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Technology / AI and automation


Tandem Computers this week plunged its maintream line of fault-tolerant machines running the Guardian operating system down market with introduction of its first machine to be based on a single-chip CPU, the NonStop CLX – and also brought in the first fruits of its agreement signed last year with Altos on Unix systems. A laser printer completed the line-up. The NonStop CLX systems are also the first from Tandem to be offered – in due course – in single-processor configurations for remote outposts on a Retain network, a move foreshadowed here last year (CI No 561); Tandem describes the CLX as user-serviceable; it comes with one to six CPUs as the 610 to 660; it needs no special air-conditioning. The CLX processor was designed using Silicon Compiler Systems Corp’s Genesil tools and consists of four VLSI CMOS chips – central processor, interprocessor bus chip, input-output controller, memory controller, each integrating over 100,000 transistors – in 15 months. The CLX is claimed to deliver 2.5 to 15 NonStop SQL transactions per second and handles up to 612 remote terminals. The CPU, about the size of a four-drawer filing cabinet, starts at $57,000, and will be available in the fourth quarter. In quantities of 25 to 39 systems, the base price of a single processor falls to $39,900. The 32-bit LXN super micro, based on the 68020-based Altos 3068, is enhanced with a five-minute graceful shut-down uninterruptible power supply, auto restart and mirror disks, is the Cupertino firm’s first Unix-based system; it supports up to 32 workstations and comes with one to three processors; it supports SNA with X25 to follow. It is available now at from $23,700. In quantities of 25 and 39 systems, system pricing starts at $18,012. The new Laser-LX laser printer, similar to Hewlett-Packard’s Laserjet, does both text and graphics and prints up to eight pages per minute. Out in the third quarter, it is $2,595.

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