FT//e & FT//s SuperServer
System Specifications

System Overview
Technical Highlights
Technical Specifications
Model Summary

System Overview

With the fault-tolerant Apricot FT//e and the FT//s SuperServer, Apricot is one of the first manufacturers to realise the full potential of industry standard processing for large-scale host and network server applications.

Apricot fault-tolerant servers couple the power of the Intel 486 and Pentium™ processor families with dedicated host architecture - including high performance disk arrays, fault-tolerant features, security and large-scale expansion capability - providing a hardware platform with the ability to replace many mini and mainframe computers.

Technical Highlights

Departmental Applications

Both the FT//e and FT//s are built around the same motherboard and core functionality. The FT//e provides a highly cost-effective workgroup solution for small-medium LANs of ten users upwards, whilst the massive expansion of the FT//s SuperServer provides the extra capacity needed for major enterprise-wide applications.

Apricot server development has been carried out in close co-operation with the main operating system developers. Apricot is one of the few manufacturers in the world to have a Novell engineer dedicated to its products at Novell's headquarters, as part of our Strategic Engineering Support (SES) agreement.

Apricot also has a very close working relationship with Microsoft, encompassing a strategic TAM (Technical Account Management) agreement, which guarantees full support for Apricot products. In addition, Apricot is also a major OEM for SCO.

These relationships mean that every system is optimised for performance with the main network and multi-user systems, including Novell NetWare, UNIX, LAN Manager and Windows NT.

Individually Configured

Every Apricot server is individually configured and assembled to meet the customer's exact specification.

Options include up to 192 MB of on-board RAM (256 MB on Pentium™ systems), and powerful drive arrays giving up to 20 GB of storage capacity on the FT//s SuperServer.

All Apricot server drive systems have been developed for exceptional throughput, using Apricot's ultra high-performance Multiple Drive Array (MDA) controller.


Unlike conventional PC servers, Apricot servers provide a significant level of fault-tolerant protection as standard.

Every system unit includes an uninterruptible power supply and built-in temperature sensors. And with options for drive mirroring, drive duplexing, RAID and full server mirroring, Apricot server technology provides the highest possible level of protection to ensure continued system availability.

In addition, the Apricot LOC Technology security system provides the physical protection that is essential to guard unattended servers against tampering and unauthorised access.

Processing & Memory

Upgradable processor modules

A clear route forward to more processing power in the future, at minimum cost. Existing 486 CPU modules designed for simple field upgrade to faster 486 or Pentium™ based processing.

486DX2 at 66 MHz

One of the highest levels of processor performance currently available.

Pentium™ 60 MHz

Purpose designed for Intel's next generation of high performance desktop processors.

Second level cache

Up to 128 KB ultra-high speed cache memory (512 KB on Pentium™ versions) handles most frequently accessed RAM and ROM data - drives processor at maximum speed for extended periods.

Up to 192 MB on-board RAM (256 MB on Pentium™ versions)

Meets the most user demanding requirements for a multi-user host specification - with no need for slower bus memory.

High performance memory controller, with 64-bit data path

The memory controller is purpose designed for 64-bit architecture and allows the processor to operate at very low wait states, by interleaving 32-bit memory read operations.


Software programmable ROM - for fast, easy system upgrading.

Micral SLIK-3 chipset

Core architecture is designed to keep pace with the most advanced industry-standard technology: supports both Pentium™ and 486 processors, 40 MB/sec expansion bus data transfers and up to 256 MB RAM (on Pentium™ models)

Apricot Multiple Drive Array

Apricot MDA controller

High bandwidth, multi-threaded SCSI II controller ensures fastest possible throughput of data between disk array and CPU. Due to its low command overhead, integral processor and optimised drivers, data can be routed through the controller in just 300 microseconds (up to 3 times faster than most controllers).

Quad controller option (dual on FT//e)

Provides increased performance and first class fault tolerance.

Supports Fast SCSI II

With data transfer rate of 10 MB/sec, provides double the throughput of conventional SCSI - matching the outstanding performance of Apricot drives with high-speed throughput.

Streaming Data Protocol

Apricot MDA supports Micro Channel II 40 MB/sec data transfer - increasing throughput between SCSI interface and CPU.

Drive mirroring and duplexing under NetWare, Windows NT, LAN Manager and Univel UnixWare

Provides maximum protection for system availability against drive system failure. Mirroring duplicates entire disk system, to provide a continuous backup: duplexing duplicates both disk system and controller, for additional protection.

Supports data striping under NetWare and Windows NT

Data interleaved across an array of drives for increased performance on multiple read/write operations.

Multiple drive arrays

Supports arrays of up to ten drives, giving a potential maximum capacity of 20 GB on FT//s (6 GB on FT//e) - hence providing the expansion needed for major database applications.

Ultra high performance drives

Fastest drives currently available within the 3.5" form factor - combining very fast rapid access with exceptional reliability.

Input / Output

Micro Channel II

High performance 32-bit bus architecture. Apricot servers support Streaming Data Protocol (SDP) mode, doubling I/O bus throughput from 20 to 40 MB/sec.

Eight 32-bit slots

Flexible expansion facilities and video extension capabilities.

High performance busmaster network controllers

Network I/O is streamlined by a co-processor on the bus, with direct access to system memory.

Fault Tolerance

Uninterruptible Power Supply

Protects against power failure plus spikes and surges in the power supply.

Temperature sensors

Automatic alarm provides immediate warning of overheating.

Integration with main operating system

Status of UPS, security and temperature sensors is linked to main operating system, providing remote monitoring and automatic warnings throughout the network.


Using RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks), Apricot servers are designed to ensure continual system availability.

Server mirroring

The ultimate in fault-tolerant protection - twin Apricot servers connected by a fibre-optic link, providing a constant, live backup of all data and system resources. Available under Novell NetWare SFT level 3.

Apricot LOC Technology

Infra-red access control

Overcome the inherent limitations of password-only security, by using a physical token (an infra-red card) in conjunction with password and user ID.

Independent security subsystem

Security has its own processor, memory and real-time clock - so it can't be circumvented or tampered with via the main operating system.

Security management

Disk drives, I/O ports and Micro Channel slots can be selectively disabled.

Tamper-proof protection

Control panel, system internals and removable media are all securely protected against unauthorised access by a piercing alarm.


In a DOS environment, can store all data in a unique, encoded form - prevents unauthorised users from loading programs or removing data.

UKL1 approval

The UK government's Computing and Security Group has tested the LOC Technology security subsystem and confirms that it meets the demanding UKL1 standard.


Configurable systems

All products built to an exact customer specification and tested as a complete system at Apricot's UK factory - for increased reliability.

BS5750 / ISO 9000 quality systems

All design, manufacturing and testing processes carried out under the control of BS5750 quality systems - an assurance of thorough, documented quality procedures.

Conforms to international RFI standards

Conforms to all international standards for radio frequency emissions - including FCC Class B and VCCI Level 2.

Monitors conform to MPRII standards for radiated field emissions

Meets most demanding EC and international health and safety regulations for screen emissions.

Software and ROM

Pre-installed operating system

Each server can be pre-loaded and tested with the customer's chosen operating system at Apricot's factory - ensuring total compatibility between hardware and software.

Supports all major operating system standards

Developed in partnership with major operating system suppliers, for optimised performance with each of the major network and multi-user systems - including Novell NetWare, LAN Manager, Windows NT, SCO UNIX and Univel UnixWare.

Inclusive Apricot LOC Technology software plus infra-red card (UK only)

All the software needed to enable and configure the on-board LOC Technology security system.

Apricot Technology

Multiple Drive Array (MDA)

Apricot MDA is a high bandwidth, multi-threaded drive array controller that is designed to transfer data to and from the CPU at very high speeds. To achieve this level of throughput, the MDA approach exploits the fastest available technology at every stage of the data transfer path - including high performance drives, fast SCSI II interface and Micro Channel II bus.

The MDA controller has been designed to reduce the overhead involved in transferring data from disk to processor to an absolute minimum. It has a built-in 16-bit processor to streamline the handling of SCSI commands, and it's supported by a superbly efficient range of software drivers.

The result is an unparalleled level of raw throughput, typically with just 300 microseconds taken to route data from the SCSI bus to the Micro Channel bus.

Conventional RAID 3, 4 and 5 systems use intelligent array controllers to protect against failure with complex redundant data systems. Apricot MDA uses RAID level 1 disk mirroring or duplexing to ensure continuous system availability, using the proven features of operating systems like Novell 3.11. With no need for complex parity checking routines, this approach provides faster performance than conventional RAID 3, 4 and 5 subsystems.

Fault Tolerance

In any major host or server system, protection and control is as important as performance and capacity. Apricot servers are the first industry standard systems to provide effective safeguards against component failure, power supply problems and unauthorised access.

The basic concept behind this strategy is 'the machine room in a box'. As far as possible, Apricot servers recreates the control and protection of the traditional computer room inside the server system unit.

All Apricot servers include an integral UPS (uninterruptible power supply) unit. If there's any break in the mains supply, the UPS takes over automatically. Even outside the machine room, the server is still protected by a level of environmental control, with built-in temperature sensors.

The system also monitors the status of its own UPS, checking that the battery is fully charged and ready for operation.

Apricot's server fault tolerance is integrated with the main network operating systems, providing automatic messaging and remote monitoring facilities throughout the network.

Apricot LOC Technology

The Apricot LOC Technology security system is the second key element of its server protection strategy. With access controlled by both a password and an infra-red transmitter, it provides the physical protection that is needed to guard unattended servers against tampering.

On its own, a password is inherently insecure. It leaves the system at the mercy of careless users and skilled hackers. Using the Apricot approach, access is controlled by special hardware integrated into the motherboard - with a separate security processor, battery power and memory, this means that intruders can't hack into password data from the main operating system.

Without the right combination of password and infra-red signal, it's impossible to boot an Apricot server. In addition, the LOC Technology barrier provides tamper-proof protection while the server is running - protecting removable media and barring access to the inside of the system unit.

64-bit Motherboard

The Apricot fault-tolerant servers are designed with a 64-bit architecture in mind to provide first class performance. With a choice of 486 or Pentium™ processors, the Apricot SuperServer is at the forefront of technology, providing the highest levels of performance at an affordable price.

Technical Specifications


Type Cache Numeric coprocessor Address / data
Intel 486DX-33 (on FT//e only) N/A Integral 32 bit
Intel 486DX2-66 128 KB direct mapped, write through Integral 32 bit
Intel Pentium™ 512 KB two way set associative, write through Integral 64 bit

iCOMP Benchmark

iCOMP 486DX-33 486DX2-66 Pentium™ 60 Pentium™ 66
Index 166 297 510 567


CPU Socket PGA 238 pin (allows upgrade to Pentium™ based processing)
Pentium™ PGA (273 pin)
Core Logic Micral SLIK-3 chipset (6 chip implementation)
256K x 8 programmable FLASH ROM


Minimum Configuration 16 MB x 32 bit motherboard RAM
Max. on-board memory 192 MB on 486, 256 MB on Pentium™
Speed 70 ns
SIMM sockets 6 x 36-bit SIMM sockets, arranged as 3 x 64-bit wide pairs on 486 systems.
8 x 36-bit SIMM sockets, arranged as 2 x 128-bit wide 4s on Pentium™ systems

Display Controller

Architecture VGA / SVGA / EVGA
Controller Cirrus Logic GD5426, including 75 MHz RAMDAC and frequency synthesiser
Video RAM 1 MB
Display Resolutions EVGA 1024 x 768 (16 or 256 colours)
SVGA 800 x 600 (16, 256 or 65,536 colours)
VGA 640 x 480 (16, 256, 65,536 or 16.8m colours)

I/O Ports

Serial 1 x 25-pin male D-type
Parallel 1 x 25-pin female D-type

Floppy Drives

Floppy disk controller Intel 82077SL with twin 34-pin drive connectors
Floppy drive A 1.44 MB 3.5" floppy (94ms average access time)
Floppy drive B 1.44 MB 3.5" floppy or 1.2 MB 5.25" floppy

SCSI Devices

Type Cartridge type Data Buffer Data transfer rates
DC600 tape DC6150/150 MB (620ft)
DC6250/250 MB (1020ft)
64 KB 1.25 MB/sec (burst)
112.5 KB/sec (average)
DC600 tape DC6320/320 MB (620ft)
DC6525/525 MB (1020ft)
256 KB 2 MB/sec (burst)
180/240 KB/sec (average)
DDS 2 hour DAT/1.3 GB (197ft)
3 hour DAT/2 GB (295ft)
512 KB 5 MB/sec (burst)
183 KB/sec (average)
CD-ROM 300 KB/sec transfer rate (CDU561) Sony CD-ROM

Apricot MDA Controller

Micro Channel interface 32-bit bus master DMA: up to 40 MB/sec data transfer in streaming mode
SCSI interface Fast SCSI II: up to 10 MB/sec synchronous and 7 MB/sec asynchronous data transfers.
Compatible with SCSI II command set
Processors Intel 80186 MPU
BusLogic 80C20 ASIC busmaster interface chip
SCSI interface controller ASIC
SCSI connectors 50-pin double row internal
50-pin shielded SCSI II external
Inclusive drivers MS-DOS
Novell NetWare 3.x
IBM OS/2 2

Hard Disk Storage

FT//s Drive bays Five full-height 5.25" bays
Maximum ten 3.5" devices
FT//e Drive bays Two half-height 5.25" bays at front, two half-height 3.5" or three 1" high 3.5" devices at rear

Hard Disk Drives

Type Formatted capacity (MB) Average access (ms) Max. data rate - buffer to SCSI bus (MB/sec) Single track seek (ms) Cache (KB) MTBF (000 power-on hours)
Quantum ProDrive LPS240S 245 16 3.75 <4 256 250
Maxtor Magician MXT540SL 546 8.5 5 <1.5 (read) 256 300
Maxtor Magic MXT1240S 1240 8.5 5 <1.5 (read) 256 300
Seagate Elite ST42400N 2030 11 5 1.7 256 150
IBM Alleycat 0664M1H 2014 9.2 5 0.6 (read) 512 650

CD-ROM Drive

Transfer rate Data capacity Random access time (ms) Buffer memory (KB)
SCSI CD-ROM CDU561 300 KB/sec 656 MB (mode 1)
748 MB (mode 2)
295 256

Expansion Bus

Bus architecture Micro Channel II
Maximum data transfer rate 40 MB/sec, using Streaming Data Protocol
Slots Eight 32-bit slots with matched memory extensions
(including one slot with base video extension and one slot with auxiliary video extension)
Network interface options 3Com 3C527B busmaster Ethernet adapter
IBM Token Ring adapter


Power supply unit 465 W on FT//s
282 W on FT//e
Batteries for UPS 2 x 12 V 12 Ah, average duration 30 minutes (on FT//s)
2 x 12 V 5.4 Ah, average duration 25 minutes (on FT//e)
Advanced System Controller (ASC) Monitors status of UPS, mains and battery supplies
Monitors system thermal sensors (FT//s only)
Controls access to interiors
Displays diagnosis information on front panel LCD (FT//s only)

LOC Technology

LOC Technology subsystem Single chip custom microprocessor with ROM, RAM, real time clock and NiCd battery backup
Access control Password, user ID and infra-red security card
Physical protection Lockable side panels protect access to removable media.
Front and side panels linked to alarmed access control system.
Unique system identification number (SIN)
(required to reboot system if security is damaged or disconnected).
Maximum users 25 per workstation
Security configuration Timed access control
Enable or disable selected devices -

Hard disk drives
Floppy disk read and/or write access
Serial port
Parallel port
Micro Channel slots
Mouse/keyboard port
Main CPU
Front panel
Flash BIOS programming

Password control 6 level history, minimum password length, forced password changes
Encryption Floppy drive and / or hard disk partitions
Unattended server protection Screen blanking, keyboard / mouse disable and panel alarms, activated by infra-red card
Approval UK Level 1 (UK Government IT security evaluation and certification scheme as tested on Apricot Qi)


EMC / RFI FCC part 15 Limit B, VDE 0871 limit B, EN 55022 limit B,
DOC 108 limit B, VCCI Level 2
Safety UL 1950, CSA 22.2.950, EN60950

Video Drivers

640 x 480, 256 colours Windows 3.1, AutoCAD, AutoSHADE
800 x 600, 16 colours Windows 3.1, AutoCAD, AutoSHADE, Word 5.x,
WordPerfect 5.1, OS/2 2
800 x 600, 256 colours Windows 3.1, AutoCAD, AutoSHADE, OS/2 2
800 x 600, 65,536 colours Windows 3.1, AutoCAD, AutoSHADE
1024 x 768, 16 colours Windows 3.1, AutoCAD, AutoSHADE,
WordPerfect 5.1, OS/2 2
1024 x 768, 256 colours Windows 3.1, AutoCAD, AutoSHADE, OS/2 2

User Input Drivers

Keyboard 102 key AT keyboard with 12 function keys, programmable repeat (2 - 30 characters per second), 16 character type ahead buffer, 2m coiled cable
Mouse PS/2 compatible two-button mouse

14" SVGA Colour Monitor

Standard SVGA
CRT size (diagonal) 14"
CRT type Medium-short persistence phosphor: P22 or equivalent
Anti-glare screen finish
Modes VGA, SVGA non-interlaced
Display area 245 x 183mm (±3mm) Width is user-adjustable
Dot pitch 0.28mm
Phosphor P22
Safety EN 60950, VDE 0871 / 0875 Class B, EN55022 Class B
CRT conforms to Anlage III RoV requirements
EMI / RFI approvals MPRII 1990:8

14" and 17" EVGA Trinitron Monitor

Standard EVGA
CRT size (diagonal) 14" or 17"
CRT type Trinitron colour
Modes VGA, SVGA, XGA, non-interlaced 1024 x 768 resolution
Display area 14": 253 x 190mm (±6mm)
17": 300 x 225mm (±6mm)
Dot pitch Effective 0.26mm
Phosphor P22
Safety EN 60950, UL1950, CSA 22.2-950
EMI / RFI approvals FCC part 15 class B, VDE 0871, 10.6 Class B,
EC/EN 55022 (CISPR 22), SWEDAC MPRII 1990:8

Physical Dimensions

Height (mm) Depth (mm) Width (mm) Weight (kg)
FT//s system unit 625 625 410 65.0
FT//e system unit 560 510 155 35.0
Keyboard 40 205 488 1.4
14" SVGA Monitor 360 384 351 11.5
14" EVGA Monitor 354 400 351 14.5
17" EVGA Monitor 365 485 401 25.9

Model Summary

Apricot FT//e

Intel i486 DX-33, DX2-66 or Pentium™ processors
16 - 192 MB RAM (256 MB on Pentium™)
3.5" floppy drive bay (supports 1.44 MB drives)
One half-height 5.25" bays
Two half-height 3.5" drive bays
Hard disk options: 240 MB, 520 MB, 1.2 GB and
2 GB drives (maximum 5 drives per system)

Apricot FT//s SuperServer

16 - 192 MB RAM (256 MB on Pentium™)
3.5" floppy drive bay (supports 1.44 MB drives)
Five full-height 5.25" drive bays
Hard disk options: 520 MB, 1 GB, 1.2 GB and 2 GB drives
(maximum 10 drives per system)

Adaptec AHA1640 and Apricot MDA fast SCSI controller

150 MB or 525 MB QIC SCSI tape drive,
1.3 GB or 2 GB DDS drive (up to 8 GB with compression)

Micro Channel II expansion bus, with 8 x 32-bit slots

3Com 3C527B 32-bit busmaster Ethernet controller
(systems can also be configured with high-performance
Token Ring or serial controller interfaces)

EVGA graphics controller 1024 x 768 x 256 colours

25 way serial and parallel ports; keyboard port
and PS/2 compatible mouse port

Integral UPS

102 key PS/2 keyboard

Apricot LOC Technology security

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Louis F. Ohland, Peter H. Wendt, David L. Beem, William R. Walsh, Tatsuo Sunagawa, Tomáš Slavotínek, Jim Shorney, Tim N. Clarke, Kevin Bowling, and many others.

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