SPARCstation IPX

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SPARCstation IPX is a workstation that was sold by Sun Microsystems. It is based on the sun4c architecture, and is enclosed in a lunchbox chassis.


CPU support[edit]

The SPARCstation IPX incorporates a Fujitsu MB86903 or Weitek W8701 40 MHz processor. Weitek provided 80 MHz after market "SPARC POWERuP!" (2000A-080 GCD) processors which work well in an IPX and require a rom update to v2.9.


The SPARCstation IPX has four 72-pin SIMM slots for memory expansion. The memory uses parity Fast Page Memory (FPM) SIMM's with speeds of 50-80ns. Slots can be filled individually giving a maximum of 64Mb memory. Paired memory modules decrease access times via "bank interleaving" resulting in faster memory and overall system performance. Additional 32 and 64mb SBUS "Above Board" RAM expanders will fit and work the IPX using the 8-pin J101 header which contains additional power and clock signals next to the DMA/Cache controller.

Disk drives[edit]

The SPARCstation IPX can hold one internal 50 pin IDC SCSI drive and a floppy. It also supports external SCSI devices. There is no IDE/ATAPI support. Modern 80 pin drives can work with an adapter, but do not fit inside the case due to the size of the adapter.

Network support[edit]

The SPARCstation IPX comes with an on-board AMD Lance Ethernet chipset providing 10Base5 networking as standard and 10Base2 and 10BaseT via an AUI transceiver. The OpenBoot ROM is able to boot from network, using RARP and TFTP. Like all other SPARCstation systems, the IPX holds system information such as MAC address and serial number in NVRAM. If the battery on this chip dies, then the system will not be able to boot unaided. (The boot parameters can be entered manually, but will be lost on power off.)

Operating systems[edit]

The following operating systems will run on a SPARCstation IPX:

  • SunOS 4.1.1 onwards
  • Solaris 2.0 to Solaris 7 (sun4c dropped in Solaris 8)
  • Linux - Some, but not all, distributions still support this sparc32 sub-architecture
  • NetBSD/sparc32 since 1.0
  • OpenBSD/sparc32

See also[edit]

External links[edit]