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June 12, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:15pm


By CBR Staff Writer

Gene Amdahl’s latest venture, Sunnyvale, California-based Commercial Data Servers Inc has shipped seven of its long-awaited CDS-0 desk-side mainframes based on IBM’s 390 boards and the OS/390 operating system (CI No 2,863). Amdahl, founder of Amdahl Corp and dubbed ‘Father of the System 360’, also announced that the first of the next generation CDS-1 systems, based on the exotic-sounding cryogenically-cooled CMOS single chip processors, will ship in the first quarter of 1998. The CDS-0 is touted as a replacement for IBM’s 4300 mainframes, offering a range of applications optimized for Year 2000 testing, web servers and for Lotus Notes. According to CDS, the key difference between the new and old 390s is enhanced input-output based on fiber channel technology. The new systems are being marketed on a ‘cost, cost and cost’ basis. They are about half [the cost] of the competition, says Amdahl. He estimates the replacement market for mainframes with unfixable Year 2000 problems at around 10,000 systems, envisaging a total potential market of 26,000 systems. Meanwhile, Gene Amdahl claims the cryogenically-cooled CDS-1s, will take CMOS into new areas. The key factor is that CMOS speeds improve at lower temperatures: Showing a 70% to 80% improvement at -90C, and three to four times the performance at – 200c …this corresponds to a six to ten year advance in semiconductor performance, claims Amdahl. And the market for the new CDS-1 machine? We will move into the mainframe marketplace that some describe as a dinosaur market. Well, don’t forget dinosaurs lived for millions of years, he admonishes. The CDS-1 will ship at $250,000 to $300,000.

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