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March 20, 1996

HEWLETT-PACKARD’S CONVEX CENTER DELIVERS MID-LIFE KICKER FOR ITS SCALABLE PARALLEL PROCESSOR LINE

By CBR Staff Writer

Hewlett-Packard Co’s Convex Technology Center is adding a Model 1600 mid-life kicker to its Series 1000 Exemplar Scalable Parallel Processors, SPPs. The one- to 64-way 1600 uses the same 120MHz PA-7200 Precision Architecture RISCs as the 1200 but comes with up to four times as much (four-stage) cache plus new support for PCI bus, delivering a claimed 60% increase in SPECint performance and 50% better Linpack 1000 results. An SPP1600/CD compact configuration houses up to 16 processors with 4Gb of memory, delivering 3.8 GFLOPS peak performance. The SPP1600/XA comes with up to 64 processors, 16Gb main memory, delivering up to 15 GFLOPS. Each HyperNode (which accommodates up to 16 processors) has eight slots, of which four can be PCI instead of the existing Sbus. Convex has also stripped the hierarchical storage management offerings from its fading C series superminis and is offering the hardware-software combinations for use with Scalable Parallel Processors or with Hewlett-Packard’s K-Class technical server lines. A two-way SPP1600/CD starts at $106,000 – an eight-way SPP1600/XA goes from $349,500. A K-Class storage server begins at $285,000; the SPP1600 version is from $600,000. Although all software will move transparently to the forthcoming 64-bit PA-8000-based SPP2000, the company says it is not yet clear which parts of users’ existing hardware configurations can be salvaged. Hewlett-Packard expects to jump from the current SPP-UX operating system, which is built on a re-written Open Software Foundation Mach AD microkernel plus an HP-UX personality for running Hewlett binaries to the planned Hewlett-Packard-Santa Cruz Operation Inc 3DA Summit kernel, within 12 to 15 months.

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