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In surveying trends in the industry, the authors note that several commercial middle-range computers moved upward during 1985 in the fastest practical way: by combining several or even tens of very large-scale integrated (VLSI) processors to get raw processing power like that of the traditional mainframe. At the same time, the upper limit on processing power available from the most powerful commercial machines also moved upward with the introduction of Cray-2 from Cray Research Inc. Developments in bus-based (tightly coupled, loosely coupled) and non-bus-based (hypercubes) systems are assessed. Attention is also given to the advances made last year in supercomputers and near-supercomputers based on relatively small numbers of very powerful processors.