SCO Demonstrates Cross Platform Device Driver
First Public Demo Underscores Reality of Industry Standard Hardware Driver Interface
SCO FORUM98, SANTA CRUZ, CA (August 17, 1998) - At SCO Forum98 today, SCO and other industry members of UDI (Uniform Driver Interface) demonstrated the same device driver running on multiple operating systems from different vendors. The demonstration, the first major step toward an industry standard hardware driver interface, underscored the reality of a cross-OS, cross-platform portable device driver, one of the goals of Project UDI, an open industry forum.
In the first public demonstration ever, the driver ran under SCO UnixWare 2, UnixWare 7, and Hewlett-Packard HP-UX simply by recompiling identical driver source code. The driver has also been tested under Compaq's Digital UNIX, and IBM AIX, and Solaris from SUN Microsystems, covering a wide range of processor families, including Intel IA32 (x86), Alpha, PA-RISC, PowerPC, and others. The tests ensure compatibility with both 64-bit and 32-bit CPUs, big and little endian byte orders, and strong and weak memory ordering. UDI currently supports SCSI Host Bus Adapters and Network Interface Cards, with pointing devices, Fibre Channel, USB, and I2O on the way.
The Need for a Portable Driver
A portable driver approach is critical to solving "the driver problem." Operating system vendors can't afford to write drivers for all the hardware that they need to support, and so in many cases look to the Independent Hardware Vendors (IHVs) that supply the hardware to write these drivers for them. But IHVs can't afford to write drivers for all operating systems for each of their devices in time to meet market demands. The UDI model solves this problem by allowing a single driver to support multiple operating systems. IHVs can increase the number of operating systems to which they give priority, and at the same time free up resources to concentrate on innovation.
SCO and Project UDI Blaze Trail Toward Future
SCO sees UDI as next-generation I/O technology that enables a broad range of products and hardware technologies. SCO continues to work with Project UDI to advance this technology and move toward an industry standard device driver solution.
"Project UDI is an innovative, cooperative solution to an industry-wide problem," Ray Anderson, SCO's senior vice president Marketing. "As a leader in the UNIX industry, SCO is in the business of advancing technology while maintaining proven reliability and stability for our existing customers and partners. To make sure that the needs of our ISV and IHV partners continue to be met as we advance our technology, we promote and encourage open standards, such as UDI."
IHV's Supports Project UDI
"UDI promises an intelligent solution to the driver dilemma, by providing standards for writing device drivers," said Larry Robinson, Architecture Manager at Adaptec. "UDI is a free and open forum bringing experts in device driver architecture from multiple companies together. Adaptec is helping to lead a number of good standards efforts that address I/O software, protocols, hardware and systems in order to provide better standards-based products to our customers."
Kevin Quick, Engineering Software Manager at Interphase said, "By refocusing our development efforts on feature/functionality enhancements, rather than porting a basic device driver to numerous operating systems, we will be able to deliver our customers a more feature-rich and stable product offering in a shorter period of time than was previous available before UDI."
The latest UDI endorsements can be found by going to the UDI Industry Endorsement page.
More information on Project UDI is available at http://www.sco.com/UDI
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