IBM Adds Powerful New Systems, Storage & Graphics Options For RISC System 6000 Line

Enhances Sp2 Parallel Computer

SOMERS, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 7, 1995--IBM today announced new offerings in its RISC System/6000(a) (RS/6000(a)) line that provide customers with improved desktop performance, a greater range of storage and graphics options, and new software that enhances performance and connectivity.

In addition, IBM announced price and performance improvements for its Scalable POWERparallel Systems SP2(a), the high-end of the RS/6000 line that provides the blazing speed of parallel computing inexpensively. For example, price/performance will improve by over 15 percent for both scientific/technical and commercial customers.

Today's announcements include:

o The world's fastest desktop workstation under $40,000. This new POWER2 microprocessor-based workstation offers customers a 30 percent performance boost over the previous top-of-the-line RS/6000 desktop system;

o A POWER2-based numeric intensive computing server that delivers a greater than 25 percent increase in performance over the existing RS/6000 high-performance desktop server;

o The Xstation 160, the new industry performance leader and the industry's first PowerPC 603-based X-terminal;

o A new tape storage option designed for high-capacity, high-performance backup of disk drives and network servers;

o Enhancements to IBM's clustering software that create one of the richest high-availability offerings in the UNIX(b) industry.

The RS/6000 systems announced today will run AIX(a) Version 4 and preserve binary compatibility with existing RS/6000 systems. AIX Version 4 is the newest version of IBM's industry-leading operating system that offers a state-of-the-art, scalable UNIX platform that supports IBM's PowerPC(a), POWER2 and POWER-based RS/6000 servers and client workstations. AIX Version 4 has recently been branded XPG4 base-compliant by X/Open Limited(b) and is on target to provide support for the newly finalized Single UNIX Specification (formerly known as SPEC 1170) in a future release.

AIX Version 3.2.5 is also supported on the new RS/6000 and SP2 systems, protecting customer and software developer investments in RS/6000 technology and allowing users to smoothly transition to AIX Version 4 at their own pace.

"Today's RS/6000 and SP2 announcements are a continuation of our commitment to expand the RS/6000 family to offer the widest range of options to meet our customers' computing needs," said Jeff Mason, vice president, Worldwide Marketing, IBM RISC System/6000 Division. "The breadth of the RS/6000 product line, coupled with our industry leading microprocessor technology, powerful AIX operating system and unequaled service and support, deliver the total customer solution that no other vendor can provide."

The RS/6000 family of workstations and servers provides commercial and technical customers with a powerful solution to meet their most demanding needs. From entry desktop systems to robust deskside and rack-mounted offerings, to the newest symmetric multiprocessor servers, to the high-end, high-performance SP2, the RS/6000 and AIX operating system deliver outstanding value and performance. A wide range of IBM and third-party software products are available to support industry-specific requirements as well as general computing needs such as database, distributed transaction processing and network management.

The ability to deliver total customer solutions with market leading technology has positioned IBM as a leader in the open systems industry. Preliminary 1994 results published by leading market research firm IDC name IBM the worldwide UNIX midrange systems leader and the worldwide commercial UNIX midrange systems leader, based on revenue. IBM has shipped over 350,000 RS/6000 systems to customers around the world.

Announcement Details

New POWER2-based Systems: - RISC System/6000 Model 3CT: Powered by a 67 MHz POWER2 microprocessor that brings supercomputer-class performance to a desktop workstation, the Model 3CT is the world's fastest workstation under $40,000. It is also the fastest desktop system in the RS/6000 line. A SPECfp92(c) rating of 266.6 and a SPECint92(c) rating of 130.2, when using the optional 2MB Level 2 (L2) cache, deliver a floating-point performance increase of 30 percent over IBM's existing top-of-the-line desktop workstation. Customers in fields like electronic circuit simulation, structural analysis and computational chemistry, who need strong floating-point performance to solve complex problems, will be able to achieve new levels of productivity with this powerful workstation. The Model 3CT, with POWER graphics accelerators, supports all key 3D graphics Application Programming Interface's (API's) including OpenGL, PEX and graPHIGS. In addition, customers can choose from the most extensive range of graphics options, including the POWER GXT150M, GXT1000 and Evans & Sutherland Freedom Series(b) 6000, as well as the POWER Gt4e, Gt4i, and Gt4xi.

Standard features for the 3CT include 64 MB of memory, expandable to 512 MB, 1 gigabyte (GB) of internal disk, expandable to 18 GB, POWER GXT150M graphics adapter, POWERdisplay 17(2), 32 kilobyte (KB) Level 1 (L1) instruction cache, 128 KB L1 data cache, integrated small computer systems interface-2 (SCSI-2(a)) fast/wide controller, integrated Ethernet, three available Micro Channel(a) slots, two 5.25-inch half-high media bays, 1.44 MB, 3.5-inch diskette drive, two serial and one parallel port.

With a wide range of options available, including additional graphics accelerators, displays, and a 1MB or 2MB L2 cache, the 3CT is a solution that will meet customer needs today, and grow as their computing needs grow. - IBM RISC System/6000 Model 39H: This powerful new system, driven by a 67 MHz POWER2 microprocessor, takes its place as IBM's top-of-the-line desktop UNIX server. With a LINPACK TPP(3) number of 231.3, the 39H is over 25 percent faster than the previous high-end RS/6000 desktop server. This powerful system is designed to meet the needs of users in numeric-intensive computing (NIC) disciplines such as seismic processing and analysis or fluid dynamics, where powerful data crunching capability is critical in meeting customer needs.

Couple the awesome power of the 39H with IBM's High Availability Cluster Multi-Processing/6000(a) (HACMP/6000(a)) software, and it's easy to imagine a cluster of these powerful systems solving a customers' most complex NIC problems at a very affordable price.

Standard features include 64 MB of memory, expandable to 512 MB, 2 GB of disk, expandable to 13.5 GB, 32 KB L1 instruction cache, 128 KB L1 data cache, optional 1 MB or 2MB L2 cache, integrated SCSI-2 fast/wide controller, integrated Ethernet, four available Micro Channel slots, two 5.25-inch half-high media bays -- one with a CD-ROM-2 drive -- one 1.44 MB 3.5-inch diskette drive, two serial and one parallel port.

With optional L2 cache, SPECfp92 and SPECint92 for the 39H are 266.6 and 130.2, respectively.

Both the Model 3CT and Model 39H incorporate a full implementation of the POWER2 Architecture(a), enabling the systems to include a number of new features previously unavailable in earlier desktop workstations and servers. New capabilities include a doubling of the systems memory bus from a 64-bit path to a 128-bit path, an increase in the L1 data cache from 64KB to 128KB and a larger L2 cache than was previously available in high-end desktop systems. These new features can greatly increase system performance for memory intensive applications like simulation or computational analysis.

New PowerPC-based XStation: - IBM Xstation 160: The first IBM product to incorporate a PowerPC 603 microprocessor -- and the first PowerPC-based X-terminal in the industry -- this local area network (LAN) attached X-terminal sets a new standard for performance in the X-terminal industry. With a score of 5 Xmark93(1), the Xstation 160 bests its closest competitor, NCD(b), by 25 percent on the standard X11perf industry benchmark.

Standard features include a 66 megahertz (MHz) PowerPC 603 microprocessor with separate on-chip data and instruction cache, allowing for increased processing performance. It also comes standard with 8 megabytes (MB) of dynamic random access memory (DRAM), expandable to 96 MB, 2 MB of flash memory expandable up to 22 MB, 2 MB of video random access memory (VRAM) that support the rich set of screen resolutions (up to 1600x1280 pixels), that customers demand and many competitors cannot provide. Optional features include 4 MB of VRAM that supports 24-bit true color, an audio adapter card and a 3.5-inch floppy disk drive for easy data storage and transportability. An improved graphical set-up makes the Xstation 160 easier for systems administrators to use and maintain.

The Xstation 160 also incorporates a new compact design (12"x 12"x 2.75"), a key advantage in customer environments where desktop real estate is at a premium. This new compact design, coupled with the energy-efficient PowerPC 603 microprocessor, enable the Xstation 160 to be Energy Star Compliant.

IBM POWERparallel SP2:

Today's POWERparallel announcements include a new, RS/6000-based processor for the IBM SP2 that offers higher "number crunching" performance than its current counterpart, and offers computational performance comparable to the most powerful SP2 processor at a lower price. This new "breadbox-size" Thin Node 2 processor fits inside an SP2 cabinet. It features a faster data-flow design than the current entry-level processor -- "The Thin Node" -- and provides up to 40 percent improved performance for many applications relying on numeric-intensive computing, such as designing drugs, simulating automobile and airplane acoustics, and predicting where to drill for oil. IBM has also reduced the price for its current entry-level "Thin Node" to the lowest level ever, enabling customers eager to enter the world of UNIX parallel processing to purchase an SP2 for under $138,000. This new low price provides over 10 percent improved price/performance for commercial applications such as transaction serving. IBM has also made available an optional L2 cache -- or temporary storage area -- for the "Thin Node" processor that improves performance over 15 percent.

In addition, IBM announced that initial installations have begun for POWERquery for the SP2(a), a cost-effective, large-scale decision support solution for business. The power and flexibility of POWERquery's parallel processing capabilities will enable customers to extract strategic information from vast amounts of accumulated data. Volume shipments will begin this summer. POWERquery is a set of highly scalable and flexible building blocks of IBM hardware, software -- including IBM's new parallel relational database, DATABASE 2(a) Parallel Edition for AIX -- and consulting services that can be tailored to satisfy a customer's specific large database and decision support needs.

New SP2 Software Enhancements: - AIX High Availability Cluster Multi-Processing/6000 Version 3.1.1 (HACMP/6000 3.1.1): This latest version brings the benefits of high-availability and clustering, features which have been very successful for RS/6000 customers, to the POWERparallel platform.

HACMP/6000 3.1.1 allows up to eight SP2 nodes to be configured into a highly available cluster to eliminate single points of failure. This is a necessity for customers like banks and retail stores where business-critical on-line transaction processing applications cannot afford to be down for any appreciable length of time.

This new version creates one of the richest high availability offerings in the UNIX marketplace, all without incurring the added expense of fully redundant hardware, and offers customers unmatched flexibility in designing the systems that best meet their performance requirements.

Additionally, this new version has been enhanced to provide concurrent data access between HACMP cluster modes for IBM's industry-leading distributed transaction processing applications, the Customer Information Control System (CICS(a)) and Encina.

New Storage Systems Offering: - IBM 7331 8 millimeter (mm) Tape Library Model 205: The 7331 Model 205, which incorporates physical and software locks for enhanced data security, is designed for high-capacity, high-performance backup of disk drives and network servers. It is especially useful for applications such as image and document retrieval, automatic migration of data between disk storage and tape, and archiving of data to tape.

The 7331 is packaged as a standalone deskside unit with one or two 8mm tape drives. With a maximum storage capacity of up to 280 GB if IBM's Improved Data Recording Capability (IDRC) data compression is used, it offers the largest capacity in the industry for comparably priced 8mm tape libraries.

An optional electronics feature provides the 7331 with enhanced flexibility when shared by multiple host processors. It also supports off-line tape-to-tape copying, mirroring and use of a bar-code label printer. A bar-code reader is also available as an option.

New Graphics Accelerator: - IBM POWER GXT150P Graphics Adapter for RISC System/6000 Model 40P: This new eight-bit graphics adapter brings the advanced 2D technology available in IBM's powerful workstations to the Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI)-based Model 40P, and will give users the highest level of 2D graphics performance available on IBM's powerful entry workstation.

Designed to meet the needs of customers in fields from desktop publishing to 2D mechanical drafting, the POWER GXT150P stands alone as a powerful 2D accelerator. Coupled with IBM's Softgraphics capability, which gives users the ability to run OpenGL, PEX and PHIGS, the POWER GXT150P-based Model 40P offers customers the lowest priced entry 3D graphics offering in the RS/6000 line.

The POWER GXT150P attaches to the Model 40P using one slot on the PCI bus. It supports a wide range of display resolutions as well as IBM PC displays and IBM POWERdisplays.

IBM Packs More Performance into its UNIX POWERparallel System

Lower entry price, more robust system

SOMERS, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--February 7, 1995--IBM today announced hardware and software enhancements to the IBM Scalable POWERparallel Systems SP2(a) that can improve price/performance by more than 15 percent for both scientific/technical and commercial users and provide them what they have asked for -- an industrial-strength, high-end UNIX(b) operating system platform that provides higher reliability, availability and mainframe interoperability for use in business-critical environments.

The SP2 is IBM's general-purpose, high-performance parallel processing computer that runs AIX(a), IBM's UNIX operating system. Its price/performance is improved for numeric-intensive applications -- such as drug design, simulation of automobile and airplane acoustics and prediction of oil drilling sites -- as well as for commercial applications ranging from those normally associated with running a business to emerging new uses like decision support that analyzes customer buying patterns.

Today's announcements include:

o A new "Thin Node 2" processor the size of a breadbox that fits into an SP2 cabinet and provides the "number crunching" performance of bigger "Wide Node" processors at a lower price -- a boon for technical applications. Benchmark numbers indicate that the Thin Node 2 -- compared with its current, entry-level "Thin Node" counterpart -- performs an average of 40 percent better for most numeric-intensive tasks and 250 percent better on the popular LINPACK DP(c) (Double Precision) benchmark test.

o A reduced price for the entry-level SP2 processor -- the Thin Node -- to the lowest level ever, enabling customers eager to enter the world of UNIX parallel processing to purchase an SP2 for under $138,000. This new low system price provides over 10 percent improved price/performance for commercial applications such as transaction serving. In addition, IBM has made available an optional level 2 (L2) cache -- or temporary storage area -- for the Thin Node processor that improves performance over 15 percent.

o Benchmark numbers that indicate an SP2 with 32 Thin Node 2s substantially outperformed the Cray T3D(a) on the NAS benchmark suite(d).

o Software that provides higher availability and reliability for business-critical applications in such industries as banking and retail.

o Enhanced software for improved interoperability and high-speed data transfer between IBM and IBM-compatible mainframes and the SP2, as well as associated UNIX workstations. Jobs may be submitted and data easily accessed between platforms.

o Broad printing options providing attachment of high-speed IBM printers normally associated with IBM mainframes.

o Support of industry-leading IBM network management software products so the SP2 may be easily integrated into and managed as part of an open, heterogeneous network of IBM and non-IBM mainframes, workstations and PCs.

The new "Thin Node 2" processor is based on IBM's POWER2(a) architecture RISC microprocessor -- the "brain" of the system. With today's announcement, users can configure their SP2 systems with new Thin Node 2s instead of the current, larger Wide Nodes, if they don't need the Wide Node's extra memory sizes and input/output (I/O) slots, but want a similarly powerful parallel system in a more compact package at a lower price.

Parallel processing on the IBM SP2 links together from two to 512 IBM RISC System/6000(a) (RS/6000(a)) processors to perform numeric-intensive and data-intensive computations. The processors work on different parts of a problem at the same time, enabling the high-performance computer to support many users and analyze massive amounts of data at blazing speeds. The flexibility of the SP2 allows customers to run both parallel and non-parallel applications at the same time.

IBM also announced that initial test installations have begun for the recently announced POWERquery for the SP2(a), a cost-effective, large-scale decision support solution for business. The power and flexibility of POWERquery's parallel processing capabilities will enable customers to extract strategic information from vast amounts of accumulated data.

POWERquery is a set of highly scalable and flexible building blocks of IBM hardware, software -- including IBM's new parallel relational database, DATABASE 2(a) Parallel Edition for AIX(a) -- and consulting services that can be tailored to satisfy a customer's specific large database query and decision support needs. IBM intends to begin volume shipments of POWERquery this summer.

The use of POWERquery can result in competitive advantages including more successful marketing strategies and more efficient resource allocation. For example, POWERquery can help marketers to more effectively analyze the buying patterns of their customers. POWERquery's parallel processing power will allow these users to identify increasingly narrow market segments, down to the smallest segment of all, the individual.

IBM also announced that high-availability software developed for the RS/6000, and used successfully by RS/6000 customers, will become generally available in March on the SP2. The new software -- AIX High Availability Cluster Multi-Processing/6000(a) Version 3.1.1 (HACMP/6000 3.1.1) -- allows up to eight SP2 nodes to be configured into a single, highly available cluster. In addition, multiple independent eight-node clusters may be supported on a single SP2 system. HACMP clusters can be configured to eliminate single points of failure -- in other words, if one system component fails, its work is taken over by another system component. This is a necessity for customers like banks and retail stores that cannot afford "down-time" for their business-critical, on-line transaction processing applications.

This new version creates one of the richest high-availability offerings in the UNIX marketplace, without incurring the added expense of fully redundant hardware, and offers customers unmatched flexibility in designing systems that best meet their performance requirements.

IBM also announced SP2 support of additional system management products designed to enhance the ability to manage the SP2's powerful computing resources and allow it to be integrated into existing computing environments. NetView(a) for AIX, Systems Monitor for AIX and Trouble Ticket(a) for AIX are current AIX tools that have gained recognition as leading network management solutions. These tools may now be used to manage the SP2 seamlessly as part of a network of PCs, workstations and mainframes, or to allow an SP2 node to perform these management functions.

"We could not be more pleased with the positive reception that our Scalable POWERparallel Systems SP2 has received in the marketplace," said Dr. Irving Wladawsky-Berger, general manager, IBM POWER Parallel Division. "The most exciting thing of all, however, is the huge `crossover' that is taking place between technical and commercial computing. The technical world finds itself with increasing amounts of data to be managed, and the commercial world increasingly is applying sophisticated mathematical techniques to analyze vast amounts of information. We are in the fortunate position of having an excellent product family that makes these transformations possible."

IBM is a proven leader in the high-performance computing marketplace where commercial interest is rapidly growing. By the end of 1994, the first full year of IBM POWERparallel Systems shipments, more than 350 systems had been shipped worldwide. More than 120 systems are being used in commercial environments.

Benchmark Data

The Thin Node 2 performed 250 percent better than the current Thin Node on the LINPACK DP benchmark. An SP2 with 32 Thin Nodes outperformed the Cray T3D on both the LINPACK HPC(c) -- where the SP2 performed at 6.4 gigaflops (GFLOPS), or 6.4 billion calculations per second, and the T3D performed at 2.7 GFLOPS -- and the NAS benchmark tests.


Performance as Ratio to Cray C90/1 Test (no.)Nodes SP2 T3D EP 32 9.7 2.6 IS 32 2.0

0.5 FT 32 2.4 N/A CG 32

1.8 0.4 MG 32 4.4 1.2 BT

32 5.3 2.6 LU 32 4.6

1.4 SP 32 3.9 1.5

Note: Higher numbers indicate better performance. Numbers in tables represent the comparison to a Cray C90/1 processor. For example, in order to get the same performance on the Class B BT benchmark as a 32-node SP2, you would need over five Cray C90/1s.


The new Thin Node 2 processor becomes available to customers on March 3. Customers can order the enhanced Thin Node with L2 cache today.

IBM has once again lowered the cost of parallel computing by reducing the price of the current Thin Node. Customers can now order by special request, an entry-level SP2 system in a 49-inch compact frame. Its U.S. list price -- with two Thin Nodes, not including L2 cache; 128 MB of internal memory; two GB of internal disk; the low-cost High-Performance Switch; and basic systems software -- starts at $137,400.

The price of the SP2 scales, or rises, in line with performance. For example, an SP2 in a 49-inch compact frame, with eight Thin Node 2s, 512 MB of internal memory, eight GB of internal disk, the low-cost High-Performance Switch and basic systems software can be ordered for just under $500,000. This is compared to an SP2 in the full-sized frame, with 16 Thin Node 2s, one GB of internal memory, 16 GB of internal disk, the regular High-Performance Switch and basic systems software for just over one million dollars.

POWERquery offers a high level of configuration choice. Customers can tailor a selection of hardware, software and service options to meet their specific application requirements. As a result of this flexibility, there is not a specific price point that is representative of a "typical system" price. However, as an example, a base POWERquery configuration -- including a 10-node SP2, high-speed switch, 240 GB of disk storage and basic software; IBM's DB2 Parallel Edition; and related planning and installation services, would be priced just over $1.8 million.

IBM Credit offers an array of convenient and flexible financing options for IBM POWERparallel systems. Rates will vary by term and customer credit rating. IBM marketing representatives can provide further information.

(For more detailed technical information, contact Rob Anderson at 212/696-2000.)

IBM POWER Parallel Division

IBM produces world-class scalable parallel information and computing systems for commercial and scientific/technical customers. The IBM Scalable POWERparallel Systems SP2, an integral part of the IBM RS/6000 line, features design and performance leadership and offers exceptional reliability and versatility. IBM's recently announced POWER Parallel Division is headquartered in Somers, NY.

Editors' Note: IBM news releases are available on the Internet, via the IBM Home Page available through web browsers at

(a) Indicates trademark or registered trademark of International Business Machines Corp. Other product names may be trademarks of their respective companies.

(b) UNIX is a registered trademark licensed exclusively by X/Open Co. Ltd.

(c) The LINPACK benchmark suite compares the performance of different computers in solving dense systems of linear equations. LINPACK routines are compiled on a vendor's own FORTRAN compiler in an effort to approximate what a typical user would experience. The LINPACK Double Precision benchmark measures a system's double precision floating-point performance. The LINPACK HPC benchmark provides a way to compare massively parallel computers. Dr. Jack Dongarra at the University of Tennessee (and Oak Ridge National Laboratory) oversees the administration of the LINPACK benchmark.

(d) The NAS benchmark was developed through the Numerical Aerodynamic Simulation Program at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif. The NAS Program is a large scale effort to advance the state of computational aerodynamics. The NAS Benchmark is a suite of benchmarks which consists of five kernel benchmarks and three simulated application benchmarks--LU Solver (LU), Scalar Pentadiagonal (SP) and Block Tridiagonal (BT). This suite mimics the computation and data movement characteristics of large-scale computational fluid dynamics (CFD) applications.

Performance measurements for the IBM POWERparallel system are the result of tests done in a laboratory environment at IBM Kingston using Message Passing Library (MPL). While these values should be indicative of machine performance, no warranties or guarantees are stated or implied by IBM. These measurements are offered only as an indicator of performance. Competitors' performance data are from David H. Bailey, Eric Barszcz, Leonardo Dagum and Horst D. Simon, "NAS Parallel Benchmark Results 3/94, RNR Technical Report RNR-94-006, March 21, 1994" and update of 10/94.