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January 18, 1987


By CBR Staff Writer

Wang Laboratories Inc last week completely recast the top end of its VS family of small mainframes, and picked a numbering scheme for the new models that instantly invited association with IBM’s new 9370 machines (CI No 599). The new line consists of two families, 7100 and 7300, both based on the VS300 processor, but consisting of three distinct CPUs, upgrades being effected by swapping processor boards. The base machine is the 7110, which has a 240nS microcycle and supports up to 16 disk drives; it can be field-upgraded to a 7120 with 180nS clock and support for 24 drives. Exchange of one processor board turns it into a VS7150 with 120nS clock, and most of the boards and internals can be transferred to a 7300 cabinet with additional input-output and slots for a second processor to turn it into the forthcoming 7320 dual processor model. The 7100 line offers up to twice the performance of the VS 85 and 100, the 7300 is functionally equivalent to the VS300. All models are built around a 67.7 Mbyte-per-second system bus and all have 32Kb cache. The 7100s can take up to 10 intelligent input-output controllers, the 7300 up to 15. All models take up to 16Mb main memory, the 7310 supports 16 disk drives, the 7120 and 50 take 24, the 7310 up to 40. The 7100s support up to 128 workstations and up to 192 peripheral devices, the 7310 up to 192 concurrent workstations and up to 255 peripherals. The machines are designed for easy accomodation of new memory boards when higher capacity disks become available. The 7110 with 4Mb of memory is $90,000, with 16Mb $162,000; the 7120 is $120,000 with 4Mb, $190,000 with 16Mb; the 7350 is $160,000 with 4Mb, $232,000 with 16Mb; the 7310 is $232,000 with 8Mb, $280,000 with 16Mb. Wang is promising existing VS300 users that they will not be disadvantaged in terms of either price or performance vis-vis the new VS7310. All the new models are out immediately in the US. An MP version of VS for up to four tightly-coupled processors is promised for later this year.

Five target sectors

On the software front, Wang came out with release 2.0 of its PACE Professional Applications Creation Environment, which combines relational database, decision support and applications generators. The data dictionary has been enhanced so that more detailed and precise data definitions can be made, and the applications builder and the database are enhanced for better integration with other Wang products such as Wang Office and the 20/20 spreadsheet. In particular, word processed text can now be stored and manipulated with other data in the database, and combined with data in applications. The new release costs $13,000 to $39,000 according to the size of VS on which it is to run. It will be available in September. Wang also took the opportunity of the announcement to declare its commitment to becoming the number one company in the industry for customer support and satisfaction, and one of the top three companies overall in the 1990s (alongside DEC and IBM, presumably). The company is particularly targeting five market segmemts with the VS – departmental systems; technical workstations – a new departure for the VS, although it is a field where the old 2200 was a player; electronic publishing; advanced image management; and integrated voice-data systems, a market arena where it has made two aquisitions.

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