Two important pieces of RISC OS news have broken this week: firstly, RISC OS Ltd announced that they have been developing a 32-bit version of RISC OS. Secondly, Advantage Six have announced that they have built a series of machines for embedded / industrial use.
RISC OS as an OS previously only used 26 bits of the ARM chip; the other 6 bits were used for processor flags. This operating mode became obsolete with the SA110 chip; thus all newer ARM cores have separate processor flags. RISC OS has therefore had a problem with the development of new hardware.
For background, RISC OS split around four years ago with RISC OS Ltd being sold a head license agreement from Element 14 (later Pace), and Pace selling their rights to RISC OS off to Castle around 2 years ago. Pace in that time had already done work to produce a 32-bit version of the OS but development was primarily for their Set-top box market. Castle’s version is exclusively used on their Iyonix desktop machine.
RISC OS Ltd have arguably done a lot more work in improving and modernising their version of the OS for desktop use, but had not received the neccessary backing to produce a 32-bit version and the hardware abstraction required. Previously RISC OS Ltd’s version would only run on ‘legacy’ hardware; this has now been resolved and their developments may be used on a modern ARM system, paving the way for future development. It has yet to be announced whether RISC OS Ltd’s ‘Select’ version of their OS will run on the Iyonix.
The announcements over this week mean that now both versions will run on a modern ARM core. RISC OS may soon be useable in industrial / embedded situations.
www.drobe.co.uk carry both stories.
www.advantagesix.com for people interested in the new hardware.