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February 24, 1988

AMDAHL CORP SAYS IT IS EVALUATING SUN’S SPARC TECHNOLOGY AS UTS DEALS COME TO LITTLE

By CBR Staff Writer

Not widely noticed among the welter of announcements Uniforum, a disproportionate number fo which seemed to involve Mountain Viewer Sun Microsystems, was the statement from Amdahl Corp president Joseph Zemke that the Sunnyvale IBMulator is evaluating Sun’s SPARC reduced instruction set microprocessor technology to see whether benefits can be derived from incorporating features of the processor into future products. Although Amdahl officials said it was too early to be specific, it is conceivable that SPARC instructions could be included alongside the IBM 370 set in future Amdahl mainframes. The new UTS Unix System V developments, to be based on the Sun/AT&T-developed System V.4, apply both to native UTS and the version hosted under VM, although Amdahl said that the effectiveness of its Multiple Domain Facility in running multiple operating systems made the VM version less important than the native version as a product. Meanwhile, Amdahl’s agreements with both AT&T and Fujitsu under which the two companies would resell UTS have both quietly lapsed: AT&T never agressively marketed the product in the first place, and the three-year Fujitsu agreement has now run out with a further agreement is under negotiation; now that it is to get privileged access to IBM MVS code, Fujitsu may be less enthusiastic about Unix on mainframes than it is about Unix on its growing range of smaller machines.

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