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April 18, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

Biggest news out of Motorola Inc’s formal launch of the 88000 RISC family launch will come today, when Data General is scheduled to announce a whole new corporate strategy based around the 88000. Revealed yesterday was an agreement under which Data General will help with development of a 100 MIPS version of the 88000 in ECL by 1991, to be the basis of flagship future products in Data General’s line. The minimaker’s plans reportedly involve a refocussing of its product strategy around open systems standards, Unix and the RISC, suggesting that Data General will be writing a version of AOS/VS for the 88000. Other companies endorsing the 88000 at Motorola’s launch included Northern Telecom, which currently builds its public and private telephone exchanges around the 68020; Encore Computer Corp, which has hitherto been firmly in the NatSemi NS 32000 camp and has committed to the latest 32532 chip; and – surprise surprise Motorola Microcomputer Division; Ferranti and Bull were at the UK launch but made no formal commitment. The 88000 line is claimed to include a number of capabilities never before offered on a RISC. The part supports concurrent processing, multiprocessing, and fault-tolerant working and the line currently consists of the 88100 CPU and the 88200 Cache+Memory Management Unit, the latter providing a single-chip solution to the cache memory design essential to RISCs, and Motorola says the two chips replace 50 or more parts in competing systems. The company als added a line of 88000 Hypermodule board level products delivering up to 50 MIPS. Fortran, Basic, Ada, C, Prolog and Lisp compilers were announced by Green Hills, Informix and Relational Technology have their databases, Quadratron its office suit, and Insignia Solutions and Phoenix Technologies have software emulation to enable MS-DOS applications to run on the 88000. General sampling of 20MHz versions – rated at 14 to 17 MIPS and 7 to 12 MFLOPS, is set for third quarter, with volume in the fourth quarter. The 88100 is $495 for 100 to 499 and the 82000 is $795.

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