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February 1, 1989


By CBR Staff Writer

Apollo Computer Inc yesterday finally extended its RISC-based Series 10000 superworkstations with the launch of its long promised tightly coupled graphics sub-system, enabling it to compete in the graphics market with rivals Ardent Computer and Stellar Computer for the first time. In the rush to launch its Series 10000 along with the first offerings from the two start ups last March, Apollo was forced to announce its Parallel RISC Instruction Set Multiprocessor – or Prism – architecture systems in server configurations only, promising graphics versions for later in the year. But in the event, the extra graphics hardware took a further 11 months to complete. The 10000VS – for Visualisation System – line has a graphics engine tightly integrated with the main RISC processors so that graphical applications can be created and run using standards such as PHIGS and GKS without adversely affecting performance, according to Apollo, which claims to offer graphics performance of over one million three-dimensional vectors, and over 100,000 three dimensional polygons per second – Apollo is claiming up to 100 VAX MIPS overall. The 10000VS has a new three-dimensional RISC drawing engine, said to be the first to incorporate RISC concepts such as parallel execution, single-cycle draw rates, and no microcode. Image quality features such as texture mapping, alpha buffering, dithering, quadratic shading, and sub-pixel addressing are also supported. The company also provides a high resolution 70MHz non-interlaced monitor for the system, claimed to be the first ca pable of resolving 1,280 by 1,024 pixels. Including from one to four CPUs, 40 or 80 planes of colour, up to 128Mb of main memory and up to 3Gb of local mass storage, the systems cost from $94,900. Ships are set for the second quarter.

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