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ZeroOne Systems Inc of Santa Clara, California has introduced an enhancement package for the Convex C-1 mini-supercomputer designed to turn it into a powerful front-end system to Cray-1 and Cray X-MP supercomputers. The idea of the enhancements to the Richardson, Texas manufacturer’s 64-bit C-1 is that users are able to develop code and perform a variety of other operations on the Convex system, which is cheaper than a Cray supercomputer, and then process it on the Cray; in the meantime the Cray can be fully used running more valuable production work. Enhancements to the Convex include Cray station software and Cray Fortran software development tools, both developed by ZeroOne. The enhanced Convex uses a vectorising compiler combined with a ZeroOne Cray Fortran preprocessor, which enable software developers to write and debug code in Fortran on the C-1 before running it on the Cray. The enhanced C-1 can also be used as a powerful stand-alone code development system that can be networked to Unix-based minicomputers and workstations. Prices for ZeroOne’s enhanced version of the C-1 start at $495,000.

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