STC Plc admitted that mainframe sales at ICL had been pretty stagnant over the first six months of the year, and the Putney company this week took radical action to get the market moving again, with a new CMOS processor configured into six new low-end models offering up to 35% better price performance than the original DM/1 CPU, plus new software and pricing options to make the Series 39 more attractive. The new processors are built of Fujitsu’s 8,000-gate CMOS arrays and come with 1M memory chips that enable memory capacity to be doubled over their predecessors on all the new XP models. The six are the 15XP with 8Mb to 24Mb, rated at 10,000 transactions per hour on ICL’s interpretation of the IBM RAMP-C benchmark; the 25XP, 16Mb to 24Mb, 15,700 tph; 35XP, 16Mb to 32Mb and 23,000 tph; 25DXP dual, 24Mb to 48Mb per side, 26,000 tph; 35DXP dual, 24Mb to 64Mb per side, 40,000 tph; and the ingenious 35XP/2, with 16Mb to 32Mb per side and a 41,000 tph performance rating, which consists of two processors that can be installed up to 6,000 feet apart and linked via a 50Mbit-per second fibre optic link. On pricing, ICL says only that a 15XP with 8Mb, 600Mb disk, a new quarter inch cartridge tape drive and printer is UKP65,000 – or UKP3,500 a quarter on rental – 28% less than the Level 15 it replaces. The company is also offering one year free warranty on the machines, and more flexible software licensing terms, with the integrated software for the 15XP with VME and Quickbuild development tools costing an initial UKP5,600. On the software front, there is a new ICL Access menu-driven user interface to simplify access to Series 39 VME facilities with single-key access to TP and MAC. VME Pathway is a free menu driven prompter to make it easier for ME29 users to move up into the world of main frame operating systems. And Quickstart is a preconfiguration load-and-go facility for specific applications such as the OMAC manu facturing package. The new cart ridge tape drive sells for UKP2,500.