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March 25, 1996


By CBR Staff Writer

Fujitsu Ltd has announced a new version of its AP series supercomputer using Sun Microsystems Inc’s UltraSparcs. The Japanese company caught most of its European and US units somewhat on the hop with the announcement of the monster AP3000 distributed memory parallel server (CI No 2,870). It will supposedly accommodate up to 1,024 Ultra 1 server nodes and is due in December, priced at from $267,000. Although the machine starts life as a highly technical compute engine, the company is already talking about adding parallel databases, warehousing offerings and applications that will make it attractive to independent software vendors and to the US market. The AP3000 is effectively a makeover of the three-year-old SuperSparc-based AP1000, a scientific engine never sold in the US. The AP-Net Advanced Parallel System Network interconnect runs at 200Mbps in the AP3000, compared with 25Mbps in the AP1000. The AP3000 will house from four to 1,024 U140, U170 or U170E Ultra 1 server nodes in any combination, each with 32Mb to 512Mb main memory, 2Gb to 4Gb disk, a message controller and Solaris 2.5. It expects to sell 300 AP3000s over three years. It claims 30 AP1000 installations. ICL-owned Fujitsu Systems Europe Ltd will sell the AP3000 in Europe and although it is potentially competition to ICL’s own Goldrush massively parallel system, ICL notes that the AP3000 doesn’t support a parallel database initially.

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