The most interesting and important aspects of the SCI specification are
documented in C-code. Although most people retrospectively find that
this code is exceptionally comprehensive, it is  time-consuming and
difficult to get through it alone. On March 27, 1997 SCIzzL will again
offer a C-code tutorial which will uncover some of the obscurities; the
session will be presented by me - B. Mitchell Loebel, President of MultiNode
Microsystems Company and Director of The PARALLEL Processing Connection.
Whatever are your objectives with SCI, this offering will definitely
shorten your "time to market".

Some of you have asked about the possibility of an all day seminar at
your site. That is definitely available. As for agenda, it can be tailored
to your needs; of course, we would need input from you as to how far
along you have progressed and what you are attempting to do. We think
that attendance should be limited to about 10-15 people, but we're
flexible on that point. We'll certainly cover more material, more deeply
and interactively than we will be able to do at the SCIzzL meeting. As
regards background, it is safe to say that there is very little of
the code that we haven't explored over the past two years and I am grateful
for the able assistance of Dave Gustavson and a number of exceptional
people who are members in The PARALLEL Processing Connection. The exact
cost will depend on your needs - please inquire at 408-732-9869.

Details of the SCIzzL C-code seminar are as follows:

Prerequisites -

        1. A familiarity with the C language is assumed.

        2. A familiarity with the SCI specification (IEEE 1596-1992) is
           assumed. If you have a copy, please bring it with you. If you
           need to purchase a copy, please check your bookstore or order
           it from the IEEE Service Center at 1-800-678-4333 (US) or
           ++1-908-562-3800 (fax ++1-908-981-9667)  immediately.

        3. Completion of Dave Gustavson's Introductory tutorial or
           equivalent experience is recommended but not essential.

Agenda -

        1. Simulation architecture -
           The SCI spec is written in C and is encapsulated in a
           comprehensive multithreaded simulation. In order to examine
           and understand the spec, it is essential to understand the
           overall structure of the simulation.

        2. Data structures -
           Here we will describe the various data structures which are
           allocated when the simulation starts up.

        3. Packet movement between "chips" -
           As an SCI packet moves the physical system which is
           described by the simulation, threads are started, suspended
           and restarted. Certain very important insights will be
           presented to help the attendee get through the code.

        4. Glossary of terms and functions -
           The SCI spec is brilliantly done and the code is good.
           However, the naming of functions and variables often leaves
           much to be desired and is downright misleading. This
                      seminar will definitely shorten an attendee's path to overall
           understanding by defining clearly the functionality of key

        5. "Double action"  cache state machine -
           SCI cache tag updates do not happen atomically, ie, a cache
           state is set to an intermediate value when a packet is sent out
           and is set to its final value when the response to that packet is
           received. We will describe this important behavior in detail.

        6. Conflict between concurrent transactions -

             A. Within a node
                  In the case of several CPU's in a node (which seems to
                  be the way current system designs are going), certain
                  actions by _some_ of the CPU's must be blocked. We
                  will describe what blocking is necessary and _why_.

             B. External to a node
                  Similar to the first part of this section, but this will deal
                  with _inter_ node transaction conflicts and
                  interoperability considerations between dissimilar nodes.

        7. Optimizing the SCI protocol within the specification.

        8. Demonstration and interactive use of the SCI simulator.

Date: March 27, 1997 

Time: 1:30PM to 6:30PM  

Location: Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA - room 325.

Cost: $450 per person
      $375 for members of SCIzzL and PPC
       (membership in SCIzzL is $59, membership in PPC is $65)

      Please make your check payable to SCIzzL or The PARALLEL 
      Processing Connection and pre-register, if possible. Handout
      materials can only be guaranteed for pre-registrants; others may
      have to be mailed. All registrations must be paid in full in
      advance of attendance.

Registration form -


Organization name:

Snail mail address:

Email address:

Voice telephone:

Fax telephone:

B. Mitchell Loebel                             
Director - Strategic Alliances and Partnering       ++1-408-732-9869
PARALLEL Processing Connection

President and Chief Technical Officer
MultiNode Microsystems Corporation