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4. Forth > Application Design

Application Design

You brought up the idea that Forth is an ideal language for many small computers networked together—smart dust, for example. For which kinds of applications do you think these small computers are the most appropriate?

Chuck: Communication certainly, sensing certainly. But I’m just beginning to learn how independent computers can cooperate to achieve a greater task.

The multicore computers we have are brutally small. They have 64 words of memory. Well, to put it differently, they have 128 words of memory: 64 RAM, 64 ROM. Each word can hold up to four instructions. You might end up with 512 instructions in a given computer, period, so the task has to be rather simple. Now how do you take a task like the TCP/IP stack and factor it amongst several of these computers in such a way that you can perform the operation without any computer needing more than 512 instructions? That’s a beautiful design problem, and one that I’m just approaching now.


  

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