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April 17, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

Spotting a cheap way into the high-performance general purpose scientific and engineering computing market, Floating Point Systems Inc has leaped in and signed an agreement to acquire most of the assets of floundering Celerity Computing Inc, the San Diego scientific Unix systems manufacturer that was on the brink of liquidation. Beaverton, Oregon-based Floating Point agreed in principle to acquire substantially all assets and technology of Celerity and assume related liabilities in return for shares worth $1.25m, plus unspecified cash payments, and up to another $1.25m in shares if Celerity meets pre-set goals. And Floating Point will put up enough cash to keep Celerity alive ahead of completion. Celerity was formed by a group of NCR engineers involved in design of the NCR 32 microcodeable microprocessor: their ingenious idea was to use the part without microcode as a RISC processor for a line of Unix systems. It won about 100 customers for the first generation machines, and was on the brink of launching a 64-bit scientific Unix machine when the cash ran out. Floating Point and Celerity see complementary strengths in Celerity’s new machine and Floating Points sales and support network. The emergence of a string of thrusting minisupercomputer builders has made it imperative that Floating Point complement its add-in scientific processors with some stand-alone machines, and Celerity can bring these to the party.

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