Siemens UK yesterday duly launched the MX500 top-end multiprocessor in its range of Xenix systems – Sinix in Siemens parlance – offering three models but restricting the architecture to a maximum of eight processors and 32 users. The machines, based on the Balance series from Sequent Computer Systems and so far still using Sequent NatSemi 32032 CPU boards, are aimed at the commercial systems market, and a key feature is that Siemens has added binary and floppy disk format compatibility for applications already running on its low end PC-MX2 systems with a Sinix V 2.0 mode, as well as a Unix System V-compatible Sinix V 5.0. Siemens, which has some 13,000 Sinix systems installed in Europe, claimed that 100 MX500s have already been ordered in Germany, and 20 installed. The low-end 16-user Model 20 has two to four processors, 4Mb to 8Mb memory and one to four 85Mb disks, and starts at about UKP30,000. The Model 40 handles up to 24 users with four to six processors, 8Mb to 16Mb memory, and one or two 337Mb disks; it can be field-upgraded to the 32-user Model 60, which has six to eight processors, 10Mb to 16Mb memory and two to four 337Mb disks, with a top price of around UKP150,000. The company is looking to build the UK Sinix business to between UKP10m and $15m over the next two years, largely through corporate sales, but is also looking for small number of value-added resellers. Siemens has repackaged and added proprietary technology to the Sequent architecture, and plans to build the machines entirely; it restricted the box to eight CPUs – Sequent offers up to 30 – to reflect the size needed for big departmental systems.
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