Preparing to meet the challenge of a clutch of graphics minisupercomputers such as the one on its way from Ardent Corp, general-purpose minisupercomputer builder Alliant Computer Systems Corp announced Friday that it had signed a letter of intent to acquire graphics systems specialist Raster Technologies Inc of Westford, Massachusetts. Alliant, based in Littleton, Massachusetts, has agreed to pay 2.2m new shares for the company, giving the acquisition an indicated value of $15.4m; Alliant reported $6.4m net on turnover up 75% at $54m in the year to December; Raster is privately held, but had sales of $18m in 1986. The pair expect to sign an acquisition agreement by March 31. By acquiring Raster Technologies, Alliant looks to expand its position in scientific computing by combining its parallel processing minisupers with Raster’s high-performance display systems to create a seamless integration of high-speed computation and interactive three-dimensional graphics, providing users with a complete set of tools to solve complex analysis and visualisation problems. Raster will continue to sell and support its Model Onefamily of high-performance two and three dimensional graphics terminals and its new GX4000 line of graphics accelerators. Raster has some 500 end-user and OEM customers, Alliant has installed about 200 of its FX minisupercomputers.