DEC yesterday duly announced its new low-cost MicroVAX and VAXstation offerings, which are intended to rock the Personal Computer and workstation worlds respectively (CI No 612). The MicroVAX 2000 uses the same CPU and floating point unit as the MicroVAX II but has been value engineered or ‘had bits ripped’ out to allow the lower – under UKP10,000 tag. The new Microvax has no Q-bus or any other bus device and has a memory limitation of 6Mb compared to the maximum memory available on the MicroVAX II of 16Mb. Two Winchester drives provide a maximum storage capacity of 142Mb and an integral 5.25 floppy is used for software distribution and back-up. The VAXstation 2000 also uses the same processor chip and floating point unit as the MicroVAX II built onto a single-board using LSI and surface mount technology. The VAXstation 2000 has an entry-level price of around UKP8,000 with 6Mb memory and a 19 monochrome monitor, a colour monitor is promised before year end. On both products VMS and Ultrix are offered: DEC anticipates that the majority of orders for the MicroVAX will be VMS-based but Ultrix demand on the VAXstation will grow. DEC says that it now has one computer system as all its VAXes, including the two new low-end additions, can communicate via Ethernet. The 2000 machines can also use DEC’s Local Area VAXcluster system, announced last November, which allows up to 13 VAXstations and MicroVAX systems to operate in the single-system domain of a cluster. Both products will be available worldwide within 90 days of order.
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