This book defines the architecture requirements and minimum system requirements
for a computer system that is designed to become an open industry standard.
These requirements provide a description of the devices, interfaces, and data
formats required to design and build a PowerPC-based computer. This standard is
designed to provide software compatibility for several operating environments.
Systems built to these requirements can use industry-standard components
currently found in IBM-compatible and Apple® Macintosh® personal computers. These
systems are expected to run various future versions of operating systems
including Apple Mac OS™, IBM AIX™ and PowerPC™ Editions of IBM OS/2 Warp Connect™,
Microsoft Windows NT™ Workstation, Novell Netware™, and SunSoft Solaris™.
This book is the primary source of information for anyone developing a hardware
platform, an operating system, or hardware component to be part of these
standard systems. It describes the hardware-to-operating-system interface that
is essential to anyone building hardware platforms and provides the minimum
system configurations that platform designers must meet when building a standard
platform. Component manufacturers require this information to produce
compatible chips and adapters to use on these platforms, and software developers
require the information on mandatory functions and documented interfaces.
The architecture is intended to support a range of PowerPC microprocessor-based system implementations including portable, desktop, and server class
systems, and allows multiple operating-system implementations across a wide
range of environments and functions. This enables new hardware and software
enhancements that are necessary for the development of improved user
interfaces, higher performance, and broader operating environments.