The main focus at the Computer Graphics Show at the Wembley Conference Centre the other day was the long-running battle of the workstations, with representations from Sun showing its 10 MIPS SPARC RISC-based 4/260 and Whitechapel Workstations its Hitech-10 MIPS RISC machines, with a high-end conflict between Intergraph and Silicon Graphics, both with recently extended product lines. Apollo kept out of the MIPS race and concentrated instead on its distributed Network Computing System. Tektronix was keeping tight-lipped about its forthcoming launch, widely predicted to include more emphasis on Unix workstations. Meanwhile, little benchMark Technologies Ltd of Kingston-on-Thames, Surrey was showing off its new bLITZ microprogrammable floating point accelerator, for which it claims a 10 MIPS and 50 Mflops performance for under UKP20,000. The board is intended primarily as a stand-alone product accessible by any VME-based host, providing three dimensional capabilities. benchMark promises a move towards end-user markets by the productising of its technology, and is looking to sign up distributors worldwide. It also says it will be first out with products based on new generation chips such as the Motorola 78000 RISC processor, which it hints may be ready by the end of the year. Magus Computer Graphics showed a range of colour graphics boards for the IBM AT originating from the US company Pixelworks, which allow intensive graphics tasks to be offloaded from the AT’s 80286 processor and displayed on a graphic terminal. Pixelworks has recently struck up an OEM deal with ComputerVision Corp in the US and plans to introduce Unix-based boards by early 1988.
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