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EAW P8000

Zilog S8000

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EAW P8000
Year of production1987
8Bit part
CPU4MHz UA880 (Z80 clone)
RAM2KB static, 64KB dynamic
mass storage2 * 5.25" Floppy drives
2 add. external 5.25" or 8" Floppy drives (opt.)
16Bit part
CPU4MHz UA8001 (Z8001 clone)
RAM2KB static, 1MB dynamic (factory default, possible is up to 16,320kB)
mass storageup to 3 (only 2 supported by firmware) ST506 MFM disks
graphicup to 8 dumb terminals with monochrome (green) monitor

The P8000 consits of an 8bit and a 16bit microcomputer and was an universal all-purpose programming and developing system for multi-user / multi-task applications as workstation. It was produced by EAW in the GDR. To make a big application area accessible, there where 3 operation systems implemented for the P8000. WEGA which is a System III compatible UNIX, UDOS which is compatible to Z80-RIO and OS/M which is a CP/M compatible OS. WEGA which was implemented on the 16bit part of the P8000 demonstrated, regarding to its capability and usability, a new quality compared to other operating systems in that era.
The 8bit and 16bit where connected together with a parallel host interface. The 8bit part had control over the two floppy drives, 4 tty ports and the EPROM programmer. The 16bit part had control over its own 4 tty ports, and communicated via another parallel port with the WDC which was an own 8bit system as well. Using the 16bit part is somewhat special. At first a special UDOS (the Z80/RIO clone) on the 8bit part has to be loaded from floppy drive 0. It was a modified version with started automatically some piece of software after UDOS was initialized. This started software switched over to the 16bit part and started up the 16bit part. The modified UDOS on the 8bit part runs all the time (in the "background") and acts as a communication server. There is a corresponding part in the WEGA (the UNIX) kernel on the 16bit side. WEGA can communicate with the UDOS communication server to get access of the 8bit peripherial (EPROM burner, ttys, floppies). So to access for example the floppy drives from WEGA the kernel has to send the floppy requests via the parallel host interface to the UDOS communication server which itself forwards the request to the floppy drives (remember they are connected to the 8bit part). Same way back for the data. This is well... not so fast, but it works :)