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March 23, 1987


By CBR Staff Writer

Hewlett-Packard Co has improved its low-end Unix workstation offerings by introducing the HP 9000 Series 300 Model 330, as reported briefly early in March (CI No 638). Surprisingly the company, which has its UK base in Bracknell, Berkshire uses only the comparatively slow 16.67MHz Motorola 68020 processor as opposed to the 25MHz version now available. Hewlett-Packard is offering its implementation of Unix, HP-UX, on the workstations in modular form. The minimum module is the Applications Execution Environment which includes an AT&T System V compatible kernel with windowing and systems maintenance extensions. It can be upgraded with a programming module and language modules including C, Fortran 77, Technical Basic, Ada, Common Lisp and Prolog. The company says that the 330 is object-code compatible with other series 300 systems. As well as the 68020 processor, reported to deliver 2 MIPS, the 330 uses the Motorola 68881 floating-point co-processor and a new 32-bit input-output bus which provides 6Mb per second bandwidth to high-speed peripherals. Four configurations are avialable for the new system: the basic monochrome system – 330MMA – costs UKP11,300; the basic colour system – 330CMA – is UKP14,000; a monochrome version with a larger monitor and greater resolution – 330M – is priced at UKP11,500; and the enhanced colour monitor – 330C – is UKP15,300. Hewlett-Packard is initially targetting the machine at engineers, scientists, programmers and architects. Having priced it against the Sun/3 and the Apollo DN3000, the company hopes that this new offering will greatly increase its share of the workstation market; it cites a report from the International Data Corporation which shows that its share of the market has increased from 15.3% in 1985 to 32.5% in 1986.

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