Motorola aims to boost uptake of computers based on the PowerPC architecture by creating a reference design for PowerPC boxes that can run MacOS, Windows NT or AIX operating systems.
The reference design, known as Yellowknife, will allow systems manufacturers to build PowerPCs that can be rebooted to run any of the three designated operating systems. This will reduce the risk for customers of buying large numbers of the machines, since they will not be tied to one software environment, said Motorola. Users will also have only one type of machine to manage, reducing service and support costs.
?The Gartner Group estimates that large enterprises could save as much as #350,000 a year if they adopt systems built on the technology,? said Paul Clark, European marketing manager for PowerPC microprocessors at Motorola Semiconductor.
Motorola Semiconductor demonstrated systems using the technology at Comdex last week and expects to make the Yellowknife design specification generally available by March next year.
Apple is expected to adopt the design for its own brand of Powermac systems next year and Mac clone vendor, Umax Computer, has said it will use Yellowknife to build its first PowerPC system, due to ship early in 1997.
Yellowknife started life at last year's Comdex, when it was known as Yosemite. The Yellowknife motherboard is a four-layer printed circuit board design implementing an ATX form factor. Key components on the motherboard include the MPC106 PCI bridge/memory controller for core logic, Winbond/VLSI PCI-ISA bridge, National Semiconductor?s Super I/O Controller and Apple?s I/O controller. A guide to the reference design is available from: http://www.mot.com/PowerPC/solutions/ppc_platform.html.
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