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IBM’s struggling Rolm Corp, estimated to be losing $100m a year, hopes to stem the tide of red ink with the new CBX II 9000AE, top-end model of its largest PABX, claimed to offer up to 60% more call handling capacity than any PABX in the market, with a busy-hour-call-attempt capacity equal to that of some public telephone exchanges serving whole cities. Enhancements include new CPU, new control network between nodal processors, and enhanced software. A 15-node 9000AE provides up to 165,000 busy hour call attempts. The new processor increases the capacity to a limit of 20,000 extensions, providing more than 23,000 time-slots in its full 15-node configuration; it is the fourth CBX II CPU since the line was introduced in 1981. The 32-bit processors use Rolm proprietary designs based on advanced microprocessors technology – implying a bit-slice CPU. It has a faster cycle, wider memory bus, new Direct Memory Access protocol, and five-stage instruction pipeline. The entire CPN II network is duplicated for high reliability, with each side capable of taking the full load should the other fail. Installed CBX II Rolm bus 295 systems can be field upgraded to CBXII 9000AEs. No prices were given. Rolm says it has now shipped more than 250,000 data lines, and that virtually all the large CBXs installed are being used for data as well as for speech.

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