27 years later

02.08.2010 19:29

Recently I came across this vintage advertisement for a Hewlett Packard 9000 computer at the (virtual) HP Computer Museum:

Hewlett Packard 9000 advertisement

The ad is quite an interesting read. For instance it mentions that the computer's integrated circuits used NMOS technology, which provided for copious amounts of heat, which in turn required a special PCB.

It's also interesting to compare it with this modern advertisement that happens to be on my table at the moment:

Microway advertisement

I can't help but think that the HP advertisement tries to help you make an informed decision while the new ad blinds you with bulleted lists full of trademarked names and buzz words. HP says they use a memory controller that can correct 32 bad memory locations, not that they have a SuperSelfHealMemTech™. Also it seems like HP advertised these computers to people that will actually use them (note how they mention finite element analysis, systems of equations, etc.) not some IT management that is only looking for a good deal on gigabytes per monetary unit.

Oh and HP 9000 name was more recently recycled for a series of printers. How sad is that?

Update: Figure 1 in the HDI Handbook I linked above says "HP FOCUS chip ... NMOS III (stacked transistors). What is "stacked transistors" referring to here? I can find no mentions of HP NMOS III process using any kind of vertical transistor stacking like ST-CMOS.

Posted by Tomaž | Categories: Digital


You are talking about the time "Before Google" when powerfull computers were mainly used for solving serious technical problems. Big boys got more expensive toys now - CERN LHC, HAARP etc. Young boys have Facebook :-)

Posted by MMM

Hi, I published the STCMOS paper, and 3 years later I was working .... at HP Laboratories... The "stacked" in the NMOS III does not refer to physically stacked transistor, but probably to the stack architecture of the processor.

A high density CMOS inverter with stacked transistors
Colinge, J.P.; Demoulin, E.
Electron Device Letters, IEEE
Volume: 2 , Issue: 10
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1109/EDL.1981.25421
Publication Year: 1981 , Page(s): 250 - 251

Stacked Transistors CMOS (ST-MOS), an NMOS Technology Modified to CMOS
Colinge, J.-P.; Demoulin, E.; Lobet, M.
Solid-State Circuits, IEEE Journal of
Volume: 17 , Issue: 2
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1109/JSSC.1982.1051719
Publication Year: 1982 , Page(s): 215 - 219

Posted by Jean-Pierre Colinge

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