After a slow start, Harris Corp is pulling out all the stops in the Unix market, and has followed up 18-month-old its HCX-7 with a top-end HCX-9, claimed to deliver 8 MIPS in single precision arithmetic, and 7.5M-Whetstones running Fortran. Harris developed the HCX-7 with the help of, and using technology from, Computer Consoles Inc; it claims that the new machine is all its own work, but that claim is clouded by the fact that the University of California at Berkeley has switched to Computer Consoles machines from DEC VAXes for development work on the BSD 4.X implementations of Unix – and now Harris says that the first HCX-9 is going to Berkeley to be used in development of BSD 4.4. Harris says that the new machine is built around a 32-bit TTL chip; Computer Consoles has been developing a Reduced Instruction Set CPU in Irvine, California for its next top-end machine, but it is unclear whether there is any connection. The HCX-9 is built around dual VMEbuses for an aggregate input-output data rate of 40Mbytes-per-second nearly four times that of the HCX-7. The machine features a Dual Universal Switch so that it can be switched between Unix System V.2 and BSD 4.2 without taking it down and bringing it up again. An HCX-9 with 8-slot VMEbus, 4Mb CPU, input-output controller, eight asynchronous serial ports, 32-user Unix licence and C costs $195,000 and deliveries begin in March. Options include floating point processor, two disk drives and a tape streamer. A second cabinet can be added to expand the system to 42 VMEbus slots and increase support to 256 users; up to 32 disk drives for a total of 17Gb, can be supported, and main memory expands to 128Mb.
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