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November 15, 1993

SEQUOIA LOOKS FOR NEW PARTNER ON NEXT RISC MACHINE

By CBR Staff Writer

Although Marlborough, Massachusetts-based Sequoia Systems Inc says it has now chosen a RISC processor to power new generations of its Unix-based fault-tolerant computer line, the company says its newly renegotiated agreement with Samsung Electronics Co of Seoul, South Korea does not mean it will be using the Precision Architecture RISC that Samsung makes under licence from Hewlett-Packard Co. Sequoia was originally to have developed a Precision Architecture-based fault-tolerant system under its own agreement with Hewlett-Packard, which was cemented back in 1989 when Hewlett-Packard agreed to resell Sequoia systems as its HP 9000Series 1200s and took a 10% stake in the company. However Sequ-ia emerged from its well-documented financial troubles looking for a much broader development deal involving funding, joint development and resource-sharing, a deal Hewlett-Packard shied away from. In Samsung, Sequoia seems to have found what it was looking for, and says all future products will be developed with partners. The new arrangement with Samsung is both a continuation and expansion of the two firms’ 1990 agreement which called for the joint development of one product, the low-end Motorola Inc 68040-based Series 40. Sequoia’s financial difficulties meant that the Series 40, due a year ago, is only now coming to market, as a $150,000 box which Samsung will re-sell in Asia and Eastern Europe as the SSM 6000. Sequoia has rights to it in the Americas, Western Europe and Australia. The system comes with up to four 68040s, from 64Mb to 192Mb memory, up to four input-out-put processors with VME-compatible buses and up to 88Gb disk. The ser-ies 40 will be followed by new prod-ucts co-developed and jointly owned by the two firms using the unspecified RISC. Sequoia is remaining tight-lipped about its choice while it seeks approval from customers and isn’t expected to disclose details of its new architecture strategy until well into 1994. It says it has considered a number of options, including PowerPC. In the meantime, Sequoia plans enhancements to its own 68040-based high-end Series 400 system and says it will move to Unix System V.4 next year. Its other deal is with Toshiba Corp, which is using Sequoia technology to build a Sparc-based fault-tolerant system, now expected out in about two years.

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