Two Bytes Are Better Than One (Oct, 1977)

Two Bytes Are Better Than One

TEXAS INSTRUMENTS

TMS 9900 16BIT

MICROPROCESSOR

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4 comments
  1. Hirudinea says: September 26, 20139:56 pm

    “Buy the TMS 9900, it’s the closest you’ll get to a woman!”

  2. hwertz says: September 27, 201311:34 am

    The big irony, the TI-99/4 was the first 16-bit PC on the market, competing with Apple ][, Atari 8-bit, Commodore, etc., and should have significantly outrun them. BUT, TI squandered this advantage, the TI-99/4 and TI-99/4a only have 256 bytes of RAM hooked up to the CPU, with all other RAM (16KB standard) running through the video display controller — this made the TI *slower* than the 8-bit competitors.

  3. lwatcdr says: October 2, 20131:24 pm

    TI did that so the 99/4 would not compete with their line of Mini-computers based on the TMS9900. Really dumb but a very common one. DEC could have come out with a PDP-11 based PC that could have been cheaper than the IBM PC and with a large software base before the PC even showed up same with TI but they didn’t want to cannibalize their mini computer market.
    That is also the reason that IBM didn’t make the PC that used an IBM 360 based CPU maybe one based on the model 22 or 40 or 50.

  4. Wobbler says: May 29, 20146:52 pm

    I used to design software and hardware with these at this time. They were fantastic processors and the register based architecture, rather than the accumulator based architecture of the Intel 8088 and similar micros around at the time,made them brilliant to program. They were also incredibly fast., although this performance advantage was hamstrung in the Texas Instruments attempt to enter the home computer market with the TI-99/4. I often wonder what would have hapened had IBM chosen to go with this series instead of Intel. The TI designs of micro were far more advanced than Intel at that time, but I suspect IBM went with intel in the IBM PC because they reflected the IBM accumulator type architecture prevalent in a lot of their mainframes and on cost due to the higher unit cost of the TI processors.

    ref: http://www.99er.net/994…

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