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BBN ADVANCED COMPUTERS OFFERS MACH-BASED BUTTERFLY, PLANS REAL-TIME P-SOS VERSION

Bolt, Beranek & Newman’s BBN Advanced Computers in Cambridge, Massachusetts has added new models to its Butterfly line of 68020-based massively parallel processors. The new Butterfly 1000 family consists of two different systems – the Unix-based GP1000 is the most usable large-scale parallel processor available for production scheduling, circuit simulation and advanced decision support systems. The Butterfly RT1000, in final development, is expected to be the first real-time computer to apply large-scale parallel processing to applications such as simulation test beds, real-time training and signal processing. The existing model has been enhanced as the Butterfly Plus for those wanting to investigate parallel processing before moving on to the 1000 family, and the 90 existing Butterflies can be upgraded to all three. New software includes the HOSE Hierarchical Object Structured Environment real-time data flow language for real-time manufacturing systems from MTS Systems Corp, Minneapolis; the XMP mathematical optimisation library for manufacturing, transport and finance from Resource Management Systems Inc, Cambridge; Butterfly Ada, based on the Verdix Ada Development System; and the pSOS real-time multi-tasking operating system from Software Components Group, Santa Clara, which is the basis of the Butterfly RT1000. The GP1000 supports the Mach 1000 enhanced Berkeley 4.3BSD Unix from Carnegie Mellon University, and comes with up to 256 microprocessors and 1Gb shared memory in a multiple instruction, multiple data architecture. Each node is a 2.5 MIPS MC68020 with floating point. BBN now also has a complete set of Multibus peripherals, including Ethernet controller, tape system, a disk controller, 700Mb and 500Mb disks and controller for up to 128 terminals. A 30-CPU GP1000 with 120Mb, 1.4 Gb disk and tape will be under $500,000, from March.

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