Report Number: CSL-TR-82-229
Institution: Stanford University, Computer Systems Laboratory
Title: The SUN workstation architecture
Author: Bechtolsheim, Andrew
Date: March 1982
Abstract: The Sun workstation is a personal computer system that combines graphics and networking capabilities with powerful local processing. The workstation has been developed for research in VLSI design automation, text processing, distributed operating systems and programming environments. Clusters of Sun workstations are connected via a local network sharing a network-based file system. The Sun workstation is based on a Motorola 6800 processor, has a 1024 by 800 pixel bitmap display, and uses Ethernet as its local network. The hardware supports virtual memory management, a "RasterOP" mechanism for high-speed display updates, and data-link-control for the Ethernet. The entire workstation electronics consists of 260 chips mounted on three 6.75 by 12 inch PC boards compatible with the IEEE 796 Bus (Intel Multibus). In addition to implementing a workstation, the boards have been configured to serve as network nodes for file servers, printer servers, network gateways, and terminal concentrators. The report discusses the architecture and implementation of the Sun workstation, gives the background and goals of the project, contemplates future developments, and describes in detail its three main components: the processor, graphics, and Ethernet boards.