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Obit Dr Bernard L Peuto, the architect of the Zilog Z-8000 chip, has died.
The 16-bit Z8000 was the big brother of the 8-bit Z80, used in the first wave of low cost microcomputers like the Spectrum and TRS80, but had a starring role in its own right. As a 16-bit CPU it powered several Unix systems, including Commodore, Olivetti and Onyx, as well as Zilog's own System 8000 machines.
Project - Workstation - Market
Astonishingly, the ambitious project began in early 1976, long before the personal workstation was a market.
As Peuto later recalled* at an oral history panel at the Computer History Museum on the development and promotion of the Zilog Z8000 microprocessor: "Now it was extraordinary that we took this gamble to decide that we had to have features that were computer-oriented in a context of a microprocessor design because at the time there were people that thought that microprocessors were logic replacement."
Dr - Peuto - Paris - PhDs - Berkeley
Dr Peuto graduated in Paris and completed PhDs at Berkeley in 1969 and 1974. He joined Zilog in 1976, and for the next six years managed 120 component products. He led the design of the MMU, Z Bus, and the Z8. He founded ViewTech in 1984 and led the SPARC graphic team at Sun Microsystems from 1987 to 1991. He was later a member of the executive committee of the Computer History Museum. Dr Peuto was badly injured at a road intersection in San Francisco some years ago.
Zilog - Popularity - Z80 - Chip - Product
So how did Zilog fail to capitalise on the massive popularity of its Z80 chip? Unfortunately the 16-bit product was incompatible with the...
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