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On the ICL front, Walsh revealed that the mainframer had turned in a strong first quarter, well ahead of plan, and that we could look for an ICL Unix machine based on the Sparc RISC chip, and the Essex top-end for Series 39 – likely using those superfast 180 picosecond Fujitsu chips that make Amdahl’s 5990 such a giantkiller (CI No 923) – joining the product line late next year. As for the three-way relationship between STC, ICL and Northern Telecom Ltd of Ontario, Canada, there could be more to it than meets the eye: Walsh hinted that far from being outraged at the idea of the Canadian telecommunications major taking a 24% stake in STC, Fujitsu is complaisant enough that it is now cosying up to Northern Telecom; no word on what the talks are about but Fujitsu’s chip technology and Northern Telecom marketing for some of Fujitsu’s telecommunications products sound like each-way bets.

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