Unix System Laboratories Inc. makes product announcement

Business Wire

April 9, 1991

Summit, N.J. -- UNIX System Laboratories Inc. (USL) Tuesday announced availability of the UNIX(R) System V Release 4 Applications Binary Interface (ABI) for the MIPS(R) RISC computer architecture.

By following the ABI, software vendors can develop shrink-wrapped applications, such as databases, word processors and spreadsheets, that will run on different computer systems using the MIPS RISC chips.

AT&T Computer Systems, NEC Corp., Olivetti Systems & Networks, Prime Computer, Pyramid Technology Corporation, Siemens Nixdorf Information Systems, Sony Microsystems Company, and Tandem Computers Incorporated, all have committed to offering MIPS-based computer systems compliant with the UNIX System V Release 4 (SVR4) MIPS ABI.

As a result, SVR4 MIPS ABI compliant applications, such as those provided by Oracle, Sybase, Visix Software and other vendors, will run on computer systems from all of these corporations id binary form without recompilation.

``The introduction of the MIPS SVR4 ABI is a major step in the completion of the UNIX System V Release 4 picture,'' said Larry Dooling, president of USL. ``Applications can now be developed to a standard binary interface for the MIPS architecture with assurance of broad compatibility across MIPS computers systems supporting this ABI.

``In addition, this opens the door for all the applications already ported to System V Release 4 ABIs in other system architectures to be easily moved to SVR4 MIPS-based systems.''

``MIPS believes that the endorsement of the SVR4 ABI by several of its customers is a positive step toward achieving standardization on the MIPS architecture,'' said Robert Miller, Chairman and CEO of MIPS Computers.

Peter Cunningham, president and CEO, UNIX International, said, ``With this announcement of the MIPS ABI, UNIX System V Release 4 has fulfilled a promise we made at its introduction in November 1989. Now every ISV has a unique opportunity. With a single source program, cost effectively written and maintained, it is possible to reach an established market of over $17 billion.

``System V Release 4 maintains source compatibility across all the major chips and binary compatibility within each chip family, making the future of shrink wrapped software a reality. UNIX International has provided the process making this possible and the generic ABI which chip manufacturers used as a template.

``We are extremely pleased that the full cluster of major microprocessor manufacturers have completed this important step.''

Akira Kobayashi, NEC Corporation Executive Vice President and Director, said, ``NEC currently supports UNIX System V Release 4 on its MIPS RISC-based Super-Station EWS4800. We are very pleased by the announcement of the MIPS SVR4 ABI specification by USL. NEC intends to introduce this standard in its products as soon as possible.''

Richard H. Lussier, president, CEO and chairman of Pyramid Technology, said, ``As one of the participants in establishing an ABI for the MIPS architecture, we applaud USL's efforts in this area. We made a strategic decision over two years ago to develop a complementary product line based on the MIPS architecture, based on our belief that the MIPS architecture would become one of the dominant standards for open commercial computing.

``We will be introducing systems based on this ABI in the very near future, and believe a widely supported ABI is a major step towards establishing MIPS as the de facto standard.''

Klaus Gewald, vice president, open systems development at Siemens Nixdorf, Germany, said, ``Siemens Nixdorf Informationssysteme AG is pleased about the establishment of a binary standard for the MIPS technology. It is an important step towards success in the marketplace for our MIPS-based RISC product family.

``This complements our current SINIX V.4 strategy very well which we implemented on our CISC product line currently being shipped, and provides for a common standard System V Release 4 based ABI.''

Richard B. Snyder, president and general manager of Prime's Computer Systems Business Unit, said, ``This is indeed a big day for true application portability and the computer industry. We're pleased that these two key technologies important to Prime's system platform development--UNIX System V and MIPS RISC architecture--are coming together in a standardized operating system interface supported by the industry's leading open systems vendors.

``The stability, high functionality and wide vendor support of this new system interface allows us to offer our PRIME EXL 7000 Series customers an even broader range of high-quality applications that meet their processing needs. We look forward to providing all our system users and software vendors with a greater freedom of choice than ever before available in achieving their open systems computing requirements.''

Dr. James Mannos, Sony Microsystems Company president, said, ``Since we are already shipping SVR4 on our NEWS(R) laptop and desktop workstations, the availability of the SVR4 ABI for the MIPS architecture reconfirms Sony's strong commitment to our users, independent software vendors (ISVs) and resellers. This ABI will greatly accelerate the selection and depth of applications available to our SVR4 customers.''

Bruce Dougherty, vice president, UNIX systems sales and marketing at Tandem Computers Incorporated, said, ``One of our major design goals for Tandem's Integrity S2 system was to bring improved data integrity and application fault tolerance to System V applications. This ABI will allow applications from other vendors who support this ABI to gain full access to these features without modification or recompilation.''

James E. Clark, AT&T Computer Systems vice president and the company's UNIX International representative, said, ``We are very pleased with the availability of the System V Release 4 ABI for MIPS architecture. We are committed to offering the latest UNIX System V technology on all of our server platforms.

``This announcement further unites the industry around SVR4 as the operating system of choice for upcoming systems as it allows for easy portability of applications software across an increasing number of platforms from a variety of vendors. As a result of this announcement, the industry will soon begin the delivery of binary compatible systems that range from the desktop to the data center. AT&T Computer Systems will be among the companies to do so.''

Franco Agostinucci, senior vice president, OS&N strategy at Olivetti, said, ``Among companies offering UNIX System V Release 4, Olivetti Systems & Networks is pleased with this announcement, in light of future extension of its systems offer to include MIPS based products.''

Stewart Schuster, vice president of marketing at Sybase, Inc., said, ``As a leading vendor of client/server relational database management products, we are extremely pleased with the availability of the MIPS SVR4 ABI. The ABI will allow us to implement new features of the SYBASE system across a wider number of platforms in an effective and efficient manner.

``This, in turn, will allow our customers to develop client/server applications across a greater variety of platforms.''

Jim Sha, vice president of Oracle's UNIX Products Division said, ``Oracle applauds USL's leadership in bringing the MIPS SVR4 ABI to market. The adoption of ABIs by the industry, such as that for the MIPS RISC architecture, will allow Oracle to provide better quality software on a much wider range of hardware platforms that meet ABI specifications.

``Furthermore, we will be able to deliver product in a shorter amount of time than was previously possible. Oracle has been working closely with MIPS SVR4 ABI vendors to ensure that the ORACLE RDBMS will be strictly compliant with the MIPS SVR4 specification.''

Jay Wettlaufer, chairman, president and CEO of Visix Software, Inc., said, ``Application portability is the developer's holy grail. It's hard for me to imagine a software developer that wouldn't be excited by the prospect of a widely adopted ABI standard for SVR4.

``By reducing our costs of porting and maintaining multiple versions of very complex software, this new standard enables Visix to invest in what counts most--the customer.''

Copies of the MIPS SVR4 ABI can be ordered through UNIX Press at 201/767-5937.

UNIX System Laboratories, Inc., a subsidiary of AT&T, develops and markets UNIX System V and related Open Systems software in source code form to computer industry vendors worldwide. Note to Editors: UNIX is a registered trademark of UNIX System Laboratories, Inc., a subsidiary of AT&T. MIPS is a registered trademark of MIPS Computer Systems, Inc. NEWS is a registered trademark of Sony Corporation. Company PR

Contacts T&T Computer Systems Kathryn McKee 708-979-7143 MIPS Computer Systems, Inc. Joanne Hasegawa 408-524-7164 NEC Corporation Nissho Aoki 212-972-2045 Olivetti Alessandro De Maria 39-288-36-2213 Oracle Paul Koenig 415-506-2601 Prime Maura Milden 508-655-8000 x4982 Pyramid Doug Free 415-335-8935 Siemens Nixdorf Michele Nadeem 617-273-0480 Sony Microsystems Carol Byram 408-944-4037 Sybase Perry Mizota 415-596-3690 Tandem Computers Incorporated Sally Smith 408-285-7515 UNIX International Steve Payne 201-263-8400x236 UNIX System Laboratories Dick Muldoon 908-522-6274 Visix Tom Axbey 703-758-2700

CONTACT: UNIX System Laboratories Inc., Summit Dick Muldoon, 908/522-6274 (office) 201/635-6699 (home) 09:31 ET

Copyright (c) 1991, Business Wire