The Sogitec 4X digital synthesizer at IRCAM during the 1980's, was the direct result of Luciano Berio's demand that live electronic sound ought to consist of at least a 1000 sinewave oscillators (1), in order to be interesting for the composer and the audience alike. It was the last huge hardware, that IRCAM instigated before it turned to the ISPW and subsequently to software solutions in the shape of jMax and Max/MSP. The 4X's eight internal custom-built processors were capable of altogether 200 MIPS (2), which being the equivalent of 1000 sinewaves, 500 filters or 450 second order filters (3). Each processor contained a data-memory, an address-memory, a microprogram-memory and a function-memory. For calculations it used 24 bit fixed point units consisting of a multiplier, a arithmetic and logic unit. It also had 256 internal (programmable) clocks and a large dual buffer for recording and playing. The algorithms were cross developed on DEC en Sun mainframes in Fortran and C. (4&5).
This also spawned Max into existence, making it easier to deploy the 4X for concerts. More or less it also created the model of client-server for performances, allowing more rapid control of parameters and also providing more stability during this work.
Di Giugno, G., Kott, J., Gerzso, A. 1981. Progress Report on the 4X Machine and Its Use.In Proceedings of the 1981 International Computer Music Conference. San Francisco: International Computer Music Association.
The IRCAM Musical Workstation: Hardware Overview and Signal Processing Features-EricLindemann, Michel Starkier, Francois Dechelle; ICMC 90, Glasgow (1990;