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Technology / AI and automation


Tektronix Inc has added its first line of RISC-based X-terminals using the MIPS Computer Systems Inc R3000, despite its old allegiance to the Motorola 88000 chip from its workstation days. The XP330 line, aimed at design automation, mapping and process control users, uses the 20MHz R3000 for managing network input-output, with an additonal 40MHz Texas Instruments 34020 chip to handle the graphics. There are four models: the XP334 (19 1,280 by 1,024 greyscale) 336 (17 1,152 by 900 colour) 337 (19 1,152 by 900 colour) and 338 (19 1,280 by 1,024 colour). Tektronix offers from 5Mb to 52Mb memory using standard SIMMS, ruggedised, rack or dust- and water-protected models, different language keyboard options and graphics tablet, touch screen and trackball options. Software includes support for Motif and Open Look graphical user interfaces, with Motif hosted locally within the terminal for better performance. Native DEC and Sun fonts enable screens to appear exactly the same as DEC or Sun workstations on the same network. Pricing was claimed to be between 10% and 25% lower than competitive offerings, translating (in UK pricing) to UKP2,750 for the 334, UKP3,550 for the 336, UKP3,750 for the 337 and UKP4,450 for the 338, including three-year warranty. Shipments begin in April. The move means that the existing top-end line, the Motorola 68030-based XP20s, will not be upgraded to 68040 systems. Tektronix said that the Motorola 88000 chip was not widely used, and did not have a comparable future in terms of performance or cost. Market research figures place Tektronix fourth in the X-terminal league, after Network Computing Devices, Hewlett-Packard and DEC, and it claims to have the largest range of X-terminals available, starting with the low-end XP10 line aimed at commercial users. It has ambitions to be the largest independent X-terminal player by 1994.

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