NCR Comten Inc, which gives IBM its only real competition on 37XX front end processors for System 370 mainframes – Amdahl Corp’s offering from Fujitsu Ltd is in general sold only to its own customers – is winding up the heat with a performance boost and a price cut on the 5660 model. The performance boost comes in the form of an expansion feature that enables users running out of steam to add terminals to an existing network without the need to add more communications processors. It adds $60,000 to the price of a 5660 – but the base price of that machine has been slashed by $125,000 to $175,000, which buys a 4Mb processor and one host channel interface. Memory expansion now costs $13,125 per 4Mb up to a whopping maximum of 167Mb; field upgrading the memory on existing machines is much more expensive at $25,000. There is also a new $21,000 Universal Communications Adaptor, out next quarter for the 5660 and 3695: it can multiplex Comten communications control equipment into a single port and enables users switch between multiple commmunications CPUs. A new 16 line communications base will be $7,035 from the second quarter.