Subject: Re: ARC Firmware?
To: None <port-alpha@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Berndt Josef Wulf <>
List: port-alpha
Date: 10/09/1997 08:09:48
Ted Lemon wrote
> > All of the 21164's with a -Pn designation are the "NT only" versions of the
> > 21164.  However, it wasn't untill the -P7 that the "NT only" nature of the
> > "NT only" processors began to be enforced.
> Again, I don't believe this is true.   If you want to give us evidence
> of such enforcement, please do, but otherwise I see no value in making
> rash accusations.
> 			       _MelloN_

This is what I've found. Hope this clears some doubts....

____________________  Official from Digital ____________________

Universal and PC Alpha Microprocessors

There are two variants of most Alpha microprocessors manufactured by
Digital Semiconductor,
a Digital Equipment Business.  These variants were created in order to
enable delivery of
lower priced processors for systems that would compete in the emerging
Windows NT PC

>From a contractual standpoint, the license for Digital Unix explicitly
lists the Alpha
processor part types for which it is supported.  Running the operating
system on a
non-supported processor is in violation of the software license.  This
could subject the
user and potentially the company delivering the configured system to lose
the privilege to
use and/or sell this software.

>From a technical standpoint,  the PC microprocessors only support a
limited set of memory
management options sufficient for Windows NT and some other operating
systems, while the
Universal parts support all of the memory management modes necessary for
operation of
OpenVMS and Digital UNIX.

In our manufacturing process, we will sometimes substitute the full
function processor and
mark it as a PC part in order to optimize our manufacturing costs.  This is
possible since
the Universal part is a proper superset of the PC part and will be able to
be used in any
system designed for the PC part.  However, since this is not always the
case, anyone
depending on this occurrence will be faced with an unreliable source of
supply.  Any set of
parts may contain any number that will not run Digital UNIX or VMS, while
all will run
Windows NT.

In summary:  Our PC Alpha microprocessors lack memory management functions
necessary for
running Digital UNIX and OpenVMS.  In addition, using PC Alpha processors
with Digital UNIX
explicitly violates the software license for this product and will not be
supported.  While
we will at times mark full function parts as NT parts, this can not be
counted on and will
not be supported by Digital.

Tony Catuogno
Digital Semiconductor
Business Development Manager
Alpha Microprocessors


Name	: Berndt Josef Wulf
E-Mail	:
Sysinfo	: DEC AXPpci33+, NetBSD-1.2