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Andris PADEGS


Andris PADEGS

 2 Merry Hill Road
Poughkeepsie, NY 12603-3214
USA

Tel. : (845) 462-3317
Fax :  (845) 462-8751
E-mail: apadegs@optonline.net 

Born March 27, 1929, Riga, Latvia






Interests in inventing:

  • Computer architecture
  • Hardware/software tradeoffs in design of computer systems

Main invention:

  • System/360 Input/Output Interface
  • System/360 input/output channel architecture
  • Various aspects of System/360, System/370, and System/390 central processor architecture

Selection of patent documents:

  1. US Patent 3,336,582 “Interlocked Communications System” , Issued August 15, 1967. Inventors: William F. Beausoleil, James D. Calvert, and Andris Padegs.
  2. US Patent 3,411,143 “Instruction Address Control by Peripheral Devices” , issued November 12, 1968. Inventors: William F. Beausoleil and Andris Padegs.
  3. US Patent 3,787,891 “Signal Processor Instruction for Non-Blocking Communication Between Data Processing Units” , issued January 22, 1974. Inventors: Brian B. Moore, Andris Padegs, and Ronald M. Smith.

Patents for the System/360 I/O Interface (“Interlocked Communications System” ) have also been filed in 15 other countries.

About the inventions

System/360 Input/Output Interface

This invention provided a common and general method of attaching multiple I/O (Input/Output) devices to a computer system, integrating the signal protocols of the physical interface with the computer architecture and providing for the new functions of device types introduced at that time. The following are some of the key features of the System/360 I/O interface:

  1. It provided a general protocol for transferring control and status information for all I/O device types (e.g., magnetic tape drive, printer, disk drive), providing a general method of handling the unique functions of the different device types.
  2. It was independent of the data-transmission speed of the device, allowing operation of slow keyboards as well as buffered high-speed disks.
  3. It allowed the cascading of multiple devices on a single I/O channel and the signal protocol for selecting a device.
  4. It allowed for multiplexed operation, whereby multiple devices could be concurrently operating on the channel and interleaving transfer of data one byte or a burst of bytes at a time.

A. Padegs created the signal protocol of the System/360 I/O interface, for which the patent “Interlocked Communications System” was issued.

System/360 Architecture

System/360 was the first commercially successful computer system that was built around the concept of “computer architecture” – instead of building the computer first and then describing how it operates, the first step in the development of System/360 was to define its architecture. This definition – the System/360 Principles of Operation – was then the specification for the design and implementation of computer hardware, and it was the document according to which all programs (operating systems, applications, etc.) were developed. The objective was to define the architecture such that processors of different power (and cost) could be built, all of which would run the same programs. This was a new concept at that time. The architectural definition had to be of such detail and precision that hardware and software could be designed in different parts of the world, without any direct communications between the engineers and programmers.

A. Padegs was one of two authors of the original System/360 Principles of Operation, responsible for the I/O part.

Subsequently, A. Padegs had the worldwide responsibility for the entire System/360 architecture and personally made technical contributions to various central-processor functions, such as virtual storage, timing facilities, and mathematical functions. With these extensions incorporated in the architecture, the system was renamed System/370, 370-XA, and later System/390. Some of the specific inventions associated with this architecture resulted in patents issued to A. Padegs.

Realization of Invention

The System/360 architecture as well as the System/360 I/O interface were implemented in System/360 computers, announced by IBM in 1964. It has been the basis of all mainframe computers built and shipped by IBM since then (IBM started building and shipping processors with the System/370 architecture in 1973, and with the System/390 architecture in mid 1980-ies). Although additional functions have been added to the architecture, the current IBM System/390 mainframe processors still execute application programs written to the original System/360 Principles of Operation.

The System/360 Principles of Operation, the System/360 I/O interface definition, as well as all subsequent editions of these architectures, have always been publicly available to permit development of application programs and I/O equipment for attachment to System/360 systems. It allowed also the design and manufacture of processor systems that would compete with those offered by IBM.

The System/360 I/O interface is implemented by manufacturers of I/O equipment all over the world to connect their devices to System/360 processors. It was considered for formal adoption as a standard, but instead became a de facto standard.

The RCA Company in the 1960-ies offered a line of computers with the System/360 processor architecture. In the early 1970-ies the Soviet Union started producing a new line of computers known as the Unified System (EC or Ryad). These computers were implementations of the IBM System/360 architecture, although the Soviets never admitted that they had copied IBM architecture and instead claimed that their machines complied with “The World Standard.” A Soviet Ryad computer typically included I/O devices produced within the Soviet Union and outside, such as those from Bulgaria and France, all connected by means of the System/360 I/O interface. Currently the Amdahl Company of the USA and two large Japanese mainframe computer manufacturers – Fujitsu and Hitachi – produce computers with the System/390 architecture.

Virtually all “mainframe” computers produced anywhere in the world today are implementations of the System/360/370/390 architecture.

Realization of Invention

The System/360 architecture as well as the System/360 I/O interface were implemented in System/360 computers, announced by IBM in 1964. It has been the basis of all mainframe computers built and shipped by IBM since then (IBM started building and shipping processors with the System/370 architecture in 1973, and with the System/390 architecture in mid 1980-ies). Although additional functions have been added to the architecture, the current IBM System/390 mainframe processors still execute application programs written to the original System/360 Principles of Operation.

The System/360 Principles of Operation, the System/360 I/O interface definition, as well as all subsequent editions of these architectures, have always been publicly available to permit development of application programs and I/O equipment for attachment to System/360 systems. It allowed also the design and manufacture of processor systems that would compete with those offered by IBM.

The System/360 I/O interface is implemented by manufacturers of I/O equipment all over the world to connect their devices to System/360 processors. It was considered for formal adoption as a standard, but instead became a de facto standard.

The RCA Company in the 1960-ies offered a line of computers with the System/360 processor architecture. In the early 1970-ies the Soviet Union started producing a new line of computers known as the Unified System (EC or Ryad). These computers were implementations of the IBM System/360 architecture, although the Soviets never admitted that they had copied IBM architecture and instead claimed that their machines complied with “The World Standard.” A Soviet Ryad computer typically included I/O devices produced within the Soviet Union and outside, such as those from Bulgaria and France, all connected by means of the System/360 I/O interface. Currently the Amdahl Company of the USA and two large Japanese mainframe computer manufacturers – Fujitsu and Hitachi – produce computers with the System/390 architecture.

Virtually all “mainframe” computers produced anywhere in the world today are implementations of the System/360/370/390 architecture.  

More about the inventor (in Latvian)

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