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February 8, 1989

UK START-UP ZEBRA PARALLEL SEEKS OEM SALES OF ITS PARALLEL PROCESSING CODE

By CBR Staff Writer

New London software venture Zebra Parallel Ltd, launched on the back of research carried out at the Polytechnic of Central London, with UKP150,000 venture capital backing from 3i (CI No 1,106) is aiming its new Equus parallel processing environment at OEM customers hoping to take advantage of parallel architectures in future systems. Equus is not a full operating system, having no file system: currently it uses Unix as a host system in what Zebra describes as a symbiotic relationship. One processor runs the Unix kernel, while additional processors run the Equus kernel. Currently implemented on VME-based 680X0-based systems including a Cambridge Micro Computers workstation specially extended to a 15 processor configuration – Equus, says Zebra, is easily reimplemented for different processors. Even mixed processor configurations can be supported, and Equus can be used to maximise the power of different systems connected by local area networks as a parallel system. Fault-tolerant configurations are also possible. The downside is of course that software needs to be re-written on waves, or segments, each capable of running on a single processor, and currently a C compiler is available, supplemented with system calls to Equus special features. At the launch, Zebra announced its first contract: Koral Microsystems of Cambridge, an Integrated Micro Products Ltd distributor specialised in the process control and communications industry has taken the product.

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