Digital Equipment Corporation Introduces the Industry's First Unified Realtime Unix Environment Fortified By Next-Generation 64-Bit RISC VME Products

Full Featured UNIX Environment For Self-Hosted Realtime Applications

DEC OSF/1 Offers Competitive Realtime Performance Benchmarks On Alpha AXP 64-Bit RISC Platforms

MAYNARD, Mass. -- March 1, 1994 -- Fulfilling a growing customer demand for a fully-functional, realtime UNIX environment which supports next-generation RISC and industry-standard VMEbus technology, Digital Equipment Corporation today announced that the DEC OSF/1 operating system with realtime extensions will be ported to Alpha AXP 64-bit RISC-based VMEbus single-board computers.

To provide leading-edge realtime functionality and performance in DEC OSF/1 environments, Digital added ten realtime extensions --including a fully pre-emptive kernel, a priority-based scheduler and support for the POSIX 1003.1b standard -- to the base operating system provided by the Open Software Foundation. As a robust, fully functional realtime UNIX operating system, the DEC OSF/1 operating system provides a rich application development environment including support for high level languages, including C, C++, and Ada.

In addition, the DEC OSF/1 operating system supports the full suite of open systems standards, including: COSE, the OSF Application Environment Specification (AES); Motif Graphical User Interface (GUI); Distributed Computing Environment (DCE); MIT X11; POSIX; POSIX 1003.1b realtime standard; XPG3; XPG4; and, TCP/IP. This standards support is extended by the unified approach of the DEC OSF/1 operating system, which joins System V and Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) UNIX variants. The DEC OSF/1 operating system complies with both System V Release 3.2 and Release 4, providing a simple migration path to next-generation 64-bit UNIX.

"Digital is well-positioned to be a leader in the realtime embedded market with the power of Alpha AXP 64-bit architecture, which will be the leading architecture well into the future," said Larry Cabrinety, Vice President of the Components and Peripherals Business Unit within Digital.

"As the first 64-bit RISC-based UNIX, the DEC OSF/1 operating system provides an economic migration to a modern, enduring open systems environment while protecting older application investments," said Ed Pastor, Digital's Manager of Realtime Market Development. "Through support of the industry's broadest range of open systems standards, the DEC OSF/1 operating system offers significant portability and interoperability, thus assuring an easy upgrade for Hewlett- Packard and Sun Microsystems users moving legacy UNIX applications."

Pastor stated that Digital's blend of industry-standard VMEbus, PCI (Peripheral Component Interface) and high- performance RISC-based hardware coupled with an advanced, standards-rich realtime UNIX environment meets the needs of the growing base of users in the realtime embedded market.

"Organizations working with realtime embedded application can realize the incredible potential of Alpha AXP and DEC OSF/1 systems," said Pastor. These include leading developers in emerging markets new to realtime technology, such as video editing, medical imaging and multimedia, according to Pastor.

"DEC OSF/1 is the most significant effort, to date, of a full-fledged realtime UNIX operating system developed from a commercial UNIX implementation," said Wendy Rauch, president of Emerging Technologies, Inc., a Dix Hills, NY-based research firm covering the realtime UNIX market sector. "Digital has added all of the right realtime features without losing the modularity and advanced programming features of OSF/1 UNIX. With DEC OSF/1, they have created a truly contemporary realtime UNIX environment that will attract new converts to realtime UNIX, particularly users with 'soft' realtime application requirements," she said.

DEC OSF/1 On Alpha AXP Offers Fast, Competitive Realtime Performance

DEC OSF/1 was tested on an Alpha AXP-based DEC 3000 Model 500 workstation and yielded the following results:

METRIC                   MEAN (microsec)
Task Switch Time                   18.1
Preemption Time                    33.1
Intertask Message Time             92.8
Semaphore Shuffle Time             152.2
"These represent a highly competitive set of realtime benchmarks for a full-function UNIX operating system," said Pastor. "In addition," he continued, "the DEC OSF/1 operating system has the added advantages of Alpha AXP 64-bit RISC architecture and Digital's COHESIONworX CASE

The DEC OSF/1 Unified UNIX Environment Provides Easy Migration From Existing Sun or Hewlett-Packard Platforms

With System V compatibility, the DEC OSF/1 operating system unites System V, Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD), and OSF UNIX variants. In addition, DEC OSF/1 follows the joint direction set by the Open Software Foundation (OSF) and UNIX System Laboratories (USL) for UNIX operating systems, which offers full compatibility and portability with all types of UNIX systems. "This unified environment ensures easy migration for users with Sun and Hewlett-Packard systems that wish to migrate to the power of Alpha AXP and DEC OSF/1 systems," said Pastor.

DEC OSF/1 offers application interoperability with VxWorks for Alpha AXP, Digital's realtime kernel-based operating system, through common support of key industry standards. Designed for "hard," more demanding realtime applications, such as simulation and signal processing, VxWorks for Alpha AXP software is based on the VxWorks product from Wind River Systems, Inc.

Pricing and Availability

DEC OSF/1 is available immediately on Alpha AXP-based workstations and servers. Support for the Alpha AXP-based VMEbus single board computers will be available during Q3 1994. Prices for a single user runtime license begin at $1,250.

Digital Equipment Corporation is the world's leader in open client/server solutions from personal computing to integrated worldwide information systems. Digital's scalable Alpha AXP platforms, storage, networking, software and services, together with industry focused solutions from business partners, help organizations compete and win in today's global marketplace.


Note To Editors: Digital, the Digital logo, DEC OSF/1 AXP, Alpha AXP and COHESIONworX are trademarks of Digital Equipment Corporation.

X Windows is a trademark of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

UNIX is a registered trademark of UNIX Systems Laboratories.

VxWorks is a trademark of Wind River Systems, Inc.

OSF and Motif are trademarks of the Open Software Foundation.

VME is a trademark of Motorola, Inc.

Editorial contact:

Richard Lee Goldberg
(508) 467-8009