Transtech TMB316

The Transtech TMB316 never really seemed to see the light of day and is probably one of the last Transputer developments of AG Electronics for Transtech. Internally it’s also been called the “MTPA-0001”, MTP translates into Multi Transputer Platform, most likely “A” for 2MB and version 0001.

It’s a triple-height Eurocard board featuring 16 T805 at 25 or 30MHz, each with 2 or 4MB RAM. This is the card in full beauty:


As you can see, it’s not totally cramped with parts and actually has quite uncongested areas. The reason for that is, that this model (Called TMB316-2-25) only uses 2MB of the possible 4MB RAM per Transputer and while all Transputers are placed on the top side of the PCB, every second Transputer has its RAM on the bottom side, right beneath the ‘free space’ visible on the top. This is the back side (flipped horizontally):


It becomes more obvious, when we zoom into a Transputer section of the board:


I coloured each Transputer (green and orange) with its RAM area. The red area shows the CPLD which is shared between the two Trasnputers and handles the DRAM control and such.
Also visible on the cards front panel are 8 of totally 16 LEDs which display each Transputers status.

Obviously meant for a bigger systems, Transtech/AG Electronics planned the TMB316 for big deployments, i.e. more than one card. So each card uses four C004 link switches which connect the 16 T805 to each-other as well as to the outside world via the DIN connectors at the back of the card (totally non-standard pinout). This is fine if reconfiguration of the T-network is important but there’s no alternative but using dummy PCBs if all you need is speed. And being an avid GeekDot reader, you know my view on C004’s 😉

TMB316_C004This is where the C004s were meant to live.

Just in case you really want to know, here’s how the Transputer nodes are connected to the 4 C004 and to the backplane connectors:


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