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September 18, 1990


By CBR Staff Writer

Amdahl Corp yesterday joined the game of leapfrog being played by the four contenders in the IBM mainframe world, claiming that the top-end models of its new 5995M series – which like Fujitsu Ltd’s M-1800 tops out with an eight-way multiprocessor – are the most powerful mainframe computers ever introduced for the IBM compatible market – the company is talking in terms of topping out at 330 MIPS where the IBM 9021-900 is estimated at 212 MIPS. The 5995 line comprises 10 new models, six 5995A kickers for the 5990s, and four 5995M models – but the six- and eight-processor M models will not ship until the second quarter of 1992. The 5995-8650M eight-way multiprocessor is claimed to offer nearly three times the throughput of any previous Amdahl mainframe and costs a daunting $32.1m in minimum configuration with 512Mb of main storage and 128 channels; the six-way 5995-6650M is $27.0m. With 256Mb of main store and 128 channels, the 5995-4550M quad processor is $18.9m, the 5995-3550M triadic is $16.1m; those follow hard on the heels of IBM’s Summit models in the fourth quarter of 1991. The 5990 kickers are the 5995-1400A four-way, 5995-1100A three-way, 5995-790A two-way multiprocessors, the 5995-700A and 5995-500A dual processors, and the 5995-350A uniprocessor. The 5995A systems are available immediately and have a 10nS cycle time – the fastest of any system currently on the market. The 5995M models will have a 7nS clock, and although they will require a processor swapout, will be field-upgradable from the 5995As; all 10 models support the new IBM Escon Enterprise Systems Connection Architecture. The top two 5995Ms take up to 512 channels, double that of competitive systems. Up to 256 serial channels or up to 384 parallel channels can be implemented in the 512-channel limit. Up to 256 channels are supported on the smaller two Ms. The 5995s all support IBM’s ESA/390 architecture and the new MVS/ESA and VM/ESA releases as well as Amdahl’s UTS Unix System V. The M multiprocessors support up to 10Gb processor storage, 2Mb main, the rest expanded. The 5995M models are designed so that most maintenance and repair services and changes or additions to channel configurations can be performed while the production workload continues to run, and localised retry regions make more of the 5995M systems recoverable without downtime. Despite following Fujitsu with eight-processor models, Amdahl insists that the 5995M models are full Amdahl designs, and have less in common with their sibling machines from 46% shareholder Fujitsu than some previous Amdahl generations have done. The 5995-1400A starts at $9.0m with 128Mb memory and 64 channels; the 5995-350A uniprocessor with 64Mb and 32 channels starts at from $5m.

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