Fifth Generation Computer Corp of New York is one of the host of companies that have created a remarkable flowering of innovative and exotic computer architectures, and, reports Computer Systems News, the company is preparing to ship its first system, ambitiously looking for sales of between 30 and 50 of its Dado binary tree architecture parallel processors. The basic building block of the machine is the Motorola 68020 microprocessor, and the company is currently building modules four processors to a board, though it plans to squeeze 16 onto a board by the end of the year. The 68020s can be backed with floating point and signal processors – the Motorola 68881 and the AT&T DSP32 are offered, and program development is under Unix. Systems are offered with from eight to 512 processors – 8,192 is the theoretical limit – and Fifth Generation rates performance at from 5.4 MIPS to 1,400 MIPS. An eight-processor system costs about $20,000, a 512-processor system would be $460,000; it sees the machine selling primarily as a parallel server or back-end to other processors, and to that end offers Ethernet, Unibus and SCSI ports as well as RS232. The first machine is set to go to AT&T under a subcontract; the company, which has only about 20 employees, has raised $3m in venture capital so far, and is currently seeking to raise further funds.
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