Common Hardware Reference Platform Specification

Recent Progress

At the 1996 MacWorld held in Boston in August, FirmWorks added the Motorola Computer Group's "Viper" CHRP demonstration platform to the list of CHRP machines using Power Firmware(tm) to support the dual booting of Mac(tm) OS and Windows NT®. The Viper performed its dual boot using only a single graphics adapter/display, keyboard and mouse.

Power FirmWare Enabled Dual-Booting at 1996 PC Expo

At the 1996 PC Expo held in New York City on June 18 - 20, FirmWorks and its technology partners IBM and VLSI Technology demonstrated the ability of a CHRP reference platform to boot Mac OS and Windows NT on a single machine with a single ATI 264VT graphics adapter/display, keyboard and mouse.

While additional work remained to be done to create product quality machines, this demonstration showed the continuing commitment of the AIM alliance and its strategic partners like FirmWorks to bring the CHRP technology to the marketplace as rapidly as possible. Current expectations are that complete CHRP systems/reference designs will be available in November, 1996 when all of the final hardware and operating systems to support dual booting will be available.

Power Firmware(tm) Boot Firmware with CHRP Support

The Common Hardware Reference Platform (CHRP) Specification describes a family of machines based on the PowerPC(tm) processor that are capable of booting multiple operating systems including Mac OS, Windows NT, AIX® and Solaris(tm). The CHRP Specification requires the use of Open Firmware. Power Firmware(tm) boot firmware source code with CHRP support is available for product development now!

The CHRP specification and the CHRP Binding to Open Firmware are readily available.

At this moment in time, CHRP-compliant reference platforms and systems are being created. FirmWorks is enabling the creation of these first generation machines by adding CHRP enhancements to Power Firmware(tm). One such reference design is the IBM Long Trail. The enhancement of Power Firmware to provide complete support for CHRP is well underway and full support will be available coincidentally with CHRP-compatible operating system availability as shown below:

General Enhancements to Support CHRP
Run Time Abstraction Services (RTAS)Done
CHRP NVRAM supportDone
CHRP memory map and addressing supportDone

Enhancements to Support Mac OS
Apple Hydra FCode driver             Done

Enhancements to Support Windows NT
Apple ADB keyboard and mouse FCode driversDone
Apple ADB keyboard and mouse Windows NT run-time driversDone
Open Firmware-to-ARC CHRP veneerDone
Generic CHRP Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL)Done

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Power Firmware is a trademark of FirmWorks.
IBM, IBM Microelectronics and PowerPC are trademarks of and AIX is a registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation.
Mac is a trademark of Apple Computer, Inc.
Solaris is a trademark of Sunsoft, Inc.
Windows NT is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.
All other brand or product names are registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective holders.

Last Modified: October 9, 1996