Digital announces new DECstation 3D workstation, DECsystem servers and major ULTRIX release

Business Wire

April 3, 1990

PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Digital Equipment Corp. Tuesday announced over 20 new computers, peripherals, and software products that significantly extend the distributed computing capabilities of its RISC-based open systems offerings.

The announcement included:

The industry's highest performing 3D desktop workstation

High-end, RISC-based multiprocessor servers and a new desktop server

A significant new version of ULTRIX software, Digital's implementation of the UNIX operating system, that includes:

- distributed computing capabilities with SMP and RPC

- further implementation of Network Application Support (NAS) services including SQL support, improved PC integration and enhanced mail

- commercial features and applications

- compilers for software development.

A DAT-technology backup tape drive

New disk storage at industry leading prices

Reduced prices on its entire family of RISC-based workstations, servers, and ULTRIX software.

``Today's announcement is yet another significant step in providing users with the industry-leading open systems computing environment that supports distributed computing and multivendor integration,'' said Domenic J. LaCava, Digital's Vice President of Low End Systems.

``With the addition of major extensions to Network Application Support for ULTRIX systems,'' LaCava added, ``Digital continues to lead the industry in delivering a common applications environment across UNIX and non-UNIX systems. This strategy is so important to third-party developers that more than 700 ULTRIX-based applications for Digital's DECstation and DECsystem platforms are available and shipping today.''

New Systems and Servers Expand RISC Family Line

The new workstations and systems extend Digital's products in the critical dimensions of graphics, storage, expansion and flexibility. Introduced today were: o The DECstation 5000 Model 200 desktop workstation, Digital's most powerful RISC-based workstation, the best balanced, high-performance desktop system in the industry. It is designed for compute-intensive 3D and 2D graphics applications such as electronic and mechanical design, molecular modeling, 3D modeling and animation. Because the new workstation incorporates a new family of high performance graphics options, a new open TURBOchannel I/O interconnect, and advanced chip technology, it provides price/performance leadership in the critical workstation performance dimensions of 3D polygons, 3D vectors, 2D vectors, integer MIPS, system memory, storage, and expandability, as well as competitive floating-point operations. It is available in four modular graphics configurations, with entry-level systems available immediately. Pricing is from $14,995.

The DECsystem 5000 Model 200 tabletop server makes the power of the new workstation family architecture available for use in networks. The DECsystem 5000 Model 200 server is expandable from 8 to 120 Mbytes of system memory and up to 28 Gbytes of storage.

It also features the new open TURBOchannel I/O interconnect for maximum system performance and configuration flexibility. Pricing is from $14,995; it is available immediately.

Digital's three-processor DECsystem 5830 and four-processor DECsystem 5840 systems join the existing DECsystem 5810 and 5820 computers as the most expandable, large-system members of Digital's DECsystem family. ULTRIX V4 with SMP makes efficient use of each processor to deliver new levuls of performance to commercial and technical users. Typical applications for timesharing and server environments include academic computing, CASE, molecular modeling, econometric modeling, high-energy physics and computational chemistry. The DECsystem 5800 series offers the best overall expansion capacity in the industry, with support for up to 256 Mbytes of memory, up to 50 Mbytes/s I/O, and up to 115 Gbytes of storage. Upgrades within the series -- for example, from a DECsystem 5820 to a DECsystem 5830 computer -- can be done quickly and easily in the field.

With the reduced pricing announced today, entry prices for the DECsystem 5810 computer start at $75,000; entry prices for the new DECsystem 5830 and DECsystem 5840 bggin at $140,000 and $160,000, respectively. The new systems will be available in June.

A new tape drive and two new disk drives. The TLZ04 tape drive is based on four-millimeter digital audio tape (DAT) technology and provides a capacity of 1.2 Gbytes. The 5.25-inch drive offers unattended backup and archiving capability. It comes with a standard SCSI interface and features three layers of error correction to ensure high data reliability. It is priced at $5,500 and will be available in May to users of the new DECstation 5000 Model 200 workstations and servers. It will be offered as a companion to a wide range of Digital workstations and systems in the future. The RZ57, a 1 Gbyte, 5.25-inch form factor disk drive, also features the industry standard SCSI interface. In addition, the RZ24 disk drive in 3.5-inch form factor offers 209 Mbytes. The new disk drives are priced at $10,000 and $3,000 respectively. Both are available immediately.

Digital also announced it intends to introduce this summer two new DECsystem models based on the same high-performance RISC technology found in its current DECsystem family. One will offer approximately 30 percent more performance than the present DECsystem 3100 model in a compact tabletop configuration; the other nearly twice the performance of the DECsystem 5400 deskside systems. Pricing will be well under $15,000 for a fully configured tabletop system, and about $50,000 for a deskside system. Owners of DECsystem 5400 models will be able to upgrade to the follow-on deskside system for a low introductory price.

ULTRIX Enhanced With Leadership Distributed Computing

``Today's major enhancement of ULTRIX implements important distributed computing capabilities that will expand Digital's role in the fast-growing open systems market,'' said William D. Strecker, Digital's Vice President of Distributed Software Systems.

``By continuing to adhere to accepted industry standards, ULTRIX provides customers with a high level of application portability and system integration,'' Strecker added. The new ULTRIX Version 4 conforms to the POSIX 1003.1 standard, FIPS 151-1, the X/Open Portability Guide Issue 3 base level, and will be X/Open branded in the future.

The new Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP) capability of ULTRIX V4 dramatically increases the performance of the DECsystem 5800 series when two or more processors share a single resident copy of the operating system. A four-processor system can run 380 percent faster than a system with a single processor.

The new Remote Procedure Call (RPC) capability, a key technology for NAS, enables portions of applications to run concurrently on several computers in a multivendor network. RPC implementation results in increased performance because the application can access the most appropriate computer in the network for its task, as well as one that has free time available.

The new ULTRIX RPC capability is the first step in the joint development effort with Hewlett-Packard/Apollo which will extend the RPC portion of Network Computing System (NCS) to support wide-area networks, large data processing applications, international languages, and additional protocols such as X.25 and OSI.

Three additional distributed computing services in ULTRIX V4 are: Network Time Protocol, providing network-wide synchronization of clocks; Hesiod name service, providing centralized password database administration; and Kerberos authentication service, providing increased security. Hesiod and Kerberos were developed by MIT's Project Athena, which also developed the X Window System. Multivendor Network Integration Through NAS

In addition to RPC, Digital announced further extensions to NAS for the ULTRIX environment. ULTRIX/SQL (Structured Query Language) enables applications to access and use information from a wide variety of different vendors' databases across a network. Unlike other vendors, Digital includes the SQL database system at no extra cost in ULTRIX.

Other NAS extensions introduced today include support for IBM 3270 terminals, RPC support for VAX/VMS systems connected to UNIX systems via TCP/IP, and new RISC-based mail services. The company also stated its intent to provide integration and support services for industry standard personal computers and the Apple Macintosh.

Digital also announced a new version of DECnet-ULTRIX software that enables communication among Digital systems that use DECnet protocols and all systems that use the Internet (TCP/IP) protocols. It is now easier to install, supports SMP, and includes new features for managing X.25 networks.

RISC Language Offering Includes Four New Compilers

Today's announcement of new compilers will significantly increase the number of applications developed or ported to the ULTRIX/RISC platform. They are Pascal for RISC, an entirely new product, and FORTRAN for RISC V2, which includes extended compatibility with VAX FORTRAN. Digital also announced distribution agreements with Micro Focus for its COBOL/2 mainframe-level compiler, and with Verdix Corporation for its Verdix Ada Development System (VADS).

New ULTRIX Features Support Commercial Applications

ULTRIX V4 includes a 300 percent increase in the maximum number of disks supported -- from 32 to 96 disks per system -- providing up to 114 gigabytes of storage. Physical memory support is 400 percent higher -- from 128 to 512 megabytes. ULTRIX V4 also includes an optional security environment that is being evaluated for C2 certification by the National Computer Security Center.

Digital also announced it will sell and support worldwide Uniplex Business Software, a suite of business productivity tools that works with NAS to provide a complete office computing environment where users can easily work together across large multivendor networks. Additionally, the company announced a formal agreement with Applix, Inc. for availability of Applix Alis software on Digital's VAXstations and RISC-based workstations running ULTRIX. Applix Alis is a fully integrated system that links multi-font, presentation-quality word processing, spreadsheets, data management, drawing, business graphics, electronic mail and calendar functions.

Reduced Prices for ULTRIX Software and RISC-based Systems

Digital is repricing all previously announced RISC-based systems -- both DECsystem computers and DECstation workstations -- with reductions from 25 to 40 percent on entry-level configurations. Prices for the DECstation 2100 workstation begin at $5,950. The new prices match the aggressive price/performance levels offered in new family members. The company is also offering new memory and storage configurations for some members of the family.

ULTRIX upgrade licenses for RISC systems are also aggressively priced. For example, a DECsystem 5810 upgrade license for 33 to 64 users has been reduced from $392 to $78 per user. ULTRIX V4 and ULTRIX Worksystem Software will be available in summer, 1990. Note to Editors: FURTHER INFORMATION ON ALL PRODUCTS IS INCLUDED IN THE FACT SHEETS AND BACKGROUND MATERIAL. ALL PRICES ARE IN U.S. DOLLARS; ALL SYSTEM AND SERVER PRICES INCLUDE STANDARD RETURN TO DIGITAL U.S. WARRANTY.

EDITORIAL CONTACTS: DECstation 5000, DECsystem 5000 Dave Bouffard (415) 688-1700 DECsystem 5830, 5840 Linda Pugliano (508) 264-5938 Tape Drive, Disk Drives Irv Lyles (508) 493-1850 ULTRIX and Related Software Products David Price (603) 881-0496 DECnet-ULTRIX and RPC Joyce Radnor (508) 486-5096 PC Integration Linda Simon (508) 493-1168 Network Application Support and Office Applications Craig Mitchell (603) 884-0753 DECsystem, DECstation, TURBOchannel, VAXstation, ULTRIX, UWS, VMS, DECwindows, VAX, Printserver, PCSA, DECrpc, CDA, MAILbus, ALL-IN-1, and DECnet are trademarks of Digital Equipment Corp. UNIX is a registered trademark of American Telephone & Telegraph Co. X Window System is a trademark of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. NCS is a trademark of Hewlett-Packard Company. X/Open is a trademark of X/Open Company, Ltd. Macintosh is a registered trademark of Apple Computer, Inc. COBOL/2 is a trademark of Micro Focus, Inc. VADS is a trademark of Verdix Corp. Alis is a trademark of Applix, Inc. Uniplex is a trademark of Uniplex, Inc. IBM is a trademark of International Business Machines Corp.

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