Chronology of Workstation Computers

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References are numbered in [brackets], which are listed here. A number after the dot gives the page in the source.

Last updated: 2022 April 29.


1991

January
  • Sun Microsystems begins shipping the SPARCstation 2. [2034.81]
February
  • Sun Microsystems creates SunSoft, a system software subsidiary. [1080.198]
  • MIPS Computer Systems introduces the industry's first 64-bit microprocessor, the R4000 RISC chip. [167.13] [2357.D6]
March
  • NeXT begins shipping of its low-end NeXTstation color computers for US$8000. [170.66] [734.263] (April [206.289])
May 14
  • NeXT terminates the March 1989 sales agreement with Businessland. [2605.211]
May
  • NeXT begins shipping of its high-end NeXTstation color computers for US$14000. [734.263]
June
  • Ross Perot resigns from the NeXT board of directors. [734.292]
July
  • NeXT completes the Japanese version of the NeXTSTEP operating system. [734.280]
  • Sun Microsystems introduces the SPARCstation ELC, and the SPARCstation IPX. [171.80]
(month unknown)
  • Steve Jobs agrees with his NeXT company advisors to port the NeXTSTEP operating system to the Intel 80x86 architecture. [734.318]
August
  • Silicon Graphics announces the Indigo computer. [928.81]
September 4
  • Sun Microsystems announces it is developing a version of its Solaris operating system for Intel-based personal computers. [1080.198] [2360.D4]
September
  • MIPS Technologies begins shipping samples of the R4000 processor. [660.9]
  • Silicon Graphics begins licensing the OpenGL graphics library. [867.108]
October
  • Sun Microsystems begins licensing the new chipset used in the SPARCstation 2. [2034.81]
  • MIPS Technologies officially introduces the 100 MHz R4000, its 64-bit RISC processor. [44] [2040]
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November
  • MIPS Computer Systems announces its ARC System licensing program, consisting of a complete ARC System 100 system design, supporting ROM code, operating system drivers, and ASICs. [737.1]
  • Intel decides against licensing Digital Equipment's technology in the Alpha architecture. [636.24]
(month unknown)
  • Hewlett-Packard introduces the Series 9000 Model 720 computer. [1038.36]
December
  • MIT releases the X v11.5 windowing system. [707.207]
  • Standards Performance Evaluation Corp (SPEC) names its integer and floating point benchmark metrics for Unix systems as SPECint and SPECfp, respectively. [956.6]
Year
  • Shipments of Unix operating system for the year: 1.2 million. [1093.134]

1992

January
  • Standards Performance Evaluation Corp (SPEC) announces availability of SPECint92 and SPECfp92 benchmark suites for Unix systems. Cost of the suite is US$900. [2041.78] [738] [956.6] [541] [659]
  • Standards Performance Evaluation Corp (SPEC) announces renaming of its Unix system benchmark metrics to include the "89" suffix, ie. SPECint89 and SPECfp89. [956.6]
January 22
  • At the first NeXTWORLD Expo, held in San Francisco, Steve Jobs announces that a version of the NeXTSTEP operating system will be made for Intel-based personal computers. Jobs also announces Turbo versions of NeXTstation, NeXTstation Color, NeXTcube with 33-MHz 68040, NEXTSTEP 3.0 OS. [206.289] [734.319] [2605.212]
(month unknown)
  • Hewlett-Packard introduces the Series 9000 Model 710 computer. It features 50 MHz PA-RISC processor, Ethernet, serial, parallel, SCSI-2, 16 MB RAM, 19-inch 8-bit grayscale monitor, for US$9490. [1038.36]
  • Hewlett-Packard introduces the Series 9000 Model 705 computer. It features 35 MHz PA-RISC processor, Ethernet, serial, parallel, SCSI-2, 16 MB RAM, 19-inch 8-bit grayscale monitor, for US$4990. [1038.36]
February
  • Ross Technology publicly previews its Pinnacle-1 SPARC processor. [735]
February 25
  • Digital Equipment unveils the 64-bit Alpha processor architecture, with speed estimates of 150 million instructions per second. [2042.38] [1367.63]
(month unknown)
  • Tadpole Technology introduces the Sparcbook portable computer. It features 8-32 MB RAM, 85-240 MB hard drive, floppy drive, gray-scale or color 640x480 monitor, 25 MHz CY601 integer processor, 25 MHz CY604 floating point processor, Ethernet port, internal 9600/2400 fax/modem, Solaris operating system, Open Windows 3.0, SoftPC to run MS-DOS and MS-Windows applications. Size is 12 x 8.5 x 2 inches, weight is 7 pounds 1 ounce, price is US$4950-14850. [1067.40]
March
  • MIPS Technologies ships the 100 MHz R4000 processor. [557.134] [2038]
  • Silicon Graphics announces it is acquiring MIPS Computer Systems. [735.1]
(month unknown)
  • MIPS Computer Systems announces the Magnum 4000 and Millennium 4000 OEM systems, based on the ARC System 100 design. Both use a 50/100 MHz R4000 processor. [737.1]
  • Silicon Graphics ships its 100,000th workstation. [1137.9]
May
  • Ross Technologies announces the hyperSPARC processor. [1100] [1073]
  • IBM announces the RS/6000 Model 970 computer. It features 50 MHz processor with 32 kB instruction cache and 64 kB data cache, 64 MB RAM, 2.7 GB hard disk. Price is US$97,822. Performance specifications are 47.1 SPECint92, 93.6 SPECfp92, 49.3 SPECint89, 160.9 SPECfp89. [738.5]
  • Sun Microsystems announces the SPARCstation 10 family, using the Sun / TI Viking SuperSPARC processor. Original name for the family was SPARCstation 3. [738.11] [754.20] [1100]
  • Sun Microsystems announces the SPARCstation 10 model 30. Features include 36 MHz SuperSPARC processor, 32 MB RAM, 424 MB hard drive Price is US$18495. [738.11]
  • Sun Microsystems announces the SPARCstation 10 model 41. Features include 40 MHz SuperSPARC processor, 1 MB second-level cache, 32 MB RAM, 424 MB hard drive Price is US$24995. [738.11]
  • Sun Microsystems announces the SPARCstation 10 model 52. Features include two 45 MHz SuperSPARC processors, each with 1 MB second-level cache, 64 MB RAM, 1 GB hard drive cache Price is US$39995. [738.11]
  • Sun Microsystems announces the SPARCstation 10 model 54. Features include four 45 MHz SuperSPARC processors, each with 1 MB second-level cache, 64 MB RAM, 1 GB hard drive cache Price is US$57995. [738.11]
June
  • Bud Tribble, co-founder of NeXT, resigns from NeXT, and goes to work for Sun Microsystems. [734.330] [2605.212]
(month unknown)
  • SPARC International introduces version 9 of the SPARC architecture. It features 64 bit address space, and instruction set extensions for superscalar implementations. [1093.26]
  • Unix Systems Laboratories announces Unix System V release 4.2. [1093.38]
  • Silicon Graphics and the OpenGL Architecture Review Board officially release the OpenGL 1.0 Specification. [867.13]
September
  • NeXT ships NeXTSTEP v3.0 operating system. [206.289] [2605.212]
(month unknown)
  • IBM announces the RS/6000 Model 580 computer. It incorporates a 62.5 MHz POWER chip set. Performance is 59 SPECint92, 125 SPECfp92, and 126 SPECmark89. Base price is US$62,500. [957]
October 14
  • At the Microprocessor Forum, Texas Instruments and Sun Microsystems formally unveil the 50 MHz microSPARC processor. The processor includes integer and floating-point units, and 4 kB instruction and 2 kB data caches. It incorporates 800,000 transistors, using a 0.8-micron CMOS process. Development names during development were Tsunami and TMS390S10. Performance is about 40 MIPS. [557.134] [963.1] [696.36] [1100]
October
  • Hewlett-Packard announces the PA-7100LC processor. [1073]
November 16
  • Digital Equipment demonstrates systems with 125 MHz 21064 Alpha processors running a variety of Windows NT applications. [965]
November
  • Digital Equipment unveils the 150 MHz DECchip 21064 microprocessor, implementing the Alpha AXP 64-bit architecture. Development name was EV-4. [32] [2043.15] [2027.61] [540.64] [557.134] [964.1] [821]
  • Digital Equipment introduces the DEC 3000 Model 500 AXP, featuring 150 MHz Alpha 21064 processor, 512 kB cache, 32 MB RAM, 1 GB hard drive, six Turbochannel expansion slots, CD-ROM drive, and 19-inch color monitor. Price is US$38.995. Performance is 121.5 Specmark. [915.22] [964.1]
  • Sun Microsystems introduces the SPARCclassic, featuring a 50 MHz microSPARC processor, 16 MB RAM, 207 MB hard disk, two SBus expansion slots, Solaris 2.1, and 15-inch color monitor. Price is about US$4500. Performance specs are 59.1 MIPS, 26.4 SpecInt92, 21.0 Specfp92. [2043.15] [915.21] [964]
  • Sun Microsystems introduces the SparcStation LX, featuring 50 MHz microSparc processor, 16 MB RAM, 424 MB hard disk, Solaris 2.1, GXplus video accelerator, CD-quality audio, built-in ISDN, and 16-inch color monitor. Price is US$7995. Performance specs are 59.1 MIPS, 26.4 SpecInt92, 21.0 Specfp92. [2043.15] [915.21]
  • Sun Microsystems announces SPARCcenter 2000 multiprocessor server. Up to 20 SuperSPARC processors can be used. Price with two processors is US$95,000. [2043.15] [964]
  • MIPS Technologies (division of Silicon Graphics) announces the R4400 microprocessor, previously called the R4000A. It is an R4000 processor with double on-chip cache, implemented in 0.6-micron CMOS. Clock rates of up to 150 MHz (75 MHz internal) will be available. The chip incorporates 2.2 million transistors. [964.1] [1100]
  • Hewlett-Packard announces the HP 9000 Model 735 desktop workstation. It features a 99 MHz PA-RISC 7100 processor, 32 MB RAM, 525 MB SCSI hard drive, and 19-inch color monitor. Rated speeds are 147 Specmarks and 40.8 MFLOPS. Price is US$37,395. [2043.15] [933.18]
  • Hewlett-Packard announces the HP 9000 Model 755 deskside workstation. It features a 99 MHz PA-RISC 7100 processor, 64 MB RAM, 2 GB hard drive, and 19-inch color monitor. Rated speeds are 147 Specmarks and 40.8 MFLOPS. Price is US$58,995. [2043.15] [933.18]
  • Hewlett-Packard announces the HP 9000 Model 715/33 workstation. It features 33 MHz PA-RISC processor, grayscale monitor, and one expansion slot. Price is US$4,995. [2043.15] [933.18]
  • Hewlett-Packard announces the HP 9000 Model 715/50 workstation. It features 50 MHz PA-RISC processor, grayscale monitor, 512 MB hard drive, and one expansion slot. Price is US$11,895. [933.18]
  • Hewlett-Packard announces the HP 9000 Model 725/50 workstation. It features 50 MHz PA-RISC processor, 4-slots, grayscale monitor, 512 MB hard drive, 16 MB RAM, for US$17,895. [2043.15] [933.18]
Year
  • Workstation market share for the year: HP PA-RISC 31%, Sun SPARC 25%, MIPS 20%, IBM RS/6000 12%. [1054]

End of 1991-1992. Next: 1993.
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1968-1986 1987-1990 1991-1992 1993 1994 1995-1998 1999-end


A list of references to all source material is available.

Other web pages of interest:

  • Chronology of Personal Computers
  • This Day in Personal Computer and Video Game History
  • This Day in History

  • Last updated: 2022 April 29.
    Copyright © 2001-2022 (email: ).
    URL: https://pctimeline.info/workstation/
    Link to Ken P's home page.