Norsk Data A/S will today launch a new line of top-end machines Europe-wide: the top model delivers up to 26 MIPS, double the present maximum. The ND-5000 family, code-named Samson (CI No 507), features a custom CMOS gate array chip set made for Norsk by LSI Logic that enables the CPU to be mounted on a single board. The mother-board carries a number of baby modules to increase the packing density and achieve a 70nS cycle time. A new multi-function bus replaces the multi-port memory system in the ND-500 series, providing continuous bandwidth of 40 Mbytes-per-second. Separate 32-bit 68020 CPUs are used as terminal, disk, tape and communications controllers, further decentralising the system: already, as with the ND-500, the operating system processor is a separate ND-100 family front-end, leaving the 32-bit main processor to devote almost all its cycles to useful work. The controllers, the operating system and main CPU and the bus controller are connected together by a new serial command bus that can support up to 63 nodes. The ND-5000 is currently available with up to four main processors, and as there is no operating system overhead, performance increases linearly as CPUs are added. Configurations using Norsk’s new FTX fault-tolerant high-availability arrangement are also available. At the bottom end, the new range consists of two single processor machines, the ND-5700, which replaces the highly successful ND-570 and delivers 3.5 Whetstone MIPS, and the ND-5800, delivery 6.5 W-MIPS. There are three multi-processor models, ND-5900/2, /3 and /4, rated at 13, 19.5 and 26 Whetstone MIPS. Prices range from UKP150,000 for the ND-5700 to UKP615,000 for the four-CPU 5900.
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