PDP-10 memories

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PDP-10 memories were generally all multi-port memory units. The PDP-10 CPU used one port (one per CPU in multi-processor systems); the others are used by channels for mass storage, such as disks, to do DMA. Interleaving was generally supported between units; usually in pairs, or sometimes groups of four. All except the very last ones were core, and supported parity for error detection; the others were MOS DRAM, and used ECC to protect the memory contents.

KI-type memory bus Quick Latch connector (in unlatched position)

There were three generations of main memory bus (which ran sequentially through memory units to a terminator), and memory units for them. The first two were the so-called 'external memory bus', in KA (18-bit address) and KI (22-bit) forms (for the KA10, and KI10 and early KL10, respectively), although they also had protocol differences. The last was the 'internal memory bus', the S-Bus. (For the later KL10s, a later version of the S-Bus, the X-Bus, differed only in the logic family it interfaced to.)

The differences between the two external bus types required a KI10-M Memory Bus Adapter if KA-bit units were to be attached to a KI10. Similarly, KI-type units could be attached to the S-Bus using a DMA20 Memory Bus Adapter.

Most the memory units had a configuration panel which allowed ports to be enabled, and set the memory's address (often independently for each port); similarly, some level of interleaving could be set.

As was common with machines of that era, compatible PDP-10 main memory units were produced and sold by manufacturers other than DEC; some (but by no means all) are listed below.

Memory systems

18-bit external (DEC):

18-bit external (others):

22-bit external (DEC):

22-bit external (others):

Internal (DEC):

Internal (others):

The first two groups are all multi-port (generally 4 ports per memory system in the first group, and 8 in the second). The last group were for the later final KL10s (models KL10-E and KL10-R); all the DEC ones except the MF20 and MG20 were core.

See also