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April 5, 1989

STELLAR COMPUTER DS1000 GOES AFTER THE X MINISUPER SERVER MARKET

By CBR Staff Writer

Stellar Computer Inc, Newton, Massachusetts is diversifying with the introduction of variants of its GS1000 graphics supercomputer tailored as Departmental Supercomputers. Like its sibling, Ardent, Stellar is facing an uphill struggle to establish itself in what is seen as an overcrowded market for minisupercomputers. It hopes to replace minisupers and networks of workstations with a more flexible, economic alternative, and to augment currently overloaded corporate mainframes and supercomputers. The DS1000 Departmental Supercomputers use a custom parallel, multi processor architecture with a claimed sustained 25 MIPS performance and up to 40m vector and scalar floating point operations per second at only 25% to 30% the price of a minisuper – and looks like a less expensive version of the CS1000 Computational Server announced last October (CI No 1,033). It also has a Stellar X Terminal for use with the DS1000: it supports the X Window System and TCP/IP communications, and Stellar claims that a DS1000 with six terminals costs $19,000 per user. Stellar is pitching squarely at the DEC market with a range of VAX/VMS compatibility and coexistence features, job accounting and batch queuing capabilities: it offers support for DECnet Phase IV, including remote terminal support, remote file access, network management, task-to-task communications, and X Window System support, and a VMS DCL emulator enables users to enter DEC DCL commands in place of native Unix commands, and a version of the VMS EDT editor. And it has added VMS 4.0 Fortran features to its compil er. It comes with 16Mb to 256Mb main memory, 1Mb cache, one to four internal 380Mb or 760Mb disks, 150Mb cartridge tape, three user-accessi ble VME slots, four to 12 serial ports, two to four input-output pro cessors, Stellix operating system, X Window system, and a local console. Disk can go to 27Gb with an EU-1000 Expansion Unit. DS1000 prices start at $83,000, the X Terminal is $3,100 now. DECnet support is $3,900, VMS DCL emulation and EDT editor support are $1,300 each, all in the second quarter. Job accounting and batch queuing support will be available in the third quarter of 1989; no prices yet. Stellar also cut prices on the GS1000 by 12% to 15%, with the base configuration now costing $90,000.

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