Ardent Titan (first graphics supercomputer)

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iamcamiel
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Ardent Titan (first graphics supercomputer)

Unread postby iamcamiel » Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:57 am

Last Friday, I finally received a shipment of 1980's minisupercomputers from the US that I've been working on since September. One of the systems is an Ardent Titan, and it may be of interest here because its vector CPU is built around a MIPS R2000, and because the firmware has some similarities to that on SGI's. It was also the first (mini-) supercomputer to come with an integrated high-end graphics subsystem (1280x1024@60Hz, hardware spheres, antialiasing, and cast shadows).
a_00.jpg

After careful checking, I powered it on yesterday, and got as far as trying to boot it; unfortunately, the harddisk does not contain the OS, but I'm trying to get access to an installation tape. There's a full writeup about my efforts this weekend on my website: here, and a description with some pictures of the Ardent can be found here. Uncrating pictures are here

Anyone who knows anything about these machines, please contact me!

Camiel
:Onyx2: :PI: :Fuel: :Indigo: :Indigo: :Indigo2IMP: :Indy: + various DEC, IBM, Sun, HP, ...

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jan-jaap
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Re: Ardent Titan (first graphics supercomputer)

Unread postby jan-jaap » Mon Mar 13, 2017 5:31 am

I see you had nice spring weather too :)

I recognize the LH Research power supplies in that Convex. I have more or less the same in my Professional IRIS.
:PI: :Indigo: :Indigo: :Indy: :Indy: :Indy: :Indigo2: :Indigo2: :Indigo2IMP: :Octane: :Octane2: :O2: :O2+: Image :Fuel: :Tezro: :4D70G: :Skywriter: :PWRSeries: :Crimson: :ChallengeL: :Onyx: :O200: :Onyx2: :O3x02L:
To accentuate the special identity of the IRIS 4D/70, Silicon Graphics' designers selected a new color palette. The machine's coating blends dark grey, raspberry and beige colors into a pleasing harmony. (IRIS 4D/70 Superworkstation Technical Report)

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iamcamiel
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Re: Ardent Titan (first graphics supercomputer)

Unread postby iamcamiel » Mon Mar 13, 2017 5:36 am

The Convex C1 XP has three LH Super Mites, the C1 XL uses two Mighty Mites, and the Intel iPSC/860 has two Mighty Mites as well.
:Onyx2: :PI: :Fuel: :Indigo: :Indigo: :Indigo2IMP: :Indy: + various DEC, IBM, Sun, HP, ...

robespierre
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Re: Ardent Titan (first graphics supercomputer)

Unread postby robespierre » Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:48 am

I saw part of a Titan in a hallway at MIT a decade ago. I believe it had an interface box that sat under the monitor and connected to the mouse and keyboard.

There was a book about the Titan written by its designers: http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=48468
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