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July 11, 1991

LIGHTNING SHIPPING ITS 50MHz 80486 PC

By CBR Staff Writer

Lightning Computers Inc, headquartered in San Francisco, is shipping its 50MHz 80486-based personal computer said to offer central processing unit performance of 22 MIPS (CI No 1,682), and has now added and graphics performance of 33 MIPS: the graphics performance is accelerated by combining the 33 MIPS Intel Corp 80860 RISC processor with Texas Instruments Inc’ 32MHz TI34020 processor and up to 18Mb of 64-bit memory; the 80860 is capable of 66 MFLOPS compared with 4 MFLOPS generated by the 80486-33; Lightning reiterates that the increase in performance is achieved by integrating its solid-state cooling module that lowers the operating temperatures to between 0oC and 4oC so the 33MHz 80486 chip can run at 50MHz, with, the company claims, no loss of reliability; disk-intensive tasks are accelerated by using a 4Mb to 16Mb random access memory cache and a 16-bit Zilog Inc Z280 CPU that offloads input output from the 80486 and handles reads and writes; the new systems are from $9,000 to $30,000.

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