National Advanced Systems, the IBM-compatible mainframe marketing arm of National Semiconductor Corp, is promising its response to IBM’s 3090S mainframe models within a month. The company is promising a performance boost of up to 18% across all nine models of its Hitachi-built AS/XL line – but is believed to have had the new models in the pipeline for aboyt a year, having originally conceived them to answer IBM’s 3090E models. According to Electronic News, current performance ranges from 18 MIPS for the XL 50 to 72 MIPS for the XL 100. NatSemi also revealed to analysts last week that intense price pressure from both Amdahl and IBM itself had given NAS a rotten fiscal fourth quarter in the US, below both the fourth quarter last year and the company’s plan. The company said that it saw little short-term growth for the business as it faces continued price pressure, and also brings the new disk drives on stream. It also indicated that it is pressing Hitachi to make more hardware in the US in order to minimise the pain caused by dollar-yen fluctuations.