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Amiga Inc. Files Multiprocessing Patent 56

Pappy writes " It looks as if Amiga Inc's development wing has filed a patent involving a very unique Multiprocessing scheme, in which groups of processors are thrown into 'Clusters', as well as coming up with a interesting Bus-Arbitration scheme for Multiple Processor groups. Check out the patent online. " Given this, the political movements with Linux, and the recent silence, I'm inclined to think of the Tom Waits song: "What's he doing in there?"
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Amiga Inc. Files Multiprocessing Patent

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  • A lyric in the song is "What's he building in there?" Hemos didn't claim he was stating a song title. Thus no further correction was needed (besides changing "doing" to "building").
  • No, but they might after reviewing the relevant patents and patent applications.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Amiga was GRANTED a patent.

    The way the system works, patent filings are confidential unless and until the patent is granted.

    Amiga is probably filing lots of patents, but you won't hear about them unless they're granted and that takes several years.

  • I truely pity the poor, pathetic specimens clinging to this anciant and archaic technology.

    Not all of us rabidly spout Amiga advocacy to anyone unfortunate enough to be within shouting distance. Not all of us are kidding ourselves that the current Amiga technology is anything other than "archaic". Not all of us care that the Amiga Classic is, to all intents and purposes, "dead".

    We use Amigas because we like them. They're not the latest and greatest. They have clock speeds measured in tens of megahertz, not hundreds. Their OS is a little creaky and a little unstable. So what? They're fun, and charming, and friendly, and a little eccentric. Just like their users :-)

    We're not doing you any harm. So why do you, and others like you, insist on calling us names?

  • Seriously...

    They're not worth the effort. I use Linux, but even I don't buy the QNX fallout. And I loved Amigas in the old days.
  • The Amiga may be vapour ware, only time will tell. But since Amiga's already run on PowerPC chips your concept of the Amiga state of the art is wildly inaccurate. Not that you should let reality get in the way of your posturing.

    There are a lot of valid points that can be made about the viability of the Amiga in the long run. Similar cases on differing points can be made for the BeOS, Windows NT, Windows 98, Windows 2000, MacOS, MacOS X, FreeBSD and Linux. If you'd have mentioned the reluctance of development houses to port software to anything but Windows you'd have a point. If you'd have mentioned the high costs of manufacturing a new niche player in the hardware arena you'd have a point. However, your position can best be summarized by:

    Have you ever had a relative who laid on his deathbed for years and years and refused to just keel over and die?

    Those are braindead posturers. Boy I wish they'd just roll over and die already...
  • this was filed in 1997

    they where working so nah to all who said they have done nothing

    its intresting because it describes what I think to be a clustering tec that intel used to build ACSI RED ?

    with P Pro this would work I think

    anybody into scrossbars ca they tell me ??

    a poor student @ bournemouth uni in the UK (a deltic so please dont moan about spelling but the content)
  • bwahahaha.. slashdot's poor researching blown out of the water by an obvious expert (and now I get flamed because this guy probably isn't an expert and I havn't put any effort into researching whether he is or isn't.. but I don't run a news service people...) Not that I think it is my place to say but I really do think that slashdot needs to hire some IT/Journalism multiple degree graduates.
  • Linus' visa.. we've explained this.
  • Hehe.. it's amusing flamebait though.. I mean, just obscurity is appreciable.. am I the only one who finds really obscure references funny.. and then there's the linking.. that futile attempt to suttlely introduce it into the conversation. Such depth.
  • BEOWULF get it right already =P
  • by jonr ( 1130 )
    "The Amiga may be vapour ware, only time will tell"
    That's funny, I guess we can say that about ALL vapourware, right?
    If I may quote Monty Python:
    Praline: Look matey (picks up Amiga) this computer wouldn't go voom if I put four thousand volts through it. It's bleeding demised.
    Shopkeeper: It's not. It's pining.
    Praline: It's not pining, it's passed on. This computer is no more. It has ceased to be. It's expired and gone to meet its maker. This is a late computer. It's a stiff. Bereft of life, it rests in peace. If you hadn't nailed it to the perch, it would be pushing up the daisies. It's rung down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. This is an ex-computer!
    Shopkeeper: Well I'd better replace it then.
    Praline:(to camera)If you want to get anything done in this country you've got to complain till you're blue in the mouth.
    Shopkeeper: Sorry guv', we're right out a Amigas.
    Praline: I see. I see. I get the picture.
    Shopkeeper: I've got a Pentium III.
    Praline: Does it run AmigaOS?
    Shopkeeper: Not really, no.
    Praline: Well, it's scarcely a replacement, then is it?
  • Not worth it.

    Speaking of Anonymous people... Nah.

  • It's just a way to get around the limitation that Intel puts on the number of CPUs in an SMP environment (it's limited by the number of request pins on the chip - the essence of this patent is that you can put a whole bank of CPUs in one spot on 1 request pin on each chip in the other spot).

    It's even more history because the scheme doesn't work with the PIIs/celereons being sold today (because if a chip has N request pins then you can put N-1 in a cluster - with their 2 pins you get 2 clusters of 1 cpu which is the same as 2 CPUs so it's kinda pointless) it would work on xeons but their a bit too upmarket

  • I must agree that the patent really sounds like something that Amiga Inc might benefit from, but there is one thing that's bothering me.

    Does/did Amiga Inc really have anything going in North Sioux City, SD? And who are those inventors really?

    / Mårten Björkman - Celebrandil / Phenomena
  • > I'm inclined to think of the Tom Waits song:
    > "What's he doing in there?"

    I belive it's "What's he _building_ in there?".
    Sorry, just had to point that out, as it seems
    that everyone has to correct at least one
    error on every Slashdot post ;).
  • Have you ever had a relative who laid on his
    deathbed for years and years and refused to just keel over and die?

    That's Amiga.

    So now they've filed a patent on hardware they're never going to sell. Add that to the OS revision for a machine that hasn't been built in about ten years. In a world where 500 MHz machines are becoming commonplace, how long can people limp along on machines designed around a 68040?

    Amiga did cool stuff. But boy I wish they'd just roll over and die already...

  • Actually, if we must be correct, it's "What's He Building?" Notice there's no "in there" in there....
  • This patent was filed in 1997, and Amiga Inc's plans have about-faced a number of times since then, along with management changes. It seems unlikely that whatever they are working on has roots going back two years, so I wouldn't try to infer much about their current plans from this old patent.

    Have a Sloppy day!
  • Check out the claims of the patent. Especially claim number three, which reads: "the CPUs are all Intel® Pentium® Pro processors.".

    Amiga won't get my money if they go Intel, that's for sure. Then it's phase5 g4 box with qnx and linux for me.
    Collas, are you listening?
  • Umm, Amigas have been using PowerPCs lately.
    "I was a fool to think I could dream as a normal man."
    B. B. Buick
  • by Anonymous Coward
    This patent is very, very old.
    The main opinion in the Amiga-community
    is, that Amiga Inc. filed the patent for
    another company, also bought by Gateway2000
    in 1997. See comp.sys.amiga.misc for details.

    Joerg Dietrich
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Look, you're just trying to justify having given up on the Amiga. And if nothing comes of the recent efforts, your giving up will be justified.

    But comments like this remind me of all the guys who, 5 or so years ago, were saying "Look, the *nix world is dead. Dead dead dead dead. Learn Windows, even though it isn't as good, and get on with it." They had no idea that Linux would grab the flat-lined corpse that was Unix and carry it forward to where it's now everyone's darling. And now THESE are the guys who loathe Linux... because they regret the choice they made and have to cut down Linux to avoid thinking of themselves as chumps.

    Many of the posters here at /. are doing the same thing to the Amiga. But it ain't dead until the supporters say it's dead, regardless of what the detractors claim.

    So get used to seeing Amiga, Amiga, Amiga, Amiga... until your eyes pop out and your brain explodes. Or just use /. filters and stick your head in the ground. Whatever.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    There seem to be a few problems with this patent as far as prior art. For example, the clustering idea has been around since at least the 80's (the Carnegie Mellon CM* project, for example). Maybe they had a different scheme for arbitration, though. Many of the more advanced PCI architectures might qualify, however. There are compact PCI boards that have more than 1 processor. If a system had more than one of these cards in a system, it could fall under this patent (PCI arbiters sometimes use round robin schemes as mentioned in the patent).

    Overall, I'd say it's interesting, but hardly novel, but I do look forward to seeing mainstream devices with this architecture.
  • That explains it. But why is a patent filed in 97 issued in 99? Slow processing?
  • That, and it isn't exactly a song... Just a track on a CD.

  • Interesting page.. although, I'll admit that I didn't read it.. but, I found one part particularly interesting (it was actually a footnote, but who's looking?):

    Operating systems, even Windows (which hides the fact from its users as thoroughly as possible), are actually collections of components, rather than undivided unities. Most of what an operating system does (manage file systems, control process execution, etc.) can be abstracted from the actual details of the computer hardware on which the operating system runs. Only a small inner core of the system must actually deal with the eccentric peculiarities of particular hardware. Once the operating system is written in a general language such as C, only that inner core, known in the trade as the kernel, will be highly specific to a particular computer architecture.

    Of course.. that's because it mentioned Windows, and their futile efforts.. mwahaha!
  • tsia
  • Gateway owns Amiga. Gateway was in South Dakota. They've since moved most (all?) of their company to San Diego, but in '97 when this was filed, that would have been Gateway's HQ.
  • Um...Slashdot isn't really a news service. It's a hobby for a student. And a damned well-done one at that.
  • Do you really think any patent officers have a clue about anything you just mentioned?
  • I don't think it matters what CPU they use, as long as they manage to do something Amigariffic with it. That's going to be the hard part, seeing as the cheeziest box out there can do multimedia the original Amigas could only dream of.

  • But so far all I've seen about the "new Amiga" is ad-speak. I wouldn't even be able to say whether or not the eventual machine actually delivered on the promises, as the promises are so vague.
    A parallel processing patent is interesting, but I'm not enough of an engineer to be able to evaluate it.
  • Collas won't care anymore cos he's resigned.

"An open mind has but one disadvantage: it collects dirt." -- a saying at RPI