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February 17, 1987


By CBR Staff Writer

Ahead of the US for once, where the sales force was only due to hear about the machines this week, IBM UK has announced five new models of the System/88, the fault-tolerant range of supermicros it buys OEM from Stratus Computer Inc. The IBM announcement also includes a new program product that provides central network management of the 88. The new models – IBMised versions of the XA2000s announced by Stratus earlier in the month (CI No 612) are built around 32-bit Motorola 68020 processors running at 16MHz, supported by 68881 floating point co-processors. Models 81, 82, 83 and 84 have three 32-bit wide main memory options which use 256K-bit memory chips and respectively one, two, three and four basic processor boards, each of which has two 68020s and two 68881s. The 81, 82 and 83 are upgradeable by adding boards to the 40-slot processor chassis. The fifth model, the 50, has only one 68020 and one 68881, and a 16-bit wide data and instruction path but its processor chassis can handle a 32-bit wide data and instruction path and can be upgraded using the new memory subsystem to a model 8X. The subsystem is available in 8Mb, 16Mb and 32Mb packs up to 64Mb maximum per module. The accompanying software includes System/88 Distributed System Services, which allows host users to manage System/88 networks and libraries and to send and receive System/88 data and programs, and a new version of the operating system which includes 128Mb addressing, national language support and compiler microprocessor options, and encryption routine support. The model 50 is available from February 20 while the other models and software are scheduled for delivery in the second quarter of 1987. IBM says that prices will be announced within the next fortnight, but Stratus’ prices, announced last week, start at UKP224,500 for a model 81 with four disk drives, 9-track tape start and operating system.

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