Multiprocessing capability is a main design goal of the PowerUP product line and the PowerUP system software. We are convinced, that every advanced and progressive OS development has to incorporate multiprocessing, since this is a main basic for the expandibility of future systems. This was the reason to orient our development mainly on multiprocessing. We consider an inadequate or even missing support of multiprocessing as a major restriction.

Already the current PowerUP boards are using both CPUs featuring parallel multiprocessing. Although both CPUs dynamically share the same bus, a sufficient memory access is guaranteed for both, because the peak memory bandwith is appx 200 MB/sec. Dynamic bus allocation means, that to both CPUs alternatingly four burst cycles access are granted if they request continous memory access; if one CPU requires less or even no memory access, the other CPU gets more bus cycles granted. Logic analyzer traces show, that both CPUs even on heavy load, very often release the bus, which enables other bus masters like SCSI DMA or additional CPUs to use the bus. A Mandelbrot calculation or a MPEG decode for example requires the PPC to read a certain amount of data using burst accesses, and subsequently during the calculation the bus is released. During this period the bus is available to the 68k CPU, which can do other tasks such as OS functions, preparing data for the next PPC task or interprete data returned from the PPC. By using structured programming styles like documented in our guidelines, the application can take optimal advantage of both CPUs performance and the available memory bandwith with full support of our hardware.

To get most out of a multiprocessing hardware, the software needs to be adapted to the hardware. By the features of our PowerUP system software this adaption is included as much as possible in the system libraries and requires only minor changes to current application designs. By use of our multiprocessing prepared message system it is possible to incorporate not only additional PPC processors but also special GL-3D CPUs or DSPs or even have a cluster of networked systems working simultaneously on a certain task. Applications that use our PowerUP system software are prepared to use these possibilities without or at least only minor changes. This can be the base for creative development of hardware and software and we hope that - even in these times of mass computing and nearly monopilistic standardization of the technologies - this opens possibilities for creative developers to built up fascinazing solutions and products for and with the Amiga far beyond todays limitations.

We consider the sometimes arousing proposal that future Amigas will remain single processor systems as not progressive and leading only to intermediate solutions. All in all it is anyways just speculation. Even if the basic machine will stay a single CPU system, there will be third party vendors offering multi processor extensions for the Amiga.

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