Division name: Apollo

Founded: 1989
Address: 15 Elizabeth Drive, Chelmsford Massachusetts
Overhead of HP Apollo Division


Apollo Computer Corporation was founded in 1980 by Bill Poduska. Apollo made high-powered, self-contained computer workstations for scientists. These machines were based on Motorola’s 68000 series of CPUs. Apollo quickly became one of the leaders in the new market. In 1988, Sun, HP and Apollo each held about twenty percent of the technical workstation market. In 1988, Apollo introduced the “PRISM” RISC-based DN10000 workstation.

HP acquired Apollo Computer Corporation of Massachusetts in 1989 for $476m. Apollo had an installed base of about 100,000 workstations when it was acquired by HP.

HP’s Brian Moore had engineered the acquisition. Dave Perozak became the general manager of the new HP division. The Apollo Division took over the development of HP’s RISC-based technical workstations which would eventually take the form of the highly-successful 700 Series in 1991. The development of Apollo’s PRISM RISC architecture was dropped in favor of HP’s PA-RISC architecture although some of PRISM’s ideas were used in HP’s CPUs.

The HP 9000 300 Series activities in Fort Collins reported to the new Apollo Division. The first products produced by the merged companies were the 400 Series computers in 1990, based around the Motorola 68030 and 68040 processors. In September of 1989, the Apollo Division was renamed the “Apollo Systems Division”.

In May of 1991, the Apollo Systems Division merged with the Fort Collins Systems Division to form the Workstation Systems Division.

The Apollo acquisition was not a success for HP. Combined revenues from the historic HP technical desktops and Apollo workstations declined from over $900M in 1988 to only $725M in 1991. Sales of Apollo products alone dropped from $550M in 1989 to $360M in 1990. Two years after the acquisition, HP’s market share in technical desktop computers was again at about twenty percent. By 1990, Sun was the dominant player in the workstation market with over $2B in revenue.

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