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March 14, 1988

CROSFIELD HAS SUPERSONIC FIBRE NET, SUPER-RES STATION FOR GRAPHIC ARTISTS

By CBR Staff Writer

Crosfield Electronics Ltd, producers of computerised systems for graphic, design, and news publishing, last Tuesday launched two new products (CI No 886); a fibre-optic local area network and a new range of workstations. It has entered the world of local area network communications with the launch of Galan, which Crosfield claims is the fastest high performance local area network in the world. It can process digital data at a rate of 100M-bits-per-second with 80% efficiency – more than 16 times faster than Ethernet, which runs at 10Mbps but is less efficient. Crosfield has targeted the graphic arts industry, but the company hopes that OEM or systems suppliers of artificial intelligence terminals, high performance CAD/CAM workstations, or video imaging equipment will be interested in the network. The new system can separate nodes by up to 500 yards over 50 miles of network. Galan – Graphic Arts Local Area Network – is a token passing network system, allowing any terminal to grab a passing electronic token whenever it requires permission to transmit. This protocol is based on the Fibre Distributed Data Interface, which is supported by both IBM and DEC. Crosfield’s other new product, the Galaxy 9000, is the company’s new family of workstations, which range in price from UKP19,400 to UKP32,000. Built around the Motorola 68020 processor, it is designed to handle large volumes of data involved in the manipulation of high resolution raster processed images. The basic disk memory of the entry level workstation, the 9110, is 86Mb, which can be enhanced to 1.5Gb. Images can be put up on a choice of monitors, including the highest resolution monitor in the world, capable of 4,096 by 3,300 pixels. The workstations are fully compatible with Ethernet and the new Galan networks, and runs under Unix System V. Evaluation units will be available in May, but full production does not start until the end of the year. Crosfield, a subsidiary of De La Rue Plc will manufacture the new products at its Crawley, West Sussex factory.

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