NCR Corp yesterday duly launched worldwide the top-end of its Tower Unixrange, the 32/800, which extends support to 128 users from the existing 48-user system, the 32/600. The Tower 32/800, as expected (CI No 622) uses multiple processors in a loosely coupled architecture based on the Multibus II – but there is as yet no word of fault-tolerance. Up to four applications processors – 16.67MHz 68020s with 68881 floating point co-processors – can be used in the system, each with a maximum of 16Mb memory. Input-output functions are handled by four types of 68010-based processor with 1Mb memory: a terminal processor for up to eight asynchronous RS-232 ports; file processor, managing two SCSI disk and tape ports; communications processor which will handle two lines for communications between the system and wide area networks; and the 1.25Mb local area network processor, which manages an Ethernet channel and support NCR Towernet system software. In one system up to 16 terminal processors for 128 user ports, four file processors, and four communications processors can be installed. The operating system used is a demand paged virtual memory implementation of Unix System V. NCR is also launching two proprietary software tools with the 32/800; Visual Administrator and Activity Analyser. Shipments of systems with two applications processors will begin in April and the four applications processor version will be available in October. One application processor in a 32/800 is equivalent to the existing 32/600 and will cost around UKP64,000. A system with two 4Mb applications processors, for a 64-user configuration will cost UKP116,000. Three 16Mb applications processors has a suggested list price of UKP204,000. NCR says that it began controlled marketing of the new Tower in September last year and now has 50 installed. It is aiming the 32/800 at three specific markets – retail, financial and Government, including defence.
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