Computer Business Review


by CBR Staff Writer| 02 February 1988

In a worldwide announcement of its VAXstation 8000 yesterday, DEC claimed it has produced the fastest vector performance for a graphics workstation in the industry - 500,000 anti-aliased vectors per second with depth queuing and window clipping - and highest image quality - screen resolution equivalent to 8,200 by 6,900 pixels. The UKP63,800 VAXstation 8000, three-dimensional colour graphics workstation, was jointly developed and announced with Salt Lake City, Utah real time three-dimensional graphics specialist Evans & Sutherland Computer Corp. The product, previously codenamed Lynx and the result of a two-year-old technology exchange pact between the two firms, will be marketed by both. Evans & Sutherland will add value with is own range of application software including Chemistry Solution from its Tripos Associates unit. The anti-aliasing graphics technique smoothing out the jagged edges - is implemented in the graphics hardware not in software, and Evans has patents pending. The price, $87,700 in the US, includes VMS, DECnet end-node, workstation software licences and a one-year hardware warranty. The 8000 comprises a dedicated VAX 8250 applications processor, the Evans & Sutherland graphics subsystem, with three MicroVAX IIs handling bus interfaces, keyboard and mouse or tablet, input and output. The 8000 is also the first DEC workstation to support X Window Version 11 under VMS. DEC previously supported X Windows 10.4 under Ultrix. A number of partners in the Co operative Marketing Programme, including SRDC Corp with I-Deas, and CADCentre Ltd with PDMS are moving applications to the 8000. Matra Datavision's three-dimensional Euclid CAE/CAD/CAM system is up already. Local Area VAXclustering, through the one free BI slot, will be out at the end of the year and until then users can link via DECnet. There is one demo model at Basingstoke but ships should start in April. Work has begun on a VAX 8350 compute engine for the VAXstation 8000.

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