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Institute for Computing Systems Architecture

Computer Architecture Simulation & Visualisation

Atlas

The first Ferranti Atlas computer was inaugurated at the University of Manchester in December 1962. Designed by a team led by Professor Tom Kilburn, it incorporated a number of novel features, the most influential of which was Virtual Memory. The HASE Atlas website describes the design of the Atlas computer and explains how the HASE simulation model works. There are three versions of the model, differing only in terms of the programs and data pre-loaded into their memories. Version 1 contains a program in its memory that demonstrates the operation of all the Atlas instructions implemented in the model. Version 2 contains a matrix multiplication program, designed to show in particular the operation of the scalar (dot) product calculation that forms the inner loop of matrix multiplication. Most early supercomputers were designed specifically to perform well on this problem, e.g. especially the Cray 1 of 1976. Version 3 contains a program that computes values of a,b,c such that a² + b² = c² and a,b,c < k.

The files for version 1 can be downloaded as a zip file from atlas_v1.5.zip. The files for version 2 can be downloaded as a zip file from atlas_v2.5.zip. The files for version 3 can be downloaded as a zip file from atlas_v3.5.zip.

This model was built by Roland Ibbett, Emeritus Professor of Computer Science at the University of Edinburgh and formerly Reader in Computer Science at the University of Manchester. Eric Sunderland kindly loaned an Atlas Central Computer manual and gave advice on some of its more abstruse contents.

Instructions on how to use HASE models can be found at Downloading, Installing and Using HASE.

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HASE Project
Institute for Computing Systems Architecture, School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh
Last change 14/09/2016