Computer ◆ Conservation ◆ Society

Manchester University MU5

MU5 was the fifth computer system to be designed and built at the University of Manchester. Many of the ideas embodied in MU5 grew out of experience gained from the Atlas project which preceded it and MU5 itself was a major influence on the architecture of the ICL 2900 series. Among its novel features was the instruction set, which was designed to permit the generation of efficient object code by compilers; particular attention was given to techniques for computing the addresses of array elements and array bound checking was provided in hardware.

The hardware of MU5 was heavily pipelined and made considerable use of associative storage, not just for the paging registers used to support virtual-to-real address translation but also to address small sets of fast operand registers and to implement a novel jump-trace mechanism used to mitigate the deleterious effects of branches.

to a simulation model of the MU5 computer which runs in the HASE simulation environment. HASE is available for Windows Vista onwards, Linux or OSX. This simulator animates the internal workings of MU5 showing the information flows around the processor.

to a copy of the MU5 Basic programming Manual.

to a Rob Jarratt’s MU5 web page where you will find some notes on MU5 and a link to a download of another emulator designed to run MU5 programs rather than to illustrate the internal workings of the machine.