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February 20, 1989


By CBR Staff Writer

MIPS Computer Systems Inc is at the forefront of what looks like a new industry trend in the Unix systems market – workstations optimised for the X Window System; the company is also cashing in on its major OEM agreement with DEC signed last month by introducing its own system-level products aimed at the technical workstation market, which can be marketed as clones of the DECstation MIPS RISC-based Unix line. Described as the first member of a low-end RS 10 family, the RS1210 is a low-cost X display station, optimised to run the X-Window server, processing only the graphics portion of an application. It supports up to 4.5Mb main memory, Ethernet and TCP/IP: the 1Mb version sells for $3,200, and will be available within a month. MIPS says it will bundle its own RISCwindows implementation of X and the Open Software Foundations OSF/Motif user interface along with its Unix operating system by mid-year. And at the high end of the workstation market, the Sunnyvale, California company, which already sells commercial multi-user systems using its R2000 and R3000 RISC processors, will today extend its system-level offerings with the introduction of an entry-level server, and a new line of graphics workstations which will compete with the DECstations. The new RS2030 systems, using the 12 MIPS, 1.8Mflops R2000 chip set, are available either in workstation or server configurations. As a workstation, the system supports 16Mb memory, one 172Mb disk and floppy or two 172Mb disks, 1280 by 1024 graphics, and a choice of 16 or 19 colour, 17 mono screens. An 8Mb, single hard disk system including mono monitor comes in at $17,000, but a diskless version, out in the third quarter, will cost $13,600. As a server, the system can support an optional 120Mb cartridge tape unit and 3.3Gb additional storage: with 8Mb memory, 172Mb disk and 120Mb tape it will cost $17,500. Both versions will be available in three months. The RS2030 workstation marks the top-end of a new family of RS 30 workstations, according to MIPS. The systems will also be made available as development packages for OEM customers to take as building blocks of base units, graphics cards, and software. Product manager Michael Cohen says that MIPS already has over 500 orders.

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