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Technology / AI and automation


Following the lead set by General Automation, Masscomp and Plessey, 68030 systems and boards are hitting the market in force. Three more companies have announced board-level products in the UK based on Motorola’s new second generation 32-bit microprocessor, which is officially available in full production quantities from the end of this month. The new boards come from two Brits, Tadpole Technology Plc, Integrated Micro Products Ltd and American Force Computers Inc, and are all available almost immediately. Announced at the Buscon ’87 show at Heathrow Airport the other day, the VME/VSB TP30V board from Tadpole Technology of Cambridge, England will use the 68030 as the central processor, following on from its range of VME 68020 boards. According to Tadpole, the new board maximises performance advantages from the chip, which includes an on-board subset of the MC68851 paged memory management unit co-processor and a separate 256-byte instruction and data cache, by using proprietary memory control circuitry (dubbed Accelerated Memory Access) to allow access at near cache speed to all 8Mb of dynamic randon access memory. The board also has two RS232 ports, battery backed real-time clock, and 2Kb of fast static RAM. Integrated Micro Products Ltd of Consett, County Durham, will be showing its JT 68030 VME board at the Compec show at Olympia in November. IMP’s JT range was designed last year with future 68030 capabilities in mind, which it can only now take advantage of, says the company. As a result, the boards maintain full software compatibility from the 68010 version up. IMP will use the top-rated 32MHz version of the chip and claims that performance will double that of the 2.5 MIPS 68020 board, largely because of the extra data cache facilities and the support for concurrent operation. Force Computers has been demonstrating two CPU-29 68030 Computers at the Systems show in Munich, performing multiprocessing in real-time under P-DOS and it will be introducing Unix for the boards once a port has been prepared.

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