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.


January 15
  • Richard Page, co-founder and hardware chief of NeXT Computer, leaves the company. [1360.38] [2605.212]
  • Novell buys UNIX Systems Laboratories from AT&T, gaining all rights to the UNIX source code, for US$150 million. [392.1] [2179.14] (December 1992 [79]) (December 1993 [219.141]) (US$350 million [760.99])
  • Motorola begins shipping the 88110 processor, over two years since its initial announcement. Initial speed is 40 MHz, for US$360 in 1000 unit quantities. A 50 MHz version will cost US$495. [1073] [1107] (about August [541])
  • Rich Page, co-founder of NeXT, and vice-president of hardware, resigns from the company. [734.345]
  • Xaos Tools releases Pandemonium image processor for the Silicon Graphics workstation. Price is US$3950. [928.81]
(month unknown)
  • IBM introduces the PowerStation M20 2D color graphics workstation. Features include 17-inch color display with Power Gt1 graphics adapter, 16 MB RAM, SCSI controller, keyboard, mouse, Ethernet adapter, one MicroChannel bus slot. Price is US$3995. [928.22]
  • IBM introduces the PowerStation 355 workstation. Features include 42 MHz processor, 16 MB RAM, IBM 6091 color display, graphics adapter. Price is US$15,995. [928.22]
  • IBM introduces the PowerStation 365 workstation. Features include 50 MHz processor, 16 MB RAM, IBM 6091 color display, graphics adapter. Price is US$19,525. [928.22]
  • IBM introduces the PowerStation 375 workstation. Features include 62 MHz processor, 32 MB RAM, 19-inch 1280x1024 IBM 6091 color display, graphics adapter. Price is US$25,225. [928.22]
  • Digital Equipment announces the 200 MHz Alpha 21064 processor. [540.64]
  • IBM announces nine new systems in its RS/6000 line, priced between US$4000 and US$25000. [2023] [163.88]
  • Sun Microsystems ships the 50 MHz Sun SuperSPARC processor. [557.134]
  • Steve Jobs fires NeXT co-president Peter van Cuylenburg. [734.348]
  • NeXT announces that it will drop its hardware line, to focus on becoming a larger player in the object-oriented software industry. Approximately 50,000 NeXT machines were built in total. It will lay off 330 of its 500 employees. [53] [206.289] [734.4] [746.40] [928.12] [1559] [2024] [2044.73] [2605.212]
  • In Paris, France, IBM shows an IBM RS/6000 workstation with a PowerPC processor running Apple Macintosh software. [1432.46]
  • Sun Microsystems, Novell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and the Santa Cruz Operation announce that they will work together toward a unified UNIX operating system standard. [734.349] (April [1365.40])
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May 10
  • The SunWorld '93 exposition is held in San Francisco, California. [973]
  • MIPS Technologies announces availability of the 150 MHz 64-bit R4400 RISC microprocessor. [2040] (June [557.134])
  • Fujitsu buys Ross Technology from Cypress for US$23 million. [985]
  • NeXT ships NeXTSTEP For Intel Processors v3.1. [206.289] [746.40] [2605.212]
  • IBM introduces the RS/6000 POWERstation and POWERserver 230, 23S, 23T, and 23W computers, with a 45.5 MHz CPU. [2045.1]
  • SunSelect announces the Windows Application Binary Interface (WABI). This interface would allow software written for Microsoft Windows to run on Unix systems. [746.62]
  • Texas Instruments announces availability of the SuperSPARC+ processor. It is manufactured using a 0.7 micron BiCMOS process. Price is US$1199 for 50 MHz and US$899 for 40 MHz parts, in 1000 unit quantities. [981] [987]
  • Sun Microsystems introduces and ships the SparcStation 10 Model 512MP, with 50 MHz SuperSparc+ CPUs. Speed ratings are 65-68 SpecInt92 and 80-85 SpecFP92. Price is US$33745. [2046.29]
  • Sun Microsystems introduces and ships the SparcStation 10 Model 30LC, with a 36 MHz CPU, and 16-inch color monitor. Price is US$15,995. [2046.29]
  • Sun Microsystems introduces and ships the SparcStation 10 Model 40, with a 40 MHz CPU, 36 kB on-chip cache, 32 MB RAM, and 1 GB hard disk. Price is US$20,745. [2046.29]
  • Sun Microsystems introduces and ships the SparcStation 10 Model 402MP, with dual 40 MHz CPUs, 36 kB on-chip cache per CPU, 32 MB RAM, and 1 GB hard disk. Price is US$24,745. [2046.29]
  • Sun Microsystems introduces and ships the SparcStation 10 Model 51, with a 50 MHz CPU, 36 kB on-chip cache, 1 MB external cache, 64 MB RAM, and 1 GB hard disk. Price is US$27,745. [2046.29]
(month unknown)
  • MIPS Technologies announces the R4200 processor. It is designed to run Windows NT at twice the speed of an Intel 486 processor. NEC will produce the chip, which should be available for sale by mid-1994. [985]
  • Digital Equipment ships the 200 MHz Alpha 21064 processor. [557.134]
(month unknown)
  • Weitek announces the 80 MHz clock-doubled SPARC Power upgrade processor for SPARCstation 2 systems. Price is US$1500 each. [987]
  • Texas Instruments begins shipping the 60 MHz SuperSPARC+ processor. Price is about US$1000 in 1000 unit quantities. [1073] [987]
  • Data General announces availability of a new line of Aviion workstations based on the Motorola 88110 processor. [987]
  • IBM introduces the RS/6000 POWERstation and POWERserver 34H computers. They feature 41.6 MHz CPU, 16 MB RAM, 400 MB hard drive, and 32 kB cache. [2047.2]
  • IBM releases AIX v3.2.4 for the RS/6000. [2047.3]
  • Digital Equipment begins volume shipments of the 200 MHz Alpha processor. [1100]
  • IBM demos its first PowerPC RS/6000 workstation, using a 95 MHz PowerPC 601 processor. [66] [583.35]
  • Sun Microsystems ships the 60 MHz Sun SuperSPARC processor. [557.134]
  • Ross Technology begins shipping 55 MHz and 66 MHz hyperSPARC processors. Price in 1000 unit quantities is US$895 and US$1595, respectively. [1100] [1073]
  • IBM debuts and ships its first PowerPC-based RS/6000 systems, the RS/6000 POWERserver 25S, POWERserver/station 250, POWERstation 25T and 25W, all using the 66 MHz PowerPC 601 chip. [2048.1] [212.191] [662.39] [2049.1] [881.81] [1812] (October [205.272] [557.134])
  • IBM announces the Power2 processor, at clock speeds of up to 71.5 MHz. It incorporates over 23 million transistors in eight separate chips for integer unit, floating point unit, 32 kB instruction cache unit, and four 64 kB data cache units. Performance is 126 SPECint92, 260 SPECfp92. [2049.2] [1812]
  • IBM announces the RS/6000 Model 990 computer. It features 71.5 MHz Power2 processor, CD-ROM drive, 15 Micro Channel slots. Prices start at US$124,500. Performance is rated at 126 SPECint92, 260 SPECfp92. [2049.2] [1812]
  • IBM announces the RS/6000 Model 590 computer. It features 66 MHz Power2 processor, 64 MB RAM, 2 GB hard drive, CD-ROM drive, seven Micro Channel slots. Price is US$72,500. Performance is rated at 117 SPECint92, 242 SPECfp92. [2049.2] [1812]
  • IBM announces the RS/6000 Model 58H computer. It features 55.5 MHz Power2 processor, 64 MB RAM, 2 GB hard drive, CD-ROM drive, seven Micro Channel slots. Price is US$62,500. Performance is rated at 98 SPECint92, 204 SPECfp92. [2049.2] [1812]
  • Digital Equipment announces the 166 MHz DECchip 21066 processor. It features 64 bit superscalar CPU and FPU, 8 kB instruction cache, 8 kB data cache, memory interface for SRAM, DRAM, and VRAM, and PCI bus interface. Price is US$424 in 1000 unit quantities. Performance is estimated at 70 SPECint92 and 105 SPECfp92. [1071]
  • 75 computer companies, including all major UNIX players, agree to adopt the Spec 1170 definition of UNIX, specifying a single set of 1170 API calls. [761.36]
(month unknown)
  • At the Hot Chips conference, Hitachi unveils its HARP-1 processor (Hitachi Advanced RISC Processor). It is designed to run at 120 MHz. It was created using a 0.5 micron BiCMOS process, incorporating 2.8 million transistors. Approximate performance: 70 SPECint92 and 110 SPECfp92. It follows the PA-RISC architecture, licensed from Hewlett-Packard. [1070]
  • Novell transfers the UNIX trademark to the international X/Open standards organization. [761.36] (1994 [2179.14])
  • Sun Microsystems ships the 85 MHz and 110 MHz MicroSPARC II processors. [557.134]
  • At the Microprocessor Forum, Digital Equipment announces the 21064A Alpha processor, capable of 275 MHz. It is manufactured using a 0.5 micron CMOS process. Dual cache sizes are 16 kB for data and instructions. Pricing is US$965 for 225 MHz, and US$1586 for 275 MHz, in 1000 unit quantities. [1074]
  • At the Microprocessor Forum, IDT and Toshiba announce the R4600 processor. Initial version is 100 MHz, at a cost of US$240 in 10,000 unit quantities. Code name during development was Orion. [1074]
(month unknown)
  • Sun Microsystems announces the microSPARC-2 processor. Speed is 70 MHz. 0.5 micron CMOS process is used. 24 kB cache. 2 million transistors. [1100]
  • Sales of Sun 600MP systems worldwide: 13,000. [1100]
  • Sales of Sun SPARCstation 10 systems worldwide: 100,000. [1100]
  • At the Comdex trade show, several systems vendors announce or demonstrate Windows NT systems powered by Alpha or MIPS processors. [1099]
  • At Comdex, MIPS Technologies demonstrates a system running a 200 MHz R4400 processor. [1099]
  • At Comdex, Digital Equipment demonstrates a system running a 320 MHz 21064A Alpha processor. [1099]
November 22
  • Steve Jobs announces that NeXT will port its NextStep operating system to the SPARC architecture. Sun Microsystems chairman Scott McNealy announces plans to invest US$10 million in NeXT, and use its software in future Sun systems. [1099] [1365.40]
December 10
  • SunSoft (a subsidiary of Sun Microsystems) ships the first version of WABI, providing Microsoft Windows application compatibility on Solaris, Intel, and Sparc versions of UNIX. [73] [1365.40]
  • Hewlett-Packard announces the 125 MHz PA-7150 processor. [1073] [1073]
  • Worldwide shipments of workstations: 621,919. [143]
  • Workstation market share for the year: HP PA-RISC 34%, Sun SPARC 23%, MIPS 20%, IBM RS/6000 11%. [1054]

End of 1993. Next: 1994.
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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.
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