Digital Equipment and Sequent have teamed up to collaborate on a 64-bit Unix operating system for Intel's IA-64 architecture.
The operating system, which does not yet have a name, will be based on Digital Unix, but will add technology from Sequent such as support for the Numa (None Uniform Memory Access) parallel architecture.
The Unix operating system will offer source code compatibility with Digital Unix on Alpha, and will be able to run 32-bit Unix applications unmodified.
The companies will also provide a source-compatible environment which will allow applications written for Sequent's 32-bit Dynix/ptx operating system to run.
Digital indicated that it wanted to encourage vendors to join the recently formed alliance. 'We will be aggressively pushing the licensing of this enhanced Unix,' said a Digital representative. However, the company faces tough competition from Hewlett Packard, Sun and SCO, all of which are working on 64-bit Intel versions of their Unix platforms.
In October, Digital announced it would port its 64-bit Unix from Alpha to Intel's IA-64 architecture. This was part of a series of agreements reached between Digital and Intel that included the sale of Digital's Alpha chip manufacturing facility to Intel.
Robert Palmer, Digital CEO said: 'We intend to lead the market for 64-bit Unix by delivering the best enterprise Unix on Intel, the best path to Merced for customers, and ISVs and proven Unix-Microsoft interoperability.'
The agreement with Sequent has impressed analysts because it joins Digital's excellent technical reputation with Sequent's experience in the hot Numa technology.
Paul McGuckin, an analyst with the Gartner Group, said: 'From a technical point of view, we're impressed by what Digital is doing. But it will have to attract at least half a dozen second-tier vendors in order to get critical mass.'
Fall in shipments through distribution in first six weeks of Q4 are an indicator that Black Friday could be a damp squib, according to analyst Context
CEO Justin Harling and COO Richard Behan buy out other shareholders
UK chief executive Cindy Rose says the proposed deal is needed to maintain the 'free flow' of data
Contingency plans follow Carillion's demise earlier this year