Despite the veil of its arranged marriage to AT&T Co now looming, it was business as usual for NCR Corp yesterday as the Daytoner introduced its System 3600 parallel processing computer – level six in the seven-level System 3000 series introduced at the end of last year. The 3600 comes out of a joint development […]
Despite the veil of its arranged marriage to AT&T Co now looming, it was business as usual for NCR Corp yesterday as the Daytoner introduced its System 3600 parallel processing computer – level six in the seven-level System 3000 series introduced at the end of last year. The 3600 comes out of a joint development agreement with Teradata Corp, Los Angeles, and is being touted by the firm as the most powerful general purpose, open systems computer currently available. Initially delivering 2,000 MIPS 10,000 MIPS by the middle of next year – the 3600 comes with up to 288 Intel Corp 80486 processors, acting as Application Processors or Access Module Processors. Up to 36 tightly-coupled Application Processors, each consisting of from two to eight 50MHz 80486s, and up to 512Mb of shared memory, can be configured in a 3600. Teradata’s contribution, the Access Module Processor back-end database engine and software, uses 33MHz 80486 parts and handles the interfacing between the Application Processors and disk subsystems, which currently support 300Gb data, a figure set rise to 1,000Gb by the middle of next year. Each Application Processor has six Micro Channel Architecture slots – the Access Module Processors can be configured with up to 360 SCSI ports. The 3600 runs the multi-processing version of Unix System V.4 developed by NCR, Intel Corp and others that Unix System Laboratories Inc is expected to release next month as System V.4/MP, as defined by Unix International’s RoadMap for Unix. In addition to Teradata’s parallel database software, the 3600, which, it is claimed, will be capable of performing 1,200 transactions per second by the middle of next year, supports the Sybase and Ingres relational databases, as well as NCR’s Top End transaction processing monitor. Unveiled back in March, Top End is currently installed at pilot sites in the US, but as yet no-one is using it in the UK. An entry-level 3600, with two Application Processors, eight Access Module Processors and 20Gb hard disk comes in at UKP900,000 – a mid-range configuration with eight front-ends, 32 back-ends and 160Gb disk is at UKP4m. Ships begin in October with volume deliveries expected by the end of the year. The 4.8m transistor, 50MHz 80486 part that NCR has already begun receiving from Intel is claimed to deliver 40 MIPS. NCR, which has also been working with Intel’s 80860 part, looks close to announcing its RISC intentions, although it says no commercial decision has yet been made. Next System 3000 releases will be the 3125 notepad and top-end 3700, which will initially come with 100Gb memory, 1,000Gb disk, deliver 100,000 MIPS and perform 60,000 transactions per-second. NCR officials present at the launch would not comment about the future shape of the company in the light of the AT&T takeover, but said that the transition teams (CI No 1,671), would also look at conflicts between the companies respective hardware and software.