The Lawrence Livermore Laboratory S-1 project and Stanford University

Starting in 1975 a project to build a new supercomputer for high demand computing research at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory (LLL) was initiated by Lowell Wood of the LLL O-group. A number of subcontracts, primarily for design and support software were issued to Stanford's Electrical Engineering and Computer Science departments. The Stanford Computer History Wiki maintains a timeline for the S-1 project as part of its overall history timeline.

These pages are to document the work done at Stanford and by Stanford staff and students at LLL. It is motivated by plans to have an S-1 computer on exhibit as part of the historical exhibits in the Stanford Gates Computer Science building, in cooperation with the Computer History Museum (CHM) in Mountain View. The immediate trigger was a celebration of Lowell Wood's 65th birthday, hosted by Michael Farmwald in May 21st 2006 in Pescadero.

Please contribute any relevant information you have by sending email to I will also enter related information, but not seek it actively.

The main entry is now part of the Stanford Computer History Pages, specifically the section with S-1 project information.
A list of project participants has been created.
There are also some early S-1 hardware pictures and pictures of the S-1 Mark I in the Computer History Museum warehouse (with dimensions).
See also S-1 Mark II hardware pictures and information, with dimensions.
Pictures of S-1 project participants at a party in 2006.

LLNL people

  1. Lowell Wood (1975-2006+) LLL PI: Inspiration and funding, originally with LLL O group, now at Stanford's Hoover Institute group <lowellwood at>.
  2. Hon Wah Chin, in the Bay Area <hwchin at>.
The project was based at Lawrence Livemore Labs (LLL), then operated by the University of California. It has since been renamed the Lawrence Livemore National Laboratorys (LLNL) and is operated by a contractor. While these pages focus on Stanford, many MIT folk participated in creating the Amber Operating System for the S-1. They are listed below.

Stanford related participants

In alphabetical order, but very incomplete

  1. Jeff Barth (1976-1978) PI: Pascal, P-code, now at ? < ? at >.
  2. Forest Baskett (1978-1980) ?, now at New Enterprise Associates < ? at >.
  3. John Beetem (1978-1980) ?, now at ? < ? at >.
  4. Rodney Brooks (?) LISP, now at MIT < ? at >.
  5. Fernando Castaneda (1977-?) UFORT Fortran Compiler, now at ? < ? at >.
  6. Fred Chow (1977-?) Assembler?, UFORT Fortran Compiler, Went to MIPS, SGI, now at Cognigine? < ? at >.
  7. Richard Gabriel (1977-?) Lisp. Founded Lucid, now at ? < rpg at>.
  8. Erik Gilbert (1977-?) P-code interpreter?, Sun, Transmeta, CISCO, retired <egilbert at>.
  9. Ramez El-Masri (1977-?) Assembler, now at U Texas, Arlington <elmasri at>.
  10. Mike Farmwald (1977-?) Instruction set, Risc architecture. Went to FTL, then MIPS, UICU, Rambus?, Skymoon Ventures <mike at>.
  11. Brent Hailpern (1977-?) ?, now At IBM Almaden Research < ? at >.
  12. John Hennessy (1977-?) technolgy advice, now Stanford president ? < ? at >.
  13. Bruce Hitson (1977-?) , now at StartUpStreet < >.
  14. Arthur Keller (1977-?) loader and linker, now UC Santa Cruz <Arthur at>.
  15. John McCarthy (1977-?) PI: operating systems?, retired from Stanford CS <jmc at>.
  16. Tom McWilliams (1977-?) SCALD Design software, founder ValidLogic, Pathscale, Sun, Schoonner Information technology <tom at>.
  17. Peter Nye (1977-?) UFORT Fortran, now at ? < ? at >.
  18. Jeff Rubin (1977-?) S-1 emulator, Assembler, now at ? < ? at >.
  19. Dick Sites -- UC San Diego (1977-?) U-code, P-code Pascal?. now at ? < ? at >.
  20. Danny Sleator (1977-?) UFort compiler?. now at ? < ? at >.
  21. Curt Widdoes (1977-?) SCALD Design software, founded ValidLogic, 0-innovation, now at Mentor Graphics <cwiddoes at >.
  22. Gio Wiederhold (1977-1979) PI: software, compilers, now retired from Stanford CS <gio at>.
A number of other participants came from the MIT AI-Lab See also Mark Smotherman's list of participants.

Pictures of S-1 folk

mainly from a May 2006 party, more to come

Description and pointers to documents of the S-1

Overview: The S-1 Multiprocessor Test and evaluation Facility; ; NAVELEX, 1984.

Pictures of the S-1

To the S-1 people page,
To the S-1 hardware page.
To the pictures of the S-1 Mark I in the Computer History Museumwarehouse in Milpitas.
To a few S-1 Mark II hardware pictures and information.
Back to the Stanford Computer Science History displays photo tour.
Back to the Stanford Computer Science History wiki pages.