Hewlett Packard to base NT/UNIX system around Intel's 64-bit Merced

Hewlett Packard officials, throwing out one-liners like "RISC is dead" and "UNIX does not go away" yesterday announced a plan to merge Windows NT and UNIX on a single, Intel-based, platform.

"What we are after is Unix and NT on a single architecture," said Dick Watts, the vice president and general manager of HP's Computer Systems Organization. The plan is based around Intel's upcoming Merced CPU, a 64-bit processor it co-developed with HP. The Merced combines features of RISC and CISC designs in a radical way only hinted at in the current crop of x86 CPUs. HP's system, code-named "Tahoe," will ensure NT and UNIX interoperability via system and CPU design. Hewlett Packard has garnered the support of several companies, including Microsoft, Oracle, and SCO, who have all pledged to deliver software for the system.

Due soon from HP is an 8-CPU Windows NT server due this quarter. HP is working on a massively parallel 2048-CPU Windows NT system the company hopes to have ready by the year 2000 (yes, you read that right: 2048).

Hewlett Packard even took the time to throw a few bombs out at their competition. They declared that Digital has an "impossible challenge" getting developers to port NT software to the Alpha and that upcoming improvements in the Intel x86 line will make the Alpha unnecessary. Sun, meanwhile, was branded as a "laggard in supporting industry standards and is headed for a brick wall." The company also described IBM as a company with "five computer platforms, although none is a leader."


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