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  1. Technology
March 18, 1987


By CBR Staff Writer

Masscomp, Massachusetts Computer of Westford, is thrilled with the additional performance it is squeezing out of its 68020-based scientific supermicro line, which it extended with three new models the other day (CI No 628). The company increased the number of processors in its top-of-the-line machine to six, and says its Fortran compiler will now globally optimise. The new MC5350, MC5450, and MC5550 each offers 20% to 30% better performance than their predecessors at the same price; the 5350 has 16.7MHz 68020 and 68881 at 2.5 MIPS; the MC5450 uses a 20MHz 68020 and 68881 and is rated at 3 MIPS, as is the MC5550. Existing machines can be field-u`graded to the new performance. The MC5700 multiprocessor now takes up to six 68020 CPUs, up from four for a 50% performance gain. The fifth and sixth CPUs come standard with an MC68881 floating point co-processor and may each be configured with Masscomp’s 4 million Whetstones per second Lightning Floating Point Accelerator option. Performance Enhancement Packages for the MC5300, MC5400, MC5500 PEP, and MC5520 were also announced, so that Masscomp users can achieve the higher performance levels with field upgrades to installed systems. The Global Optimisations for release 1.2 of the Fortran compiler improve performance an average 20% to 25% in floating point work, the company claims. The optimisations, available for all MC68020-based Masscomp models, are designed to improve system performance particularly for applications that require a floating point accelerator. Program execution times are claimed to fall by an average of 20% to 25%. The company reckons that single precision Whetstone performance on a single-CPU MC5000 family system with the Floating Point Accelerator option improves by 30%, from greater than 3m Whetstones per second to 4m.The company says that it will be implementing Sun Microsystems’ Network File System on the MC5000 family. Masscomp also unbundled its X25 communications software, enabling users to take advantage of HASP, SNA 3270, and SNA 3770 from Morning Star Technologies. A new V.35 interface can be used with its X25 Serial Communications Processor, expanding the choice of interface options to three: RS-232C, RS-449, or V.35. A Graphics Compatibility Library of primitives, that will, according to Masscomp, allow customers and third-party software vendors to support their applications on Masscomp graphics more easily, has also been announced. The software from Lachman Associates Inc, of Westmont, Illinois will also decrease porting time from first generation to second generation graphics products, according to the firm.

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