CBR Staff Writer
18:30, May 9 1991
MIPS' forthcoming 64-bit 50 MIPS, 1.3m transistor R4000 part, the
basis of the ACE consortium's Advanced RISC Computing system, is
now taped out, samples are expected within 60 days and volume
deliveries are slated for the end of the year. Ray says that the
impetus the ACE developers are bringing to the MIPS bandwaggon
should enable it to deliver R4000 parts at the same price as Intel
Corp's 80386 in future. Licences for the base R4000 architecture
start at $2m. Although the hardware element of ACE is now more or
less in place, the operating system software issue is still sowing
confusion within the industry. To clarify matters, Santa Cruz
Operation Inc has taken a leaf out of Unix International's book and
put together its own Roadmap for the future of Open Desktop - one
of the two operating systems chosen by ACE to run on the MIPS-based
hardware specification. Open Desktop 1.0 will conform to release
2.0 of AT&T's System V Interface Definition for Unix, which
Santa Cruz reckons will run at least some Unix V.4 applications.
Release 2.0 will comply with release 3.0 of the System V Interface
Definition, which essentially defines Unix System V.4
compatibility. As far as Microsoft's New Technology, or OS/2 3.0
ACE offering is concerned, Ray says most of it has already been
implemented on the MIPS architecture over the last 18 months. When
Microsoft first implemented New Technology on Intel's 80860 RISC,
MIPS wrote to Bill Gates and said great job, but you've chosen the
wrong environment, come and implement it on MIPS. MIPS' own
RISC/os implementation of Unix will be integrated with Open Desktop
and will eventually be able to support both big endian and little
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