Tolerant Systems Inc of San Jose, California, is preparing for a renewed push to provide more cost effective top-end systems aimed at key government and telecommunications markets, following a claimed doubling in performance of its Eternity Series of fault tolerant Unix boxes. The new systems use an upgraded P300 System Building Block based on National Semiconductor’s NS32332 microprocessor instead of the older 32032 processor used in the current P200 Series, resulting in twice the throughput, according to Tolerant. Also upgraded is the P440 System Interconnect Bus, which links multiple Building Blocks together into a loosely coupled, transparently distributed system, and now provides twice the bandwidth of the existing P400 bus. Tolerant has faced increasing competition in recent months, both from established fault-tolerant vendors Tandem and Stratus, and from fellow start up Sequoia Systems which uses multiple 68020 processors. The new systems should improve Tolerant’s price-performance, with the P300 Building Block at some $10,000, around a fifth more than a similar ly-configured P200 but twice as powerful – particularly significant in top-end multiple Building Block configurations costing $300,000 or more. The gain in bandwidth on the bus is also particularly important in these cases. The new bus can operate at 5M-bytes per second and 4,000 messages per second, and also provides four data paths, which means that under failure conditions three paths remain open rather than one in current systems. Available immediately, the new hardware can be installed as an upgrade to exis ting systems at around $20,000. Tolerant says it will continue to market the older systems, but will also look to upgrade systems furth er as new NatSemi chips, such as the NS32532, now sampling, arrive.
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