Siris 8 family
(10070, Iris 80)
The Siris 8 family of products take its source in the licenses that had been granted by Scientific Data Systems to CGE-CECIS. When CITEC was formed,as the CAE holding company, those licenses were replacing the Ramo-Wooldridge licenses originally acquired by CAE. CAE introduced computers closely derived from SDS 930, SDS 940 and SDS 950.
CII was created under Plan Calcul, and one of its initial announcements in October 1966 was the 10070. The 10070 was, in fact, a SDS Sigma 7, where CII did only some programming for specific (military type or process control) applications. Peripherals were also initially from American origin. Progressively, there was a need for a standard software support for 10070 sold in the scientific market and CII integrated software from SDS and its own into an operating system, named SIRIS 7.
When Plan Calcul was decided, a high-end model was planned as the P3 project. Plan Calcul was over-committing CII resources and it became soon obvious that tall P-models of Plan Calcul could not be build simultaneously from scratch in 2 years . In addition, announcing to CAE 10070 customers that the company was going to abandon them was not to improve the Plan Calcul image. So, the CII management cheated somewhat Plan Calcul, but with reasonable justifications, and decided to build P3 out of its 10070 assets developing its multiprocessor Iris 80.
This model was designed by Scientific Data System and manufactured partially under SDS license by CII.
The Iris-80 was announced September 25th, 1969 and shipped to the first customer in November 1971.
The computer CS-40 was a special redundant version of Iris-80 developped to control telephone switches.
CS-40 was a combination of CII design and of Thomson (ex-le matériel Téléphonique) having in its catalog an ITT 7200 (?) system based also on SDS Sigma 7.
Evolution of Siris 8
The Siris 8 product line seemed doomed when CII and Siemens concluded the Unidata agreements that specify an architecture close to IBM main frame architecture and the adoption of Siemens BS-2000 operating system.
As part of this Unidata line, CII started the development of a new large scale system, code named X4/X5 (two marketing models were planned). To convert the Siris 8 park to this new models, CII had planned to offer also a port of Siris 8 (code-named Siris-8X) on this new system.
When Honeywell-Bull absorbed CII in 1975, the Unidata agreements were soon terminated and CII-Honeywell-Bull faced the problem of evolving the Siris 8 park that included major French administration accounts. At the beginning, the development of X4/X5 prototype was continued and it was planned that its Siemens origin I/O systems were replaced by Honeywell-Bull's Level 64 peripheral subsystems. During about nine months, the CII team worked on this code-named "Alida" project.
After long and complex technical exchanges between ex-CII and ex-Honeywell-Bull teams, the P7B project of Honeywell-Bull designed for a successor to Level-64 was selected as a base for a new project capping the Level 64 and the Siris (3 and 8) product lines. While the processor basic ideas of P7B were retained, the P7G new system was significantly extended by committing it to be a multiprocessor system and a more powerful I/O system. The P7G processor hardware included a Iris 80 instruction decoding mechanism to cut the instruction decoding overhead. Paging, contemplated for the level 64 had to be implemented for emulating the Iris 80. The need to match the X4/X5 performances required to adopt a bipolar technology under the form of CML micro packaging, also selected by Honeywell and NEC for their future models.
The emulator was to associate:
The objective was to allow the coexistence of Siris and GCOS environments to do the migration at its own pace, the strategy that was fruitful for GE-100 and Honeywell H-200 on Level 64.
The P7G program was given the code name of Leo and was announced as DPS-7. Two models were announced the DPS-7/80 single processor and the DPS-7/82 a SMP redundant dual processor.
A significant part of Siris 8 customers did not follow the migration path planned by CII-Honeywell-Bull, partly because the program came late (around one year behind the original schedule), partly because the use of Siris 8 system had been almost exclusively scientific. Many, lead by INRIA the French computer research center, selected Multics, then aggressively marketed by CII-HB, as the replacement of their 10070 or Iris 80. The Iris 80 business users adopted the official path, some converting soon to GCOS7, other (specially those with non-standard options of Siris 8,-like French Customs-, staying several years in Siris 8 mode). There has been also some conversions to GCOS 8, but none to the DPS-8 using CP-6 (an operating system system born on Sigma 7 and ported from XDS to Honeywell DPS-8).
The ex-CII technical teams have brought to CII-Honeywell Bull ( and later to Groupe Bull) their experience of the large systems customers requirements in the domain of remote processing and some applications areas. They also brought a technical expertise in multiprocessor hardware, in redundancy of systems and non-stop operations.
Revision : 13 juin 2002.