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January 12, 1987

REAL-TIME UNIX WITH PROPRIETARY KERNEL PLANNED BY COMPUTER X

By CBR Staff Writer

Computer X Inc has set itself the goal of having a real-time implementation of Unix and its own real-time distributed operating system, cXOS, combined into a single kernel by 1990. Computer X has set 1990 as the target because it anticipates that a definitive operating system standard will be set by then, so the Chicago-based company will be keeping its eye on the development of standards, and will be making some assumptions between now and then. Work on a real-time implementation of Unix began a couple of months ago. Taking system V.2 as the basis for the new kernel, Computer X will be addressing problems of scheduling, inter-process communications and the ability to lock certain processes into memory to make Unix more predictable. cXOS is now being shipped, and work on a real-time implementation was started a couple of months ago. cXOS was developed by Computer X specifically for automation and control applications. Alan Kierson, Director of Marketing for Computer X, says that it has gone a few steps beyond the approach of traditional computer manufacturers, which have also based operating systems on process message modules for efficiency in developing applications, by adding software tools which are optional components of the operating system: they include a human interface, database management and communications. cXOS is used in Computer X’s cell controller platforms. A cell is any set of automative machines managed by a cell controller, and a platform is the combination of hardware and software sold to OEM customers, while the controller itself is produced by the customer. Honeywell Inc is the first customer for the platform, and will be using it in its factory automation business.

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