HP unveils first workstations in merged HP/Apollo line

Business Wire

June 18, 1990

PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Hewlett-Packard Company Monday introduced a family of workstations that can perform up to 26 million instructions per second (MIPS), delivers outstanding price/performance and leading graphics technology.

The new family also includes a 12-MIPS system available for less than $5,000. These introductions represent the first hardware platforms and graphics products developed jointly by HP and Apollo, which HP purchased in May 1989.

The new HP Apollo 9000 Series 400 product line is based on the Motorola 68040 and 68030 processors and are fully compatible with previous-generation HP and Apollo 68000-based workstations. This compatibility allows customers to choose from more than 3,200 software applications available today.

The Series 400 runs both the Domain/OS and HP-UX operating systems, which are based on and fully comply with AT&T's UNIX* system. They give HP/Apollo customers a common workstation-hardware environment.

In addition to price/performance advantages, the Series 400 offers leading graphics technology with the new HP Apollo 9000 VRX graphics family and advanced ease of use through the recently introduced HP Visual User Environment (HP VUE).

The HP Apollo 9000 VRX graphics line provides high graphics performance and a broad range of new features. HP VUE is a graphical user interface based on standards that creates a common-user environment for workstations running Domain/OS and HP- UX operating systems and thus makes these workstations easy to use.


``During the year since the HP/Apollo merger, we have combined and leveraged the technological capabilities of both companies to complete the first phase of our merger product strategy,'' said Bill G. Kay, general manager of HP's Workstation Group.

``Our customers have benefited most from this merger; they are able to take advantage of our early technical accomplishments. These accomplishments include the development of the Team Computing products, the selection of HP/Apollo technologies for the Open Software Foundation Distributed Computing Environment and the merging of our graphics systems.''

``In addition, customers can take advantage of our many business successes, including the unification of our sales force and manufacturing facilities and the development of stronger relationships with our value-added business partners. The new common hardware platform of the Series 400 is another demonstration of our ability to merge the best of our organizations and technologies to meet the needs of our customers.''

The new HP Apollo 9000 Series 400 68040-based workstations provide significant advantages over the previous-generation 68030- based workstations, including lower price, higher performance and greater reliability.

The new HP Apollo 9000 VRX graphics family is a broad line of high-performance 2D and 3D graphics products that provide users in such markets as and electronic-design automation, mechanical design and engineering with industry-leading speed and realism based on industry standards.

Like the Series 400 workstations, the HP Apollo 9000 VRX graphics family is software compatible with previous HP and Apollo graphics products.


The HP Apollo 9000 Model 400dl is the entry-level desktop workstation in the Series 400 product family and has a U.S. list price of $4,990. It is designed for such markets as computer-aided software engineering and electronic publishing and comes standard with a 19-inch monitor. The Model 400dl is upgradable from the 12-MIPS, 50-MHz 68030 to the 20-MIPS, 25-MHz 68040, maintaining HP's commitment to provide workstation users with clear upgrade paths. Models 425t and 400t are desktop workstations based on the 25-MHz 68040 and 50-MHz 68030, respectively. They deliver up to 20 MIPS and 3.5 Mflops for less than $9,000 (U.S. list). These systems are designed for customers in such markets as electronic and mechanical design and computer-aided software engineering who require high levels of performance in a low-priced workstation.


These desktop workstations incorporate the HP Apollo 9000 VRX graphics lines. Available with monochrome, color and accelerated color options, all VRX models offer standard 1,280 x 1,024 screen resolution and industry-leading X Window System* performance. U.S. list prices range from $1,200 to $81,000. The HP Apollo 9000 VRX mono graphics system is equipped with a 19-inch, high-resolution monitor, which allows for the maximum display of information. The HP Apollo 9000 VRX color system delivers 130,000 2D vectors per second and has the fastest relative X Window System performance in the industry, when tested with industry-standard benchmarks. With accelerated graphics capabilities incorporated in the standard entry-level color offering, customers don't have to pay a price premium for high graphics performance. With the new HP Apollo 9000 PersonalVRX accelerated graphics system, users get up to 270,000 3D vectors per second and a broad range of features. The PersonalVRX uses a single i860 transform engine.


Models 433s and 400s combine the features and benefits of Models 425t and 400t with increased performance and expandability in a deskside package. The 33-MHz, 68040-based Model 433s delivers up to 26 MIPS and 4.5 Mflops. The Model 400s is based on the 50-MHz 68030 and offers users 12 MIPS performance. HP believes the Model 433s is the first workstation in the industry to implement the Extended Industry Standard Architecture (EISA) bus, which provides a common, industry-standard interface across HP's workstation and personal-computer platforms.


For the high-end 3D graphics arena, HP introduced the HP Apollo 9000 TurboVRX, which delivers up to 1 million 3D vectors per second and offers a broad range of new features that allow HP workstation users to achieve higher levels of speed and realism than ever before. The new graphics system, which is available with Models 433s and 400s, is designed for the high-end, mechanical, computer-aided- design and engineering market, as well as industrial design.


In the graphics-software area, HP introduced the Personal Visualizer, which is licensed from Wavefront Technologies and bundled with the HP Apollo 9000 PersonalVRX and TurboVRX graphics systems. The Personal Visualizer is an easy-to-use, menu-driven rendering application that gives users access to features of the PersonalVRX and TurboVRX when these features have not been programmed into their specific application. In addition, HP's implementation of the Programmer's Hierarchical Interactive Graphics System (HP-PHIGS) provides compatibility for graphics based on Domain/OS and HP-UX workstations.


HP also extended its broad family of HP Apollo 9000 high- performance servers by introducing the Model 433s and 400s servers. They are designed for use as a shared computational resource, as a file server or as a manager of peripheral resources. The servers help members of a team increase their productivity by allowing them to offload some of their most computing-intensive applications. Server prices begin at $12,900 (U.S. list). The HP Apollo 9000 Model 400 workstations and VRX graphics systems are expected to be available in July 1990. The 68040-based workstations and upgrades are expected to be available in the fourth quarter of 1990.


HP will provide easy and economical board upgrades to the 68040- based products. Customers can upgrade a 50-MHz 68030-based workstation to a 68040 for $2,000 (U.S. list). HP's ``40 Plus Program,'' which also was introduced today, guarantees a future of more than 40 MIPS through object-code-compatible upgrades to Motorola workstations or attractive upgrades to future RISC (reduced- instruction-set-computing) systems. HP VUE HP VUE is a graphical user interface built on standards that creates a common-user environment for workstations using the Domain/OS and HP-UX operating systems and makes these workstations easier to use. It gives customers increased productivity through the use of window-based, mouse-driven functionality and a flexible set of window-based utilities. HP VUE will be shipped with all models in the HP Apollo 9000 family. Starting with the shipments of the Series 400, HP VUE will be bundled as part of HP's Instant Ignition program, which gives users the option of having the system software preloaded on a disk when a workstation is purchased.

Hewlett-Packard Company is an international manufacturer of measurement and computation products and systems recognized for excellence in quality and support. The company's products and services are used in industry, business, engineering, science, medicine and education in approximately 100 countries. HP has 93,000 employees and had revenues of $11.9 billion in its 1989 fiscal year. UNIX is a registered trademark of AT&T in the United States and other countries.

Note to Editors: X Window System is a trademark of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Performance data courtesy of Motorola. i860 is a U.S. trademark of Intel Corp. CONTACTS: Hewlett-Packard Co., Chelmsford, Mass. Lynn Wehner, 508/256-6600, ext. 7717 or Kathy Dow, Ft. Collins, Colo. 303/229-2370