IBM Corp is claiming that significant performance increases across the RS/6000 family are due to a new compiler, AIX XL Fortran Compiler/6000 Version 2 Release 2, which includes a new release of AIX XL Fortran Run Time Environment/6000. The company claims that in development tests with the new Fortran compiler, the low-end Powerstation 320H achieved […]
IBM Corp is claiming that significant performance increases across the RS/6000 family are due to a new compiler, AIX XL Fortran Compiler/6000 Version 2 Release 2, which includes a new release of AIX XL Fortran Run Time Environment/6000. The company claims that in development tests with the new Fortran compiler, the low-end Powerstation 320H achieved 27% improvement in combined SPECmark and a 48% increase for SPECfp, SPEC floating point, while the high-end Powerstation 550 saw a 28% improvement in combined SPECmark and a 52% gain in SPECfp. Large price reductions apply to the RS/6000 520, 530 and 550 deskside systems; the Powerstation 730 Supergraphics workstation; and the Powerserver 930 and 950 rack-mounted systems. Prices on the 8-bit and 24-bit colour graphics adaptors have also been reduced, and the 8-bit adaptor is now $2,320, or with optional Z-buffer solid rendering feature, $4,000, while the 24-bit adaptor is $4,520, or $6,195 with the Z-buffer option. Memory capacity enhancements double the amount of memory that comes standard for four models – the 520, now with 16Mb, the 530 and 930 have 32Mb and the 950 has 64Mb. Disk storage is doubled on the Powerserver 950, with 1.7Gb now standard, and disk storage for the 320H desktop system is increased to 400Mb from 160Mb. The price, memory and disk storage enhancements are effective immediately, applying to systems currently on order as well. The new release of the AIX XL Fortran Compiler/6000 products will be available in September and customers using the current release will automatically receive the new version at no charge. The 320H costs $11,750, the 520 is $21,500, a 530 is $31,500 and a 550 is $52,500. Previously, the systems cost $11,750, $22,330, $38,410 and $130,000 respectively. The 730 is now $48,275, a 930 is $59,500 and a 950 costs $94,500, formerly $62,625, $61,910, $146,640 and $146,640. In the UK, the price changes start with the 320H at UKP8,163, down from UKP9,399. The 520 stays at UKP16,327, and the 530 is reduced to UKP26,001 from UKP27,211. The 540, 550 and and 730 are now UKP38,094, UKP42,327 and UKP37,490, down from UKP65,106, UKP91,795 and UKP40,035 respectively. The 930 and 950 are UKP42,327 and UKP69,537, reduced from UKP4A537 and UKP108,626 in that order. The 320H, 930 and 950 have additional memory capacity, – 400Mb, 670Mb, and 1.7Gb – but the rest are unchanged.
Alongside the price performance improvements, IBM has announced quality assurance software for the RS/6000 family. The software is called Valisys and it enables engineers to validate their Catia computer-aided design drawings. It is also available for VM and MVS mainframe operating systems and can be linked to plant floor modules on the PS/2. IBM says that it enables design, manufacturing and quality engineers to ensure geometric dimensions and tolerances for correct assembly of mating parts; to create inspection paths and processes; and graphically analyse data and compare it with the original design. At the plant floor level, Valisys executes inspection processes and collects data, and continuously monitors the manufacturing process and performs statistical process control.