Whilst its parent company Sanyo Business Corp struggled to introduce a family of MSDOS micros, including a laptop and the new 18+ 80386-based machine at a very confused press launch during Comdex, Icon International Inc, the former Icon Systems & Software, now 65%owned by Sanyo, was quietly demonstrating the supermicro range with which Sanyo hopes to break into departmental computing. Icon’s MPS020, originally launched last year, was re-introduced as the Icon 2000, and two more members of the family, the 3000 and 4000, were added. The machines use multiple microprocessors in parallel, and the operating system allows Unix, Pick, and MSDOS to run concurrently (only Pick and MS-DOS were supported together on the original machine). The company claims that the architecture, featuring three processing sub-systems main processor, disk cache processor, and peripheral communications processor running in parallel, provides high performance advantages over monolithic Von Neumann machines. The family uses 68020 processors and an Intel 80286 for MS-DOS applications, and can can also act as file server for MSDOS micros used as terminals, diskless workstations or nodes on a network through its shared memory interconnect card. The Icon 2000 supports 16 users and costs from $15,000; the 3000, taking up to 64 users, costs $30,000, and the top-end 4000, which can handle 128 users, starts at $55,000. All systems support Unix System V.2, Pick and MS-DOS through Icon’s proprietary operating system kernel, Icon/OS, which provides a common interface, file structure and input and output device drivers. This allows the simultaneous connection of micros, minis, and mainframes running the three operating systems, integrating applications software and other computing resources, said the company. Both Sanyo and Icon will be marketing the systems in the US, and Sanyo is also looking to the European market: the machines were launched here by Kode International at the Compec show this week.
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