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  1. Technology
June 18, 1990


By CBR Staff Writer

Hewlett-Packard Co yesterday accompanied the long-promised single successor line to its own and Apollo Computer’s 68000 family-based workstations – held up by Motorola’s tardiness in getting the 68040 out – with a new range of VRX – Virtual Rendering for X – graphics sub-systems based on the Intel 80860 RISC. The new HP Apollo 9000 VRX Series 400 starts life with three workstations and two servers, each object-code compatible with existing Hewlett and Apollo Unix workstations and supporting a choice of HP-UX or Domain/OS – no unified operating system yet. Built around a 25MHz 68040, the Model 425t is rated by the firm at 20 MIPS and 3.5 MFLOPS. It comes with from 8Mb to 64Mb memory and takes up to 4.6Gb of disk. Networking options include Ethernet, Apollo Token Ring and IBM Token Ring. The Model 400t uses the 50MHz 68030 and is rated at 12 MIPS and 0.5 MFLOPS and are otherwise the same as the 425t; the 400dl is the same but takes only 16Mb maximum and supports only Ethernet; prices for each start at UKP4,500. The 400s is a server version of the 400 with 8Mb to 128Mb memory and the same options as the workstations at from UKP11,000. The Model 433s server, with a 33MHz 68040, is rated at 26 MIPS and 4.5 MFLOPS is similarly priced and configured. 128Mb memory, and the same options as the workstations. The 68030-based systems are available from July 1, and users can upgrade to a 68040 CPU in October, by which time Hewlett expects to be getting volume shipments from Motorola. The systems were jointly developed at Apollo’s Chelmsford, Massachusetts offices, and at Hewlett’s workstation division, Fort Collins, Colorado. They will be manufactured in the US, and in West Germany for the European market. All can be integrated with one or more of Hewlett’s new range of VRX graphics subsystems. Model 400dl with VRX monochrome, the 425t and 400t with VRX monochrome and colour, or the three-dimensional Personal VRX, and the servers can also add the three-dimensional Turbo VRX. VRX monochrome with a 19 monitor does around 40,000 two-dimensional vectors per second and costs UKP3,000. VRX colour is from UKP7,000 with a 19 monitor and performs at 130,000 two-dimensional vectors per second. Personal VRX uses 33MHz Intel 80860 RISC processor performing at 66 MFLOPS and is available in three configurations, ranging from eight planes, 95,000 three-dimensional vectors per second to 16 planes and 270,000 three dimensional vectors per second. Prices start from UKP18,000. Turbo VRX uses up to three 40MHz 80860s to do 334,000 to 1m three-dimensional vectors per second at 240 MFLOPS. it costs from UKP41,000.

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