domain. Since then several have debated if this was the first microprocessor. Holt has stated that no one has compared this microprocessor with those that came later According to Parab et al. (2007), "The scientific papers and literature published around 1971 reveal that the MP944 digital processor used for the F-14 Tomcat aircraft of the US Navy qualifies as the first microprocessor. Although interesting, it was not a single-chip processor, and was not general purpose – it was more like a set of parallel building blocks you could use to make a special-purpose DSP form. It indicates that today’s industry theme of converging DSP-microcontroller architectures was started in 1971. This convergence of DSP and microcontroller architectures is known as a Digital Signal Controller

Hasitha Helappriya

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.

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