In the largest RISC System/6000 (RS/6000) unveiling since the introduction of the product line, IBM launched five new models that include two mid range and one high-end workstations. It also made a big splash in the crowded pool of low-end Unix workstations with the unveiling of three new models in the $5,000 to $10,000 price range against the current $14,000 low-end Unix workstations.
The new POWER station/ POWERserver models range from a desktop system priced at less than $7,000 to a new highend deskside model for which IBM claims industry-leading performance. The POWERstation/POWERserver 220 desktop system uses IBM’s first single chip RISC processor, running at 33 MHz. The lowest-priced RS/6000 model to date, is aimed at jobs such as technical publishing, application development, electronic design, and stock trading, IBM said. It uses IBM’s new Power entry graphics adapter, which supports monochrome, grayscale, or colour displays and has built in Ethernet and Small Systems Interface adapters.
Prices for the POWERstation/ POWERserver 220 range from $6,345 for an entry-level unit with no hard disk and 16 MB of memory, to $9,995 for a workstation version with a 400 MB hard disk drive. A 220 server version with a 400 MB hard disk drive costs $9,715.
While the POWERstation configurations come with a graphics adapter and display, the POWERserver versions come without these features but with a quarter-inch tape drive. The POWERstation/POWERserver 340 and 350 systems also come as desktop units. The 340 models have a 33 MHz processor, while the 350 machines use a 42 MHz version and are well suited to researchers and designers, small businesses, and departments in larger organizations.
The POWERstation/POWERserver 340 with 16 MB of memory and 160 MB of disk storage costs $18,895 and $18,790 respectively.
The new flagship of the RS/6000 line is the POWERstation/ POWERserver 560, which has a 50 MHz IBM RISC processor. The new deskside model can deliver performance of 89.3 SPECmarks or 30.4 Mflops. The price for the base model with 64 MB of memory and an 800 MB hard disk drive is $64,110 for the workstation or $62,240 for the server configuration.
The POWERstation/POWERserver 520H that is described as an enhanced entry-level deskside system, provides about 25 per cent better performance than the existing 520 model. With a 25 MHz processor, a 16 MB memory and a 400 MB hard drive, the 520H costs $28,110 as a workstation or $26,240 as a server.
IBM has intoduced several new software products that include a new version of its Unix based operating system, AIX 3.2 for the RS/6000 line, the first production-level operating system to fully comply with the Open Software Foundation’s (OSF) Application Environment Specification. The AIX Software Development Environment (SDE) that uses Hewlett-Packard’s Softbench technology is the centerpiece of IBM’s computer-aided software engineering (CASE) offering for the RS/6000. The AIX SDE Integrator/6000 lets customers integrate their Unix CASE tools into the framework that provides compatibility with software development tools for Unix from other vendors.
Anew rcleaseof aPC simulator that lets the RS/6000 run DOS applications; and NetWare for AIX/6000 from IBM Version 3.11, which brings the popular Novell network operating system to IBM’s Unix product line are some of the other recently introduced software products by the company.