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April 26, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

Cambridge-based Torch Computers Ltd, which has been involved with Unix for five years now, is seeking to exploit the current UK Unix boom by launching a new family of Quad X 68020 Unix workstations (CI No 891). A Torch-designed VME card and a 4Mb Motorola 68020 microprocessor lie at the heart of the new series, which took two years and UKP2m to develop, and comprises the RC4482 VME board, a three-slot D4482 work-station, a freestanding five slot FC4482 machine, and a nine-slot RC4482 19 rack system. All three workstations also include 68881 floating-point unit, a 68851 paged memory management unit, and the Torch OpenChip DMA controller with 80Mb disk. Communications and graphics are catered for in the shape of Ethernet, NFS and X25 and X Window standard interfaces: the new series is also compatible with Torch’s existing Triple X Unix family. The company claims that the new range is ideally suited to the OEM, value added reseller and systems-integrator market and Torch is currently negotiating an OEM deal with NBI Inc’s Integrated Solutions Inc, San Jose, California, while in Europe, interest in the VME board is being expressed by the Grenoble-based Tekmis SA, with similar deals believed to be under way with a Hamburg-based customer. The new series has been priced to slot into the mid – UKP15,000 to UKP40,000 – Unix range, under rival Sun, Apollo, NCR and Hewlett-Packard systems, but well above the MS-DOS rat pack: list prices for the DX, FC and RC are UKP6,995, UKP8,500 and UKP10,500 respectively. Torch’s parent company Catsco Pty resides in Melbourne, Australia: Catsco’s acquisition of over 50% of Torch shares last November bolstered the company’s coffers with over UKP1m.

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