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Encyclopedia > Data General AViiON
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AViiON was a series of computers from Data General that were the company's main product from the late 1980s until the company's server products were discontinued in 2001. Earlier AViiON models used the Motorola 88000 CPU, but later models moved to an all-Intel solution when Motorola stopped work on the 88000 in the early 1990s. Some versions of these later Intel-based machines ran Windows NT, while higher-end machines ran the company's flavor of Unix, DG/UX. Jump to: navigation, search Image File history File links AViiON-logo. ... Jump to: navigation, search Data General was a pioneering firm in the minicomputer world, known primarily for their Nova 16-bit minicomputer which gained a wide following and was used in many forms for over a decade. ... The 88000 (m88k for short) is a microprocessor design produced by Motorola. ... Jump to: navigation, search This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Jump to: navigation, search Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) (HKSE: 4335) (founded 1968) is a U.S.-based multinational corporation that is best known for designing and manufacturing microprocessors and specialized integrated circuits. ... Jump to: navigation, search Motorola NYSE: MOT (TYO: 6686) is a global communications company based in Schaumburg, Illinois, a Chicago suburb. ... Jump to: navigation, search Windows NT is a family of operating systems produced by Microsoft, and was succeeded by Windows 2000 (still based on Windows NT). ...


Data General had, for most of its history, essentially mirrored the strategy of DEC with a competitive (but, in the spirit of the time, incompatible) minicomputer with a better price/performance ratio. However by the 1980s, Data General was clearly in a downward spiral relative to DEC. With the performance of custom-designed minicomputer CPU's dropping relative to commodity processors, the cost of developing a custom solution no longer paid for itself. A better solution was to use these same commodity processors, but put them together in such a way to offer better performance than a commodity machine could offer. Digital Equipment Corporation was a pioneering company in the American computer industry. ... HP2114 minicomputer Minicomputer is a largely obsolete term for a class of multi-user computers which make up the middle range of the computing spectrum, in between the largest multi-user systems (mainframe computers) and the smallest single-user systems (microcomputers or personal computers). ... In economics and engineering, the price/performance ratio refers to a products ability to deliver performance, of any sort, for its price. ... CPU can stand for: in computing: Central processing unit in journalism: Commonwealth Press Union in law enforcement: Crime prevention unit in software: Critical patch update, a type of software patch distributed by Oracle Corporation in Macleans College is often known as Ash Lim. ...


With AViiON, DG shifted its sight from a purely proprietary minicomputer line to the burgeoning Unix server market. The new line was based around the Motorola 88000, a high performance RISC processor with some support for multiprocessing and a particularily clean architechture. The machines ran a System V Unix variant known as DG/UX, largely developed at the company's Research Triangle Park facility. DG/UX had previously run on the company's family of MV/Eclipse 32-bit minicomputers (the successors to Nova and the 16-bit Eclipse minis) but only in a very secondary role to the MV/Eclispse mainstay AOS/VS and AOS/VS II operating systems. Jump to: navigation, search It has been suggested that List of Unixes be merged into this article or section. ... The 88000 (m88k for short) is a microprocessor design produced by Motorola. ... Jump to: navigation, search Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC), is a microprocessor CPU design philosophy that favors a smaller and simpler set of instructions that all take about the same amount of time to execute. ... Multiprocessing is traditionally known as the use of multiple concurrent processes in a system as opposed to a single process at any one instant. ... AT&T UNIX System V was one of the versions of the UNIX operating system. ... Jump to: navigation, search DG/UX was a Unix variant developed by Data General that was notable for its rare updates. ...


AViiONs were released in a variety of sizes beginning in the summer of 1989. They debuted as a pizza box workstation (codenamed "Maverick") and a server in both roller-mounted and rackmount flavors ("Topgun"). Speed-bumped and scaled-up versions followed, culminating in, first, the 16-CPU AV/9500 server and then the up-to 32-way AV 10000 server in 1995, DG's first implementation of a Non-Uniform Memory Access (NUMA) design. Workstations remained part of the line for a time, but the emphasis increasingly shifted towards servers. In computing, a pizza box is a style of case for computers. ... Non-Uniform Memory Access or Non-Uniform Memory Architecture (NUMA) is a computer memory architecture, used in multiprocessors, where the memory access time depends on the memory location. ...


In 1992 Motorola joined the AIM alliance to develop "cut down" versions of the IBM POWER CPU design into a single-chip CPU for desktop machines, and eventually stopped further development of the 88000. Because of this, DG gave up working with Motorola, and decided instead to align its efforts with what was soon to become the clear winner in volume microprocessors, and used i386 architecture CPUs from Intel instead. AIM was an alliance formed in 1991 between Apple Computer, IBM and Motorola to create a new computing standard based on the PowerPC architecture. ... POWER is a RISC CPU architecture designed by IBM. The name is a backronym for Performance Optimization With Enhanced RISC. The POWER series microprocessors are used as the main CPU in many of IBMs servers, minicomputers, workstations, and supercomputers. ... The Intel 80386 is a microprocessor which was used as the central processing unit (CPU) of many personal computers from 1986 until 1994 and later. ...


This resulted in a second series of AViiON machines based first on the Pentium, and later on faster Pentium Pro, Pentium II and Pentium III Xeon CPUs. This more commoditized hardware approach also led DG to develop NUMA servers that added a memory-coherent interconnect (Scalable Coherent Interconnect (SCI)) to "standard high-volume" x86 motherboards sourced from Intel. Sequent Computer Systems, now part of IBM, was following a similar strategy at the time. A system codenamed "Manx" was an earlier NUMA effort based on the original Pentium and Zenith hardware, but it was never brought to market. The AV 20000 ("Audubon") connected up to 32 Pentium Pro processors (on up to eight quad-processor building blocks) in this manner; the later AV 25000 ("Audubon 2") upgrade expanded this to 64 Pentium II (later Pentium III) Xeons. Jump to: navigation, search Pentium logo, with MMX enhancement The Pentium is a fifth-generation x86 architecture microprocessor by Intel which first shipped on March 22, 1993. ... The Pentium Pro is a sixth-generation x86 architecture microprocessor by Intel originally intended to replace the original Pentium in a full range of applications, but later reduced to a more narrow role as a server and high-end desktop chip. ... Pentium II – front view The Pentium II is an x86 architecture microprocessor by Intel, introduced on May 7, 1997. ... Pentium III logo The Pentium III is an x86 (more precisely, an i686) architecture microprocessor by Intel, introduced on February 26, 1999. ... Xeon logo The Xeon is Intels current generation of server-class microprocessors for PCs intended for multiple-processor machines. ... SCI, for Scalable Coherent Interconnect, is a high-speed computer bus that supports a variety of topologies, speeds and connection systems. ... Jump to: navigation, search Sequent Computer Systems, or Sequent, was a computer company that designed and manufactured multiprocessing computer systems. ... Jump to: navigation, search International Business Machines Corporation (IBM, or colloquially, Big Blue) NYSE: IBM (incorporated June 15, 1911, in operation since 1888) is headquartered in Armonk, NY, USA. The company manufactures and sells computer hardware, software, and services. ...


Based on the burgeoning popularity of Windows NT, Intel-based AViiON servers also added Windows to their OS roster across the AViiON x86 line. It ended up contributing a significant percentage of revenues at the low-end, especially among existing DG customers who had made a decision to switch to NT. However, at the high-end, although Windows NT could run efficiently on single-block (i.e. quad-processor) building blocks in NUMA servers, it did not at the time have the processor and memory affinity optimizations that are required to achieve high performance on larger systems. As a result, Windows on DG NUMA servers was always more of a marketing story than a technical reality. Jump to: navigation, search Microsoft Windows is a range of operating environments and operating systems for personal computers and servers. ... Processor affinity is a modification of the naïve central queue scheduling algorithm. ...


Around the same time, DG was also aggressively working towards an "industry standard" Unix operating system with the Santa Cruz Operation (the ancestor of today's SCO Group) and others. However, first with SCO's Data Center Acceleration Program (DCAP), and then Project Monterey, this never came to pass. Ultimately, DG's NUMA servers ended up as just another large-scale proprietary Unix server at a time when the industry was coalescing around the Unix platform variants of just a few large vendors -- Compaq (later acquired by HP), HP, IBM, and Sun Microsystems. The SCO Group, Inc. ... The Project Monterey Logo Project Monterey was an attempt to build a single Unix-like operating system that ran across a variety of 32-bit and 64-bit platforms, as well as supporting multi-processing. ... Compaq Computer Corporation was a company producing a wide range of computer products that was formed in 1982 and existed as a standalone entity until 2002 when it was merged with Hewlett-Packard. ... ... Jump to: navigation, search International Business Machines Corporation (IBM, or colloquially, Big Blue) NYSE: IBM (incorporated June 15, 1911, in operation since 1888) is headquartered in Armonk, NY, USA. The company manufactures and sells computer hardware, software, and services. ... Jump to: navigation, search Sun Microsystems (Sun Microsystems, Inc. ...


In 1999 EMC purchased Data General for 1.2 billion dollars primarily to gain access to its CLARiiON line disk array storage products and associated software. Under the terms of the "pooling of interests merger," EMC maintained the server line for two years, but discontinued it as soon as the terms of the deal allowed, at which point AViiON disappeared. EMC is a TLA that may stand for: electric membership corporation electromagnetic compatibility Electro-Motive Corporation, the predecessor to General Motors Electro-Motive Division EMC Corporation European Marketing Confederation European Muon Collaboration Evergreen Marine Corporation This page concerning a three-letter acronym or abbreviation is a disambiguation page — a navigational...


Notes

The name "AViiON" has often been claimed to be a scambled version of "NOVA ii", the Nova being one of DG's most successful products. However, other accounts suggest the term "avion" was one executive's favorite, which was then modified. Data General SuperNova The Data General Nova was a popular 16-bit minicomputer built by the US company Data General starting in 1968. ...


External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Data General AViiON (m88k) Information (284 words)
For several years, Data General produced AViiON systems based around the Motorola 88k processor family (88100/88200 and the 88110).
Well, they were kind of desperate when naming the AViiON systems and spelled NOVA backwards with the "ii" in the middle--if I remember right, that was supposed to represent a newer generation or something like that.
Since I've been out of touch with Data General for years and they don't have any good historical information available on their web site, my information is very sketchy.
Reference.com/Encyclopedia/Data General AViiON (926 words)
AViiON was a series of computers from Data General that were the company's main product from the late 1980s until the company's server products were discontinued in 2001.
Data General had, for most of its history, essentially mirrored the strategy of DEC with a competitive (but, in the spirit of the time, incompatible) minicomputer with a better price/performance ratio.
However by the 1980s, Data General was clearly in a downward spiral relative to DEC. With the performance of custom-designed minicomputer CPU's dropping relative to commodity processors, the cost of developing a custom solution no longer paid for itself.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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