IBM announces five new RISC System/6000 models
Enhances AIX Operating System, networking products and AIX Application Software Development Tools
New high-end model offers industry-leading performance
January 21, 1992
SAN FRANCISCO -- In its biggest RISC System/6000(a) announcement since the original product launch, IBM Tuesday expanded the performance and flexibility of its family of advanced workstations and servers with the introduction of five new models and a host of new software offerings.
The new POWERstation/POWERserver models offer customers a wide range of capability, including an under $7,000 desktop system that uses IBM's first single-chip RISC processor and a new high-end deskside model that delivers industry-leading SPECmark(b) and floating-point performance#, surpassing comparable systems from Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard Co. and Digital Equipment Corp. in these popular industry benchmarks.
A number of new and enhanced software products will help RISC System/6000 customers to be more productive in both technical and commercial applications. These products include: a new release of AIX(a) Version 3 for RISC System/6000 (AIX/6000(a)), IBM's standards-based implementation of the UNIX(b) operating system. AIX/6000 3.2 is the industry's first production-level operating system to fully comply with the Open Software Foundation's(b) (OSF(b)) Application Environment Specification.
Also announced were a suite of new computer-aided software engineering (CASE) tools for use in developing application software, and NetWare(b) for AIX/6000 from IBM v3.11, which brings the benefits of the popular Novell, Inc., networking product to IBM's UNIX product line.
AIX/6000 users will benefit from several new or upgraded support products, including a new software tool for building on-line "libraries" of information such as documentation for software programs that can be shared throughout an enterprise; additional graphical user interface tools; enhanced connectivity software; and a new release of a personal computer simulator that enables the RISC System/6000 to run DOS applications.
A Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI) adapter, which will allow users to include the RISC System/6000 in high-speed fiber optic networks, and a Block Multiplexer Channel Adapter, which connects the RISC System/6000 to IBM Enterprise System/9000(a) and ES/3090(a) mainframe systems, were also introduced.
"Today's announcements reinforce our commitment to providing our customers with the best value in high-performance UNIX workstations and servers," said Bill Filip, IBM vice president and president, Advanced Workstations Division. "From low-cost entry systems, to powerful desktop and deskside systems, to high-end servers, the RISC System/6000 family and AIX operating system deliver exceptional performance, graphics and networking capability, memory capacity and storage options to cost effectively meet the needs of a wide variety of technical and commercial users. Our new CASE products will help establish the RISC System/6000 as a major platform for application development in the UNIX environment."
Announcement Highlights New Models
The five new RISC System/6000 POWERstation/POWERserver models announced include three new desktop systems -- the 220, 340 and 350 -- and two new deskside systems, the 520H and 560. All are based on IBM's innovative Performance Optimization with Enhanced RISC (POWER) Architecture and use IBM's high-performing Micro Channel(a) bus and AIX/6000, IBM's advanced version of the UNIX operating system.
These new systems, which range in price from under $7,000 to around $64,000 for full entry configurations, support the wide variety of existing input/output devices, graphics, and communications features that enable the RISC System/6000 to easily interoperate in open, heterogeneous computing environments. All models in the line are binary compatible, meaning that the large portfolio of leading AIX/6000 applications -- over 5,000 -- will run across the entire product family. o POWERstation/POWERserver 220: This 33 megahertz (MHz) desktop system is the first model to use a new single-chip implementation of the POWER Architecture and is the lowest priced RISC System/6000 announced to date. Available in several configurations, the 220 provides a flexible, cost-effective solution for a variety of tasks -- such as technical publishing, application development, electronic design and stock trader workstations -- where cost per user is a key buying criteria. It can be used as a network-attached diskless or dataless system or as a standalone workstation or server. Dataless systems refer to workstations where the user's data and applications are stored on a server and downloaded to the workstation's disk to be accessed.
The 220 features integrated Ethernet and Small Computer Systems Interface (SCSI) capabilities and uses the new POWER Gt1 entry graphics adapter, which offers monochrome, grayscale or color support. Performance measurements include a SPECmark rating of 25.9 and 6.5 million floating-point operations per second (MFLOPS). With 16 megabytes of memory standard, a monochrome diskless system is priced## at $6,345; a grayscale system with 160 megabytes (MB) of disk storage at $7,185; a color system with 160 MB of disk at $8,475; a color system with 400 MB of disk at $9,995; and an entry commercial server configuration with 400 MB disk at $9,715. Initial customer shipments are planned to begin in March, with worldwide manufacturing ramp-up in the second quarter. o POWERstation/POWERserver 340 and 350: These systems establish new levels of performance for desktop RISC System/6000s, providing a 26 to 59 percent floating-point performance boost over the existing POWERstation/POWERserver 320H. The 340 is a 33 MHz system that delivers SPECmark performance of 56.6 and 14.8 MFLOPS. The 350, at 42 MHz, delivers a SPECmark rating of 71.4 and 18.6 MFLOPS. Both systems feature integrated Ethernet and SCSI capabilities and are ideal for researchers and designers as well as owners of small businesses and department heads within large companies who are looking for high-performance standalone or networked solutions. Dataless versions are also offered.
With base memory of 16 MB, 340 prices start at $18,895 for a workstation with 160 MB of disk and $18,790 for a server with 400 MB of disk. With base memory of 32 MB, 350 prices start at $26,895 for a workstation with 160 MB of disk and $26,790 for a server with 400 MB of disk. Availability for both is planned for February, or April for the dataless systems. o POWERstation/POWERserver 520H: The 520H is an enhanced entry deskside system that provides a 25 percent floating-point performance improvement over the existing 520 system. It features a 25 MHz processor, with SPECmark performance of 43.5 and 11.5 MFLOPS. With base memory of 16 MB and standard disk of 400 MB, prices start at $28,110 for a workstation and $26,240 for a server. Availability is planned for February. o POWERstation/POWERserver 560: With a new 50 MHz IBM RISC processor, the deskside 560 is the most powerful RISC System/6000 ever. It achieves industry-leading performance with a SPECmark rating of 89.3 and 30.5 MFLOPS, and delivers the kind of "number-crunching" power needed by scientists and researchers as well as the speed required for commercial customers with large multi-user applications. With base memory of 64 MB and standard disk of 800 MB, prices start at $64,110 for a workstation and $62,240 for a server. Availability is planned for March. New Software Offerings o AIX Version 3.2 for RISC System/6000: This latest release of IBM's standards-conforming implementation of the UNIX operating system features usability and performance improvements and enhanced systems management facilities. It provides support for the new models, with selected enhancements required for: the POWERstation/POWERserver 220; dataless versions of the POWERstation 340 and 350; and the new FDDI and Block Multiplexer Channel adapters. It also supports the POWER Gt3 graphics adapter and the 9333 High-Performance Disk Drive Subsystem announced in July 1991. Prices range from $650 - $40,900 depending on system and number of users. Availability is planned for February, with the selected enhancements planned for shipment in March and April. o IBM AIX CASE offerings: New IBM AIX CASE products exploit the power of the RISC System/6000 and allow customers to increase the quality and productivity of their software development efforts. The AIX Software Development Environment (SDE) WorkBench/6000 framework product is the centerpiece of the IBM solution and uses Hewlett-Packard's SoftBench technology. AIX SDE Integrator/6000 allows customers to integrate their UNIX CASE tools into the framework, which provides visual and control integration support to assist tools in communicating with each other. More than 20 leading independent software providers today announced that they intend to integrate their products with IBM's new AIX CASE framework.
The new AIX Configuration Management Version Control (CMVC) Server/6000 and AIX CMVC Client/6000 provide integrated software configuration management, version control and integrated problem tracking to help users to better manage the development process and reduce complexity. AIX MVS Library Connector/6000 and Library Connector for AIX/MVS help promote AIX CASE interoperability with AD/Cycle(a), IBM's application development solution for Systems Application Architecture(a) (SAA(a)) platforms, by providing a link between the new framework and AD/Cycle mainframe-based software services. A new compiler, AIX XL C++ Compiler/6000, was also introduced. Planned availability dates are May and August, with prices varying depending on the tool and system selected.
o NetWare for AIX/6000 from IBM v3.11: This new networking tool is ideal for large work groups, departments and corporations that desire to integrate the RISC System/6000 as a NetWare server for networks of DOS, OS/2(a) and Windows(b) personal computers and workstations. Based on the latest version of Novell's NetWare for UNIX product, it allows files, application software, printers and other peripherals to be shared in the network in a manner transparent to the user. Availability is planned for February, with prices ranging from $5,495 to $24,995 depending on number of users. o AIX InfoCrafter/6000(a): This set of online productivity tools enables users to create and manage large libraries of information on the RISC System/6000 that can be easily accessed by InfoExplorer(a), IBM's online information retrieval software for the RISC System/6000. InfoCrafter/6000 processes data files from popular authoring environments from Frame(b) Technology Corporation and Interleaf(b), Inc. as well as standard ASCII files. This capability will allow information developers and information users to share text and artwork data throughout an enterprise. InfoCrafter/6000 could be used, for example, to develop software documentation and online help facilities. Availability is planned for February, with Frame support availability planned for June. The price is $15,000. o AIXwindows Environment/6000(a) Version 1.2: This latest release of IBM's state-of-the-art graphical user interface for AIX/6000 3.2 adds support for X Window System(b) Version 11 Release 4, the OSF/Motif(b) 1.1 interface, and X.desktop(b) 3.0. A base offering for 2-D users and an optional 3-D feature are offered. This environment supports the Display PostScript(b), IBM Graphics Library (GL), graPHIGS(a) and PHIGS Extension to X-Windows (PEX) application programming interfaces. A related new product, AIXwindows Interface Composer/6000, was also announced to assist developers in easily creating new applications for the AIXwindows environment. Availability of both products is planned for February, with a 1-2 user license for the AIXwindows Environment/6000 priced at $250 to $1,700 depending on the system. AIXwindows Interface Composer/6000 is priced at $5,000. SystemXtra(a) Service Offering The IBM products announced today are eligible for SystemXtra for RISC System/6000, an optional support service designed specifically for the AIX/6000 environment. This total support solution provides a single point of contact for assistance and problem resolution, including unlimited access to IBM's support structure through a toll-free number that connects the user to a designated technical focal point familiar with that user's installation. Under SystemXtra, customers can also choose to have IBM arrange for installation of program updates and other maintenance activities. # Performance measurements are based on IBM testing of development-level systems. These values should be indicative of generally-available systems, but no warranties or guarantees are stated or implied by IBM. IBM recommends application-oriented testing for performance predications and offers results for the commonly reported floating-point and SPECmark benchmarks as an initial indicator. Comparisons with competitive systems are based on published information from companies listed. SPECmark results represent the geometric mean of the 10 SPECmark tests and were completed using the AIX XL FORTRAN Compiler/6000 Version 2.2 and AIX XL C Compiler/6000 Version 1.2. Floating-point performance results were completed using the LINPACK Double Precision benchmark, where n=100, and AIX XL FORTRAN Compiler/6000 Version 2.2, with optimization. ## Prices listed contain the following features: workstation configurations include system unit, standard memory, amount of disk storage noted if applicable, 19-inch monochrome display or 16-inch color display, AIX/6000 3.2 operating system, Ethernet, keyboard, mouse, diskette drive (not in 220), AIXwindows Environment/6000 Version 1.2 graphical user interface (GUI) (except for monochrome 220) and one-year warranty (90 days for the 220). Server configurations Exclude the display and GUI, and add a 1/4 inch tape drive unit (and diskette drive for the 220). (a) Indicates trademark or registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation. (b) Indicates company name or wording noted below is a trademark or registered trademark of the respective organization: Display PostScript - Adobe Systems, Inc.; Motif, OSF - Open Software Foundation; NetWare - Novell, Inc.; SPECmark - Standard Performance Evaluation Corp.; UNIX - UNIX System Laboratories, Inc.; Windows - Microsoft Corp; X.desktop - IXI Limited; X Window System - Massachusetts Institute of Technology. NOTE TO EDITORS: ADDITIONAL PRESS RELEASES AND COLOR SLIDES ARE AVAILABLE TO PROVIDE MORE IN-DEPTH INFORMATION ON THE NEW HARDWARE, NEW SOFTWARE AND NEW AIX CASE SOLUTIONS. TO OBTAIN COPIES VIA FACSIMILE OR MAIL, CONTACT KELLY FITZGERALD, TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS, INC., AT (212) 505-9900.
CONTACT: IBM, White Plains In San Francisco: Judy Radlinsky, 415/896-1600 Ext. 6959 (Jan. 21 - 23) 914/642-4634 (After Jan. 23) 10:01 ET
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