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The word workstation often refers to a general-purpose computer designed to be used by one person at a time and which offers higher performance than normally found in a personal computer, especially with respect to graphics, processing power and the ability to carry out several tasks at the same time. The 3Station by 3Com was a typical early example.

Increasingly the line between a workstation and PC has become blurred as the trend for consolidation has caused workstation manufacturers to 'use off the shelf' PC components and graphics solutions as opposed to proprietary in-house developed technology. What can be inferred from this is that PCs are now themselves at the cutting edge of technology.

In the early 1980s, pioneers in this field were Apollo Computer and Sun Microsystems who created UNIX-based workstations based on the Motorola 68000 processor.

List of Workstations

See also: music workstation

Based on material from FOLDOC