Masscomp, Massachusetts Computer Corp, chose a bad day to follow General Automation with one of the first systems based on the new Motorola 68030 microprocessor – despite its conviction that the processor only has a 15 month lifespan. The company is offering the 68030 as an upgrade board for its future and existing customers of its 5600 and 5700 systems. In-itially the board will run at 25MHz but will eventually be upgraded to 33MHz. The 68030 offers a 256-byte on-chip instruction and data cache, 32-bit data bus with dynamic storaging, support for the MC68882 floating point co-processor and includes Paged Memory Management Unit on chip. Masscomp has added hardware support for page fault detection – one of the missing features for which the 68030 is criticised. Additionally Masscomp announced a new version of its RTU Real Time Unix operating system for which it claims an average response time of between one and two milliseconds with a worst case of 8 milliseconds. Masscomp’s real-time implementation of Unix is one of those being considered as the bas-is of the real-time version of the Posix standard, IEEE 1003.4 (CI No 789). The Network File System from Sun Microsystems has also been bund- led with RTU 4.0. Separately Mass comp has decided to migrate over time from Multibus to the increas ingly more popular VMEbus and as bridge to doing this has brought out a VMEbus adaptor. The adaptor connects Masscomp’s synchronous memory interconnect to VMEbus card cages. First deliveries of the 68030 will take place next spring and if ordered before year end the one-off list price for the upgrade will be UKP5,100. RTU 4.0 is in beta test at the moment and will be delivered to customers in January. NFS will be available in February at UKP850. Masscomp hopes to get its international sales up to around 40% over the next year from its current figure of 22% and to this end is considering setting up a manufacturing plant in the UK. The 68030 upgrade is likely to be off ered by Masscomp’s major OEM cust omer, Harris Corp, shortly. Mass comp, based in Westford, Massachus etts, plans to launch the new prod ucts in the US tomorrow, Tuesday.
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