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Department of Computer Science and Technology


Systems Research Group

Systems is one of the largest and longest standing research areas in the Computer Laboratory, covering hardware, communications hardware and software, operating systems and distributed systems. Systems developed here include:

the Adaptive City Platform real-time urban/in-building sensor data analysis.
the Mirage unikernel system, the Owl scientific computing system, the Databox personal information management system.
the Xen hypervisor (enabling commodity x86 virtualisation and the creation of cloud computing), the Home Area Network, the NetFPGA (an open source hardware and software platform for high-speed, hardware-accelerated networking systems).
the Fairisle ATM LAN, the Pandora multimedia workstation environment, Desk Area Network (a disaggregated computer where memory, CPU, display and other peripherals interconnect over an ATM LAN), the DCAN Tempest network control environment (an early form of software defined networking), the Nemesis Operating System (with principles, for managing realtime continuous media).
the Cambridge Distributed Computing System (an early distributed operating system), the Mayflower project (a distributed operating system in a high-level language), the UNIVERSE and UNISON networks (interconnecting Cambridge Distributed Computer Systems over Cambridge Rings and Fast Rings linked via satellite and wide-bandwidth terrestrial links).
the Cambridge Ring (and sucessors the Fast Ring and Backbone Ring), the CAP Computer (the first successful experimental computer demonstrating use of security capabilities in hardware and software), the TRIPOS operating system (a portable operating system that became AmigaDOS; still in use!).
the Titan Supervisor (an early multi-user time-sharing operating system and arguably the world's first commercially sold time-sharing OS).
the EDSAC (one of the first two "usefully operational electronic digital stored-program computers"), the EDSAC 2 (the first full-scale microprogrammed computer).

Subdivision & Reformation

The SRG occasionally spontaneously subdivides and reforms, a process which sometimes results in other research groups spinning out. Recent subgroups that are now largely dormant include:

Networks and Operating Systems
Publications, People, Projects

Publications, People, Projects

The name was chosen to have a multimedia feel and the mnemonic may be expanded to “objects, persistence, events, replication and activity”. The thrust is open distributed processing with an object orientated approach. We look to support emerging distributed applications in which users and devices may be mobile and may have multimedia presentation requirements. Current themes are asynchronous (event) extensions to synchronous middleware and an access control architecture, Oasis. The projects and publications links below lead to fuller information about this and other work in the group.

Home Area Networking

Open Media Group

Now part of the Digital Technology Group (DTG).