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March 25, 1987


By CBR Staff Writer

MIPS Computer Systems Inc, Sunnyvale, yesterday introduced its second generation of RISC microcomputers as the M/800 system, providing overall sustained performance of eight times a VAX-11/780 minicomputer, widely benchmarked as a one MIPS machine. The M/800, the second in the company’s M Series building blocks, is designed as a flexible platform for OEM customers building high performance Unix systems. It comes with networking tools that allow integration into an Ethernet-based network, and can be configured as a compute server, network file server, or multi-user system. The Racal-Redac Visula Mipper design automation system, announced this week, is based on the M/800. Redac will market the Visula Mipper as a compute server to customers with networks of Unix technical workstations. New and existing M/500 customers can buy the M/800 upgrade for $11,150: it consists of replacing the R2300 CPU board with the R2600 board and requires no additional software or hardware. The R2600 CPU uses a 12.5MHz version of the MIPS RISC and in standard configuration, the M/800 includes 8Mb error-correcting main memory, 12-slot VMEbus cardcage, a 337Mb disk drive and a 60Mb quarter inch tape drive.Memory goes to 20Mb, and up to 32 serial ports and an Ethernet interface with TCP/IP protocals can be added. Bundled software includes either System V.3 or Berkley 4.3 versions of the UMIPS operating system and an optimising compiler system that includes C, Pascal, Fortran 77 and a symbolic soubce-level debugger. Sun Microsystem’s Network File System and Sun’s PC NFS, which allows the M/800 system to be included in heterogeneous networks of Personals and high performance systems is also offered. The M/800 goes for $51,330 in quantities of 10 or more and will be available in July. An optional R2010 Floating Point Accelerator offering six MFlops of peak performance is $1,600 in quantities of 10. It is a tightly coupled, synchronous co-processor to the MIPS R2000 in which 32-bit or 64-bit floating point operations are fully overlapped and piplined to increase throughput and processing speed, so that memory operations and integer arithmetic at the same time as floating point functions. MIPS is also offering an optional M Series Expansion Cabinet for the M/500 and M/800 systems that includes one or two 337Mb disk drives and one 60Mb tape at $31,898 in quantities of 10, available now.

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