A challenging relational database search engine claimed to be 600 to 1,200 times faster than Oracle Corp’s Oracle will be put into beta test sites by Ferranti Computer Systems in November. Designed to be used as a co-processor with the Motorola 68020, to which it links via the high-speed VSB interface, the Ferranti Relational Processor is fabricated in VLSI CMOS with search software microcoded for real-time database interrogation. The chip is designed to implement international and ANSI relational model standards, includes an SQL interface, makes 1,000 or more accesses per second, and supports up to 32Mb using currently available chips, with a maximum address range of 4Gb. It is designed to be programmed in high-level languages, notably Ada and Pascal. The first implementation is in a ruggedised version for Ferranti’s naval command systems, and will form part of the company’s bid for the command system for the Royal Navy’s Type 23 Frigate, but it is to be made commercially available as a two-board set for about UKP10,000 next year.
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