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Integrated Systems to Tie Up with Four Japanese Semiconductor Makers

September 24, 1999 (TOKYO) -- U.S.-based Integrated Systems Inc. will form a business alliance with four Japanese semiconductor makers -- Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Hitachi, Ltd., NEC Corp. and Fujitsu Ltd. -- to promote the business of mobile information devices equipped with ISI's real-time operating system.

The move reflects the intentions of Sun Microsystems Inc. The company aims to make a full-force entry into the embedded equipment market such as mobile information devices, with its Java technology as an effective business weapon.

ISI has already made plans to sell embedded software development board with "M32R/D," Mitsubishi's microprocessor, to run "pSOS," ISI's real-time operating system featuring Sun's Java execution environment.

With this alliance, ISI will make a development board with semiconductors in Hitachi's "SH" series, NEC's "V800" series and Fujitsu's "SPARClite" so that ISI can increase relevant microprocessors to make pSOS with Java execution environment widespread in the mobile device market.

The alliance will allow ISI to spread its real-time operating system. It will be an advantage for the semiconductor makers as well because they will be able to sell their microprocessors to the users of ISI's development board and also ask ISI to offer the necessary technical support.

But, Sun Microsystems may be the one to benefit most from the alliance. By combining microprocessors with the real-time operating system, Sun expects Java to be used more extensively. That environment is widespread in the market of electronic appliances with embedded software. In order to make Java widespread among the electronics industry with embedded software, Sun Microsystems entrusted U.S.-based Doctor Design Inc., an affiliated company of ISI, with development support for the electric manufacturers. In this way, ISI and Sun Microsystems are collaborating in promoting Java.

As for the mobile terminals market, Microsoft Corp. hopes to popularize "Windows CE" and UK-based Symbian Ltd. hopes to popularize "EPOC." In this respect, it is essential for Sun and ISI to be backed by many semiconductor makers to counter the competition.

The business alliance formed between ISI and four Japanese semiconductor makers will be officially announced before the "Embedded Systems Conference," an embedded equipment industry exhibition to be held in San Jose, Calif. on Sept. 26-30, 1999. Further, the alliance is likely to involve other Japanese semiconductor makers in future, such as Sharp Corp. and Toshiba Corp.

(Nikkei Electronics)

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