I'm trying to add WE32106 Math Accelerator support to my 3B2 emulator. So far so good, but I feel dirty: My code assumes floating point types are stored in IEEE-754 format in memory. The C standard guarantees no such thing.

I mean... so far it works? But there's no guarantee it will work on every platform, or even with every compiler.



@twylo I had never heard of that line of computer until your post. I had come across the AMD bitslice parts long ago when reading through books filled with datasheets from vendors was a (sometimes) fruitful thing to do. Anyway, it looks like an interesting piece of computer history. :)

@twylo Woke up this morning and finished reading wikipedia page and realized I was confused by model names. Your 3B2 was not implemented with bitslice ICs. As far as CPU goes, was there any architectural heritage between the large 3B20 and the WE-32000 used in the 3B2?

@cstanhope I don't know much about the 3B20, but I believe it was based around the same BELLMAC architecture that informed the WE32000 and WE32100 chipset.

@twylo Cool. Thank you. I'm curious, since you're building a 3B2 emulator, did you use one of those machines before?

@cstanhope Believe it or not, no. I became really interested in the platform in 2014, and couldn't get my hands on a real 3B2, so I started writing the emulator to better understand it. One thing led to another, and now I have a small pile of 3B2 hardware and a working emulator.

@twylo That's awesome! I admire your tenacious drive to understand the system. 😀

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