In the end, NCR Corp. couldn't stand up to American Telephone & Telegraph Co.'s $7.4 billion takeover bid. Now the company, which is based in Dayton is going to test its mettle by standing up to IBM in the mainframe computer market. On May 13, NCR launched its most powerful computer ever, the model 3600. Using up to 288 of the same Intel 80486 microprocessors found in high-end PCs, the 3600 will--in theory--execute more than 10 billion instructions per second. That's 50 times as many as Big Blue's biggest announced mainframe, the ES/9000. NCR is designing its machine with help from Teradata Corp., a maker of specialized data-base-management computers in which it owns a 10% stake.
Where will all this horsepower find use? Mainly, say NCR officials, in processing millions of transactions such as those generated by networks of banking, supermarket, and retail terminals. The 3600's price range will also pack quite a wallop: $855,000 to about $8 million, depending on configuration.