IBM announces AIX version 3 for RISC System/6000

Business Wire

February 15, 1990

NEW YORK -- IBM Thursday announced a new version of AIX-a -- IBM's version of the UNIX-a operating system -- which is designed to take advantage of the performance of the new RISC System/6000-a family of POWERstations and POWERservers.

Systems administrators, programmers and workstation users alike will find the new AIX Version 3 for RISC System/6000 and related programs offer many new and improved features, such as physical disk space management, advanced file system, program management facilities, extended realtime support and enhanced virtual memory. These improvements are designed to enhance ease of use, performance and reliability.

The new UNIX implementation provides improved system management and network install facilities. It also provides integrated communications facilities, including X.25, TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) and NFS-a (Network File Server).

User Interfaces

IBM announced leading industry graphical user interfaces: AIXwindows-a Environment/6000, based on the OSF/Motif-a graphical user interface from the Open Software Foundation-a; and AIX NextStep-a Environment/6000, based on the innovative NextStep environment from NeXT-a Inc.

IBM also announced that AIXwindows Environment/6000 and AIX NextStep Environment/6000 will be available as separate licensed programs. AIXwindows Environment/6000 incorporates OSF/Motif, enhanced with a user-friendly icon-based desktop; an enhanced version of the X Window System-a (Version 11, Release 3), featuring Display PostScript-a Interpreter from Adobe-a; and the Graphics Library (GL), a high-function graphical interface library for the programmer that is compatible with the Silicon Graphics-a GL interface.

AIX NextStep Environment/6000 provides intuitive icons and menus for easier access to system utilities and applications, and includes Adobe's Display PostScript Interpreter as the underlying imaging model. It also has an Interface Builder-a designed to provide a rich set of well-defined objects, and graphical capabilities that increase the productivity of both programmers and end users. In addition, the Objective-C-a compiler provides the benefits of object-oriented programming for developers.

Open Systems Software

This announcement reaffirms IBM's commitment to the technical and open systems environments. The new UNIX implementation, based on UNIX System V and 4.3 BSD, conforms to the Portable Operating System for Computer Environments (POSIX) IEEE Standard 1003.1-1988.

It is upwardly compatible with AT&T UNIX System V and includes extensions from UNIX V.2 and V.3. It is planned to comply with the X/Open-a Base Level Definition -- as defined in the X/Open Portability Guide, Issue 3 (XPG3) -- in a future release. It offers significant function from 4.3 BSD, including most system calls, library routines and commands. It is designed to meet the NCSC Trusted Computer System Evaluation Criteria, Class C2 requirement.

In addition, it will be compatible with the Open Software Foundation's Applications Environment Specification (AES), Level 0, designed for portability and interoperability of systems and applications.

``AIX Version 3 for RISC System/6000 includes major improvements in such key areas as graphics capabilities, communications support and terminal support,'' said Nick Donofrio, IBM vice president and president, Advanced Workstations Division. ``With it, we can now offer our customers the widest range of function in the industry.''


IBM announced its plans to provide additional capabilities for application support, networking and sharing data between AIX and Systems Application Architecture (SAA) environments.

These capabilities include improved support for sharing of files and databases, presentation services, electronic mail exchange, and a common set of standards-compliant languages between AIX and SAA.

The improved ability to communicate and share data between different environments enables IBM's customers to make more productive use of their hardware, software and applications.

Program Management

The dynamic load-time linking facility of the new version allows for the creation of executable programs that are smaller, requiring less storage. They also load faster, since they are no longer required to contain common library routines.

Program updating also is simplified, because common or shared routines now can be modified without rebuilding all programs that use them. In addition, the product's page-mapped loading feature allows programs to begin execution after the first page is loaded, rather than waiting for all code pages to be loaded.

Disk Space Management

A new feature, called ``logical volumes,'' simplifies disk space management by allowing users to dynamically extend disk space allocation more quickly and easily. With logical volumes, file system space may be allocated across multiple disks.

IBM's new implementation of the UNIX operating system exploits the RISC System/6000 family's 52-bit virtual addressing and data-lock assist feature to provide an advanced, reliable, memory-mapped file system. Local and remote files can be accessed as if they are objects in memory.

More than one million 256MB virtual segments are available for program and file use. Mapped files are designed to provide increased performance by allowing the paging subsystem to dynamically manage the disk I/O and use of I/O file buffers along with other demands on real memory.

System Management

A new System Management Interface Tool (SMIT) provides a menu-driven set of services for easier system installation, maintenance and problem determination. Customers can order the RISC System/6000 systems with the operating system pre-installed. Other licensed programs can be preloaded on the disk to simplify the installation process. The operating system also can be ordered on diskettes or 1/4-inch or 8-millimeter tape. A ``stacking'' option allows licensed programs ordered at the same time to be placed on one or two tapes for ease of handling.


Another outstanding innovation in this new UNIX implementation is InfoExplorer-a, a powerful text and graphics retrieval tool that allows users quick access to the comprehensive hypertext online information base.

InfoExplorer and the hypertext information base work together to provide the user two perspectives on system information. InfoExplorer guides users to the desired information module. The system displays the information and allows users to select hypertext links to other information modules for rapid cross referencing.

In order to produce the best results for users, the information has been restructured and streamlined to increase accessibility and retrievability. The education modules, called InfoTrainer-a, are designed to work as a seamless extension of the information base.

In addition to rapid retrieval of information, the operating system includes the capability for users to personalize the information by annotating its content, creating bookmarks, and by changing font and presentation styles.

When AIX is pre-installed, the basic library of reference manuals comes already installed on the system disk for immediate reference. The full library of technical references is available on CD-ROM. An optional compact disc reader provides a continuous online reference source for users. In a network environment, all terminals can use a single CD-ROM reader. a- RISC System/6000, AIX, AIXwindows, InfoExplorer, and InfoTrainer are trademarks of the International Business Machines Corporation. a- OSF/Motif and Open Software Foundation are trademarks of the Open Software Foundation Inc. a- UNIX is a registered trademark of AT&T in the United States and other countries, except Japan; and developed and licensed by AT&T in Japan. a- X/Open is a trademark of X/Open Company, Limited, in the United Kingdom and other countries. a- Adobe and Display PostScript are registered trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated. a- Network File System and NFS are trademarks of Sun Microsystems Inc. a- NeXT, NextStep, and Interface Builder are trademarks of NeXT Inc. a- Objective-C is a trademark of Stepstone Corporation. a- Silicon Graphics is a registered trademark of Silicon Graphics Inc.

CONTACT: IBM Corporation, New York Douglas M. DeLay, 212/230-5499 (through 2/16) or, 203/352-7611 (after 2/16)

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