In what has turned out to be a rather longer wait than expected, NEC Electronics says it will at last be providing a Unix operating system for its 32-bit V60 and V70 microprocessors. Although not compatible with the 80386, the chips are upwards compatible with NEC’s V20 and V30 which are in turn compatible with the Intel 8088 and 8086 – and are both cheaper rate than Intel’s own 80386, and at the same time avoid problems over availability. NEC first promised a Unix operating system back in October 1986, but it is only now becoming available due to pressure from users. The new operating system will have a real time kernel based on the Japanese Tron system: real time control applications have been a particular area of success for the chips, said the company. The V60 is a 16-bit bus version of the full 32-bit V70. The copyright infringement lawsuit brought by Intel over NEC’s V20 and V30 is still in court.
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