Introduced at the sunset of the Transputer era, the INMOS B008 was the successor of the B004 of which it dramatically differed:
- 16-bit ISA connector (for Interrupts/DMA, it’s still an 8 bit data path)
- 10 TRAM slots
- C004 and T2xx on board
The usual source provides the full manual/documentation… down to the GAL equations.
All these enhancements enabled the B008 to create simple, yet powerful Transputer networks on a single expansion card and still makes it the perfect platform for todays Transputer retro experiments/fiddlings.
Here’s a late “Rev.F” version of the IMSB008:
The previous revision E had a ceramic version of the T2xx and used GALs instead of the CPLD you can stop in aboves picture.
Obviously the Inmos B008 had clones as the B004 did.
Well, I guess there’s nothing which Transtech did not clone and/or improve…
In this case they used a AMD MACH CPLD from the beginning, a PLCC version of the T225 and everything else was SMD.
Alta SuperLink/XL Transputer PC Card
Alta Technology was a spin-off of Computer System Architects (CSA).
The SuperLink/XL board used TRAM modules like the Inmos B008, but featured a 20 MHz IMST225 Transputer to handle external interfacing and a beefed-up host interface design. Like the B008 it supported 10 TRAM’s
One of my first TRAMs was an ARADEX one, so this is a first for me, too. Actually I wasn’t aware that ARADEX also made TRAM carriers… but they seem to do quite some:
Their interpretation of the B008 theme features just 8 TRAM slots (vs. the 10 “standard”) which are strangely enough sorted in ascending order (0-7) and not like the B008 order of 1, 5, 6, 2, 0, 4, 7, 3, 8, 9. Also the TransAT provides two 9pin D-subminiature connectors in contrast to the B008s 37pin connector – most likely its layout is the so called Aalener Link-Interface. That includes the RS-422 differential drivers and receivers next to the connector (AM26LS23’s and AM26LS33’s).
Concerning other parts, besides an C012 they used some sort of CPLD – presumably to control the 16 bit bus – in the photos I have, I can clearly see the traces coming form the ISA Bus’ D[8-15].
It also uses the IRQs 10-12.
Last fun bit: They named the two GALs with their JED filenames. Very handy 😉
The “8” in its name makes it a valid member of this collection – but it misses an C004 and also has just 8 TRAM slots… so maybe it should be considered somewhere between an IMSB004 and B008?
This time TIs 74ALS192/193 differential drivers are used, the PLCC chip is yet unknown… and in this case, a TTL chip (next to the ISA slot) is missing… all in all, it looks like a refresh of the TransAT Plus to me.
I even have a piccy of the back-side. Why the heck is somebody putting a GAL there?