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July 5, 1993


By CBR Staff Writer

The next stage of what Pyramid Technology Corp says is its planned transition to the high-end of the market will see the Mountain View, California firm wheel out a new range of systems this month based on MIPS Technologies Inc’s R4400 MC RISC, which is optimised for multiprocessing. Dubbed Jolt, or Just Our Latest Technology, by Pyramid UK – US suits prefer the less colourful Corporate Information Servers – the machines will be configured with from two to 16 CPUs initially and ship in October. Although offering binary compatibility with Pyramid’s existing high-end, the MIPS R3000-based MIServer ES series, which goes to 768 MIPS with 24 CPUs, Jolt systems use a new bus architecture to handle the 1,600 MIPS performance Pyramid claims the new systems can deliver. The bus has also been designed to accommodate new RAS – IBMspeak for Reliability, Availability and Serviceability – enhancements that Pyramid has developed for the systems: it’s already licensed the bus technology to ICL Plc. Existing Pyramid systems can move up to the new bus and CPU combination, a task described as a fork-lift upgrade by the company – another term from the IBM world that means that just about all that’s left of the old machine is the unique model number screwed to the floor where it stood. Individual Jolt systems will use 100MHz R4400 MCs initially, moving to 150MHz, 126 SPECfp89 iterations soon after. They’ll come with up to 4Gb memory and 1Tb of disk. Up to four Jolts can be strung together using Pyramid’s new Oracle Corp-derived Valence clustering system, supporting 4,000 users. System prices should remain within Pyramid’s current UKP28,000 to UKP1.5m price bracket, although users are likely to face higher charges for software and other add-ons.

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