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A BiiN 60 survived!


Experienced Member
Feb 4, 2015
New Zealand
Ever since I first read about it several years ago I've been kind of fascinated with BiiN, the joint project between Intel and Siemens to build fault tolerant high performance multiprocessor computers with a custom OS written in Ada. After spending around $300m the project was canned. All that seemed to survive of the whole project was documentation on bitsavers for a series of computers that were never released and the i960 CPU that saw some use in embedded applications like RAID cards.

Seeing those Centurion computer videos on youtube lately got me thinking about BiiN again. One computer almost seems like the lone survivor of its type with no software or documentation. The other no longer exists at all except for its documentation. Did a bit of searching around tonight to see if there was anything more out there on the BiiN besides the Wikipedia page and documentation and it turns out that at least one BiiN 60 computer did somehow survive being recalled! https://www.iser.fau.de/2019/09/17/objekt-des-monats-september/ (google translated to English). Two CPU cards (four CPUs), 16MB RAM, SCSI and ethernet by the looks of it. Shame there aren't more photos of what I guess may be the only remaining BiiN computer - I wonder if its got a working hard disk with the only remaining copy of the BiiN operating system and development tools on it.
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Hi David, did you contact FAU.de to see if there if any drives have been imaged on that machine? I can follow-up if needed, see if multiple inquiries prompt them?
No, I've not been in contact with them at all. Interested to hear their response if you do contact them - I'm betting they haven't imaged any drives.
Hello Folks,

while browsing a little bit in the forum i found this thread.

I also find it quite interesting what has once been done and decided to make a phone call to the FAU and talk a little bit to Edwin Aures,
the head of the ISER collection...

The system is still there - in storage atm - and there is a chance to get hands on eventually in the beginning of the next year.
Atm they are quite busy renovating their collection index and transferring it to a new database system.

I have been told that the Biin 60 has been powered off after the use at the operating research facility of the university,
bc of the use there it had not been given back when there was the recall of all systems from the former manufacturer.

Also i asked what he thinks about a harddrive backup from the system and also trying to get it up and running again
one last time to demonstrate it's former glory and do some video shots of that...
His reaction was positive, so i will contact him again in the beginning 2024 to eventually start some action...

There are also unseen documentation ( 1-2 boxes, everything the os facility had ) things with the system,
eventually this may be of interest for Al, the bitsavers project is known.

What would be very helpful is to get in touch with some former developers of the BiiN, silicon development once has been done in the US.
Eventually one maybe also active here and reads this thread :)

That's it for now...