July 26th, 2012 ~ by admin

PIXAR Image Computer: $30,000 for half price on eBay

Pixar Image Computer P2Out of the annuls of history comes this interesting computer on eBay.  PIXAR made around 300 of their Image computers during the late 1980s, hoping they would be a commercial success, as well as useful for their own render work.  While they proved to be very good at what they did, they were a bit ahead of their time, and certainly out of the price range of most institutions.  The first models started at $130,000 and the PII, as seen on eBay, was sold for $30,000.  PIXAR began trying to sell their computers two months after Steve Jobs bought the company (formerly LucasFilm graphics division).

Each system ran 1, 2, or 4 CHAPs (CHAnnel Proceesors, RGBA).  Each CHAP consisted of a board with 4 AMD 29116 16-bit bipolar bit slice microprocessors, running at 10MHz supported by 4 Logic Devices LMU17 16 x16 parallel multipliers.

AMD AM29116DC 16 bit microprocessor

AMD AM29116 16 bit microprocessor

Essentially the PIXAR Image Computer was a 1980s GPU, it required a separate SGI or Sun workstation to run.

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2 Responses to PIXAR Image Computer: $30,000 for half price on eBay

  1. AMCyborg

    I have one of the Pixar system.
    Does anyone is interested?

  2. Shawn Neely

    Hey AMCyborg, I’m interested in knowing more about your Pixar system if you still have it…

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