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June 25, 1987


By CBR Staff Writer

The new 64-bit general purpose machine from Davin Computer Corp will not be generally available for another two to four months but founder David Methvin anticipates taking the 32-bit world by storm when the machine hits the market – the entry level price for the BAT-64 will be a mere $15,000. Unix System V will be offered as an alternative to the proprietary real-time operating system, Darts, which Davin acquired from a company in Texas that Methvin declined to identify. Methvin formed Davin around a project that was begun but aborted by his former company – which he ran for 17 years – Computer Automation Inc. The machine is a complex instruction set computer, which Methin believes is the only way forward, and the Davin architecture also has multiple sliding register stacks and the machine has a 60Mbit-per-second input-output bandwidth. Although the architecture has floating point and array processing facilities, Methvin emphasises that the machine is not intended for the scientific world but for the input-output-intensive commercial and industrial markets. Methvin anticipates no competition from RISC architectures, saying that the strength of RISC is in the limited compute-intensive areas: he reckons that RISC falls over in input-output-intensive areas essential for general business applications. Methvin says that Davin expects others to follow with 64-bit machines but adds that it has an advantage over the likes of DEC because it did not have a user base to protect and so was free to design a completely new architecture that makes use of all the latest high tech goodies. The BAT-64 is understood to be built of CMOS gate arrays. Methvin considers Unix to be a good development environment but sees Darts or something like it as being essential for high speed real-time transaction processing applications. Davin shipped its first BAT-64 to a beta test site three weeks ago and is currently going through its second round of venture capital financing to help bring the product to market. In the US Davin will sell through a direct sales force but in other parts of the world it is seeking distributors.

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