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August 4, 1987


By CBR Staff Writer

Ridge Computers Inc has now launched the machines that its investment partmer Bull SA of Paris, France announced back in February (CI No 629). The machines, based on Ridge’s RISC processor, and dubbed the SPS 9/400 and 9/800 by Bull, appear as the 32 Turbo/RX from Ridge. Ridge says that the reason it delayed launching was that it was using Bull’s SPIX operating system, which runs on the SPS range, to develop a standard Unix System V.2 operating system for the machine. The Ridge SPIX version is called RX/V. Prior to this implementation all Ridge machines ran its proprietary Unix-like operating system, ROS. The Turbo/RX replaces Ridge’s former bottom-end offerings, the 32/100 and the 32/300. The new machine supports up to 32 users and is rated at 2.3 MIPS, with an 8Mbytes-per-second input-output data rate. Apart from the operating system, the other main difference between the Turbo/RX and previous machines is in performance of the CPU. The new CPU has 16Kb cache memory and up to 32Mb main memory. Earlier products had only 256 bytes cache and a maximum of 16Mb main memory. The new system can be configured with 60Mb cartridge tape, 140Mb or 300Mb Winchester disk, and up to 32 RS232 ports. As well as the new Turbo/RX, Ridge announced the general availability of its top-end 3200 Model-95 introduced last December. The Model-95 also supports the RX/V operating system leaving the 3200 Model-90 the only Ridge system still to support ROS. The Model-95 has 16Mb RAM expandable to 128Mb; 16 to 32 RS232 ports; 60Mb quarter inch cartridge tape; and a 300Mb Winchester disk, expandable to 8Gb. Up to 128 users can be supported and is rated at 5 MIPS with 14Mbps input-output data rate. Software available on the new Turbo machine includes Informix; Empress; RISC optimised compilers for C, Pascal and Fortran; Style, a 4GL transaction processing package; and Ten Plus from Interactive Systems Corp. Ridge also intends to port the Oracle database to the machine. Both machines are intended for the general purpose Unix mini market but specifically for software development, engineering research, electronic computer-aided design and animation applications. Available now the Ridge 32 Turbo/RX is priced at $31,900 and the 3200 RX/V costs $69,900.

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