Pyramid Technology Inc, Mountain View, California, which now claims to have sold over 1,200 of its Unix RISC minicomputers, has come out with enhancements to its hardware and software that result in an average doubling of performance on commercial applications, the company claims (CI No 971). The Series 9000 TA (for throughput accelerator) systems include a fine-tuned cache subsystem designed to work in closer harmony with the CPU. This has been done by adding interleaved virtual caches, operating system controlled space allocation, and hardware controlled dynamic sizing for kernel and user processes. The second area of enhancement is closely tied to database software. Last year, Pyramid announced an OEM and technology exchange agreement with database vendor Sybase Inc, which resullted in a series of Pyramid machines specially customised to run faster using Sybase software. These enhancements have now been carried through to benefit the company’s other database partners, which include Oracle Corp, Informix Software, Relational Technology, and Unify Corp: the performance gains largely result from the inclusion in the new operating system – OSx 4.4 – of asynchronous non-blocking disk input-output, which removes one of the remaining major bottlenecks on database applications. The TA models are available as upgrades for existing Pyramid users – and the company already claims eight orders, including London-based investment bank County NatWest with a 9825, and the US Western National Warranty Corporation. Pyramid also took the opportunity of lowering its base-level price for the Model 8810 system by 28& – which means it is now available for UKP87,530. And the company is about to open its third European office, in Amsterdam, Holland, which joins its established operations in the UK and Switzerland.
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