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Faster, less expensive workstations.

Digital Equipment, Hewlett-Packard, and Sun Microsystems introduced next-generation workstations and lower cost, entry-level model workstations at Autofact-92. (For an update on the latest software offerings announced at the show, see this month's Machine Controls & Software section).

DEC took a major step in the rollout of its Alpha AXP technology by introducing a set of systems and software designed to run complex applications. The 64-bit Alpha AXP line, which provides 4 billion times the data addressing capability of current 32-bit systems, is complemented by the company's Alpha-Ready program, aimed at helping users of VAX and UNIX-based DEC OSF/1 systems migrate to Alpha AXP systems.

When released, Windows NT, the next-generation, windows-based operating system from Microsoft Corp, will also support Alpha AXP systems. The tens of millions of people who currently use DOS and Windows-based applications will be able to use them on the Alpha AXP systems.

Independent software vendors (ISVs) have announced that they will port more than 1,600 applications to the new platform. By the end of 1992, some 2,500 ISVs will have received Alpha AXP seed units for developing and porting software. To help ISVs make a successful transition to full Alpha implementation, a process that's expected to extend through the 1990s, DEC has created aggressive software development programs targeted at specific industries.

Hewlett-Packard Co unveiled a new HP Apollo Series 700 workstation family based upon the company's superscalar PA-7100 chip. The new line features:

* performance to 150.6 SPECfp92, 80 SPECint92, and 147 SPECmark89;

* high-performance, expandable color workstations priced from $5,695;

* breakthrough 3D graphics with 3D solids workstations priced from $7,795;

* a cluster computing solution delivering 1 billion instructions per second.

HP announced it is making easy, no-penalty CPU board upgrades available from current Model 720, 730, and 750 workstations to Models 735 and 755. No-penalty means that the combined cost of the current model and the upgrade is equivalent to the cost of a new system from the factory, providing both current and future customers with an industry-leading upgrade path.

The company also announced that leading MCAD, CAD/CAM/CAE software vendors such as CADAM Inc, Computervision Corp, Matra Datavision Inc, Parametric Technology Corp, and HP, are making their software available on HP's UNIX system-based workstations. More than 4,000 applications in a wide range of markets are available for the HP Apollo Series 700 family, including the workstations announced at Autofact-92.

Sun Microsystems Computer Corp (SMCC) chose Autofact-92 to introduce the SPARCclassic, a fully loaded workstation that, at $3,995 (quantity 12), provides full-color RISC-based workstations at the price of a standard 486-based system. It is based on the new 50 MHz microSPARC processor designed by SMCC and Texas Instruments, a "workstation on a chip." The workstations can run UNIX as well as DOS and Mac applications and can connect with a wide range of systems, including IBM mainframes, DEC VAXes, and PCs in a Novell network.

These systems deliver more performance than 486-based PCs with 59.1 MIPS, 26.4 SPECint92, and 21.0 SPECfp92. The standard features of the SPARCclassic include 16 MB of memory, expandable to 96 MB; a 207 MB internal hard disk, expandable to 1.0 GB; two SBus slots for add-on boards; and support for up to 21 GB of external disk, audio, and graphics.

PM advance

As powder metallurgy continues to mature into its full potential, Friction Products Co has achieved a breakthrough by applying the technology successfully to large structural parts usually produced by casting and stamping.

With 3,000-ton presses, the company is able to form both single- and multi-level parts. Due to the die compaction techniques capable of 45-tons per square inch, the parts offer almost zero draft, plus good parallelism and flatness.

Depending on the final configuration, the company can produce parts with diameters ranging from 8" to 19" and thicknesses to 3". The parts offer close dimensional tolerance and high physical properties without additional heat treating.

Tensile strength to 80,000 psi can be achieved. Particle hardness exceeds 80 HRB. Maximum yield strength ranges up to 60,000 psi and density can surpass 7.0 gm/cc.
COPYRIGHT 1993 Nelson Publishing
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Tooling & Production
Date:Jan 1, 1993
Words:688
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