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Digital to Introduce New High-Powered Workstations

July 20, 1994

MAYNARD, Mass. (AP) _ Digital Equipment Corp. on Thursday will introduce new high-speed workstations intended for scientists, engineers and business people who need lots of power to run complex software and handle huge databases.

It is the first major product launch for Digital after several weeks of announcements of cost-cutting actions aimed at restoring the company to profitability.

Last week, chief executive Robert Palmer accelerated plans to cut 20,000 jobs from two years to just one year and announced a $1.2 billion restructuring charge. On Tuesday, the sold its data storage business to Quantum Corp. for $400 million.

The DEC 3000 Model 900 AXP is based on the company’s Alpha microprocessor and will run at a speed of 275 MHz. The desktop Model 700 will run at a speed of 225 MHz. By comparison, a standard personal computer now operates at 33 MHz to 100 MHz.

Potential customers include engineers doing computer-aided design or manufacturing, software engineers or securities traders, said Jesse Lipcon, a Digital vice president.

″We like to think of these workstations as being particularly suitable for the grand challenge applications,″ he said. ″The human genome mapping project is one example.″

The Model 700 will sell for $27,698 and up, while the Model 900 will start at $43,373. The machines improve on models Digital introduced just nine months ago.

The success of the new workstations will depend on whether software developers move to take advantage of their advanced capacity, said Shao Wang, analyst at Smith Barney Shearson in New York.

Digital will also announce a cluster of Unix-based computers designed to compete with supercomputers, Lipcon said.

The Advantage Cluster Compute Server 5000 starts with a base of four machines which can hold up to four Alpha chips each at a cost of about $300,000. Supercomputers with the same capacity cost $1 to $5 million, Lipcon said.

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