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February 24, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

The most powerful artificial intelligence server in the world was announced in Paris yesterday by Matra Datasysteme SA, and the company, which has strong marketing ties with both Sun Microsystems Inc and Encore Computer Corp insists that the X-MS 3000 station is all its own work. The machine is claimed to be the first in the world to breach the 1 MegaLIPS barrier – that’s one million logical inferences per second – and is Matra’s answer to the Japanese Fifth Generation project. Basically a 68020 Unix machine with from one to eight proprietary symbolic co-processors – which can operate in parallel, the X-MS 3000 is built around a VMEbus, has an Ethernet interface, supports Sun’s Network File System and is offered with C, Common Lisp and Prolog compilers. Matra describes the operating system as a distributed multi processor version of Unix; although the machine can be used stand-alone, Matra sees it coming into its own as a symbolic processing server to a network of workstations. Matra is pitching it at diagnostics, decision support and maintenance in banking and finance, space exploration and basic research. The X-MS 3000 is out first in two models: the entry system has 16MHz 68020 with 4Mb memory, one 8Mb symbolic co-processor, ESDI controller, 140Mb disk, 60Mb tape streamer and Unix, C and Lisp or Prolog, for around $65,000. The other model has 8Mb on the 68020, two 8Mb co-processors, SMD controller and 600Mb disk, same tape and same software for about $130,000.

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