At the (c)orefront of technology: the story of two processors and two technological front-runners

At the (c)orefront of technology: the story of two processors and two technological front-runners

In the late 1980s, GEW (then Fedkom) used process-control machines, such as this P105, to control and automate their electronic warfare equipment. As with most computers built in this period, these machines initially made use of only a single processor core to do all the work – which meant that only one task was completed at a time. The engineers at GEW felt that this limitation was preventing their products and systems from operating at its full potential and so they explored the idea of using two processor cores in parallel. The team successfully integrated two processor cores in the P105 processing machine and so essentially created one of the first dual core processors. The P105 could run multiple instructions on the two separate cores at the same time, resulting in an increased overall speed for the equipment being controlled by the machine. Shortly after this innovative development, Intel visited GEW at their offices in Pretoria and applauded them for their innovative technique of using two processors simultaneously, as this had never been done before.

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