View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. Technology
May 5, 1994


By CBR Staff Writer

Although Silicon Graphics Inc has been missing targets for delivery of its high end 64-bit TFP processor for some time now, the unit will ship in a limited number of Power Challenge servers by the end of June, according to chairman and chief executive Ed McCracken. TFP, the 4m transistor, floating point-intensive variant of Silicon Graphics subsidiary MIPS Technologies Inc’s R4000, co-developed with Toshiba Corp, has had a home waiting for it since the Power Challenge series was announced, with boxes first expected at the end of last year, then by the end of last quarter. General deliveries are now expected in the third quarter. The servers will house up to nine pairs of TFPs – other high-end desktops and desk-side systems are likely at TFP’s formal introduction in a few weeks’ time. TFP is apparently faster in the air than it is been in hangar or on the runway. Originally slated as a 75MHz part, the two-chip unit has already been cranked to a higher clock rate, with initial performance estimates surpassed, according to McCracken. TFP, positioned as a 300 MFLOPS peak performance processor, has a 1.2Gb per second bandwidth and is based on the MIPS IV design architecture. It won’t replace the MIPS III-based R4400, but will fill the need for floating-point performance until the T5 or Terminator arrives – that’s the next-generation R series CPU originally set for the end of this year. As expected, ships of the low-end Indy workstation will comprise at least half of unit volume deliveries by the end of this summer, and may make up 50% or so of total revenue by the end of summer 1995, says McCracken. Silicon Graphics claims only Sun Microsystems Inc and Hewlett-Packard Co beat its workstation unit volume shipments and expects to shift 100,000 systems in total – workstations and servers – in the 12 months from this July 1994. Silicon Graphics has 4,000 employees and is hiring at the rate of 100 per month. Performance problems at its UK operation have been made good. Between 15% and 20% of Silicon Graphics’s revenue is derived from the arts and entertainment world that it has championed with its graphics and imaging systems, mostly from the film business, though that will change once sales of next-generation MIPS-based Nintendo game units begin and various multimedia and video server and set-top alliances bear fruit. To further boost its attraction here, Silicon Graphics is having its systems promoted by US artist Peter Max, who features in an on-going series of Silicon Graphics ads in the multimedia press, and uses Adobe Systems Inc PhotoShop to create his boldly coloured improvisational images in the digital world. Silicon Graphics is readying its Open Software Foundation Distributed Computing Environment implementation but says it has not yet decided whether to peddle the software direct or through third parties with experience – a decision is expected by the end of the quarter. Silicon Graphics last week turned in third quarter net profits up 73% at $35.1m on sales up 39% at $376m.

Topics in this article :
Websites in our network
Select and enter your corporate email address Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
  • CIO
  • CTO
  • CISO
  • CSO
  • CFO
  • CDO
  • CEO
  • Architect Founder
  • MD
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.