KSR Supercomputers and NeXTstations

Started by cuby, May 11, 2023, 03:08:49 AM

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Did you know that NeXTstations were used as operator console for the (short-lived) KSR-1 and -2 supercomputers built by Kendall Square Research?

The KSR was a pretty interesting machine - the CPU was a 64-bit 2-wide VLIW built using ASIC technology which ran at 20 (KSR1, up to 1088 CPUs) or 40 (KSR2, up to 5000 CPUs) MHz. An interesting feature of the KSR machines was that they used a cache-only memory approach - all memory was treated as cache and memory dynamically migrated and replicated in a coherent manner based on the access pattern of individual processors.

The OS of the KSR machines was based on OSF/1, so it was another Mach 2.5-based Unix-like system.


I could only find one picture showing a KSR machine with its NeXTstation console. The one in the picture was used at GWDG in Göttingen, Germany; the picture is from the GWDG publication "Von Leibniz zur Cloud" (from Leibniz to the Cloud) by Manfred Eyßell.