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(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • Hewlett-Packard, NEC to Develop IA-64-Enabled UNIX OS
  • September 18, 1998 (TOKYO) -- Hewlett-Packard Co. and NEC Corp. agreed to jointly develop a new version of HP-UX, HP's version of UNIX, for Intel Corp.'s "Merced" 64-bit microprocessor.
    Merced is due to be commercialized in late 2000.

    NEC will transport part of the operating system kernel, with support from HP.

    The new HP-UX for Merced has been under joint development by HP and other three companies: Santa Cruz Operation Inc., NEC and Hitachi Ltd.

    IA-64, the instruction set for Merced, conforms to specifications called PlayDoh (HPL-PD) developed by an R&D; division of HP. That makes the new version HP-UX a strong candidate to run on Merced-based systems, according to concerned parties.

    The above four companies currently are using servers with HP's PA-8000 to develop the new version of HP-UX. This requires a transporting process to actually run the HP UNIX being developed at present on a Merced-based system in future. HP will leave the transporting work to NEC.

    With the move, NEC reportedly wants to preemptively master know-how and technology yet to be announced by Intel and HP for managing and operating codes in the Merced operating system.

    However it is not clear whether NEC will succeed in acquiring this advanced know-how based on the current agreement with HP.

    Their agreement for the porting work covers mainly a memory management function, a task scheduling function and the file system. They are all related to basic functions provided in the kernel portion of the operating system, which means they are not strongly dependent on a specific instruction-set architecture.

    In addition, it is highly likely that some modification will be required after the actual porting is conducted. The transporting itself is based on a simulator provided by HP and Intel.

    More information is in English at: http://www.nec.co.jp/english/today/newsrel/9809/1001.html

    (BizTech News Dept.)

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    Updated: Thu Sep 17 18:19:31 1998 PDT