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August 24, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

The record of companies building mid-range mainframes compatible with IBM’s 370 line has been a dismal one, with Magnuson Computer, NatSemi, Cambex Corp, CDC, IPL Systems, Canaan Computer, Memorex (way back in 1972), Storage Technology, Two Pi among the host of companies that have tried in the business and failed at it. Nevertheless, still they come, and while the world waits to see what Dr Gene Amdahl’s Andor Systems can come up with, the latest name to enter the lists is Santa Clara, California-based Synthesized Computer Systems Inc. The key feature of the 4381-13 class IBMulator from Synthesized is that it is claimed to add fault-tolerance – but that that was the promise of IPL Systems with its 4460 machine, and while IPL is still around, it abandoned the attempt to keep up with IBM when the latter unveiled the 9370. According to Computer Systems News, a 4 MIPS uniprocessor – made up of three physical CPUs that provide fault tolerance by working on the majority voting principle pioneered by August Systems – is ready to go, and work on a 6 to 7 MIPS dual processor will start at Synthesized shortly. The firm will price its machine at 70% of IBM’s list. It will look for resellers of the unnamed box rather than go direct. Chairman and president of the comp any is Jacques Losq, an alumnus of IBM’s Thomas J Watson Labs and a member of the team that tried to do an IBMulator for Storagetek. Dev elopment reportedly cost about $3m.

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