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Unisys Corp has moved to keep pace with the new E models of IBM’s 3090 mainframe line by adding a new top end A17 to the 48 bit A-series mainframe line. The A17 replaces the A15 and is claimed to offer 31% better performance. There is also a new A12E, which is a smaller version of the A12 to provide a new entry point to the top-end machines, which are effectively successors to the old B5900-6900-7900 Burroughs mach-ines. Both are built in air-cooled ECL with 65nS cycle and provide a 13:1 performance range; the entire A series provides a 144:1 performance range. They are native XA machines running only the enhanced MCP/AS version of the Master Control Program operating system. The A17 comes in five models with one to four procesors, and are rated at 20 to 72 MIPS to match IBM’s 3090/120E to the 600E, and the A12E is aimed at the 3090/120E. Much of the enhanced performance of the A17 is achieved by use of a new input-output subsystem that off-loads the central processor. The A17F is a uniprocessor costing $3.13m in the US, the 17H and 17J are dual proc essors, the three-CPU model is the 17L and the four the 17N, costing about $9m. Main memory goes from 48Mb to 288Mb in 24Mb steps at $192,000 a time. US ships start in the first quarter. The A12E is 40% cheaper than the A12, starting at $795,000 for a 5.6 MIPS system and comes with from 24Mb to 72Mb mem ory. A12s and the A15s can both be field upgraded to the various A17 models. In the UK, the A12E is out now, the A17 in May, L and N June.

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