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Using UX-boards with SBus based machines?
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 91 17:42+0100
From: email@example.com (Stefan Bernemann)
(2) If I try to remember, when Symbolics introduced the Ivory based
embedded system architecture, they proudly announced their independence
of a specific bus architecture.
I don't remember their exact wording, but I interpreted it as independence
from a nonstandard, proprietary bus.
There would be "no problem" to adapt the
Ivory system to a specific "host system bus". Now, when will there be a
SBus Ivory card? Or am I sitting in a wrong movie - quite happy with my
MacIvory and foreseeing a good market for such a UX-baby?
The Sbus is also a nonstandard, proprietary bus. Symbolics can amortize
the hardware development cost of a VMEbus board over many products: XLn00,
UXn00S, UXn00M (my guess at the name of a co-processor for a MIPS system),
etc. An Sbus board can only be put in certain Suns.
Yes, the architecture is designed to be bus-independent, but it still takes
work to implement a new board. Considering how often we tell Symbolics to
stress their *software* expertise over hardware work, and the disappointing
sales of the UX400S line, I could hardly blame them for being conservative
about developing other co-processors.
Also, product cost is a factor. A UX1200S system costs around $20K. This
doesn't sound too bad when it's stuck into a $20-40K system, but customers
may be reluctant to buy a $20K co-processor for a $5-10K system (I imagine
many MacIvory customers had to overcome similar feelings).