HiQ "Alpha Project" White Paper

For Immediate release 8th January 1998

HiQ is pleased to announce "Project Alpha" which is an ongoing project to integrate the Amiga system with the Alpha processor. Already we are at stage one, the Siamese RTG Software v2.5 which is Alpha and PC compatible. Following on from this we are determined to see the AmigaOS ported fully to this powerful chip over the coming 18 months whilst retaining backward compatibility. For those who have not heard about the Siamese System please check out our web site at www.siamese.co.uk

The "Project Alpha" plan of action is as follows.

Stage one.
Shipping Now!

Siamese RTG System v2.5 links existing Amigas via Ethernet to any Alpha machine including the new range supplied by HiQ http://www.siamese.co.uk/pr-alpha.htm. For those who have not heard about the Siamese system please check out our web site at http://www.siamese.co.uk/psiamese.htm.

Stage two.
Shipping Q1 1998.

Supplying Alphas to Amiga and Ex Amiga owning customers with one of the following optional additions, or supplying existing Alpha users with these products:-

(a) Adding the Siamese RTG System v2.5 and an Ethernet connection kit to join the already owned Amiga and Alpha in a seamless link.

(b) Adding the "Access" Amiga units from Index Information ltd, which are complete Amigas in a 5.25" drive bay, linked via internal Ethernet to the Alpha/PC and giving the Digital Video based Alpha access to the Amigas Analogue Video system to create a combined Analogue / Digital Video hybrid system.

(c) Supply an additional Amiga Computer system for the US Video Toaster market if not already owned, to create the ultimate NTSC Video and 3D studio system with the accent on integration.

(d) Supply Amiga Forever as a free add on to encourage the ex Amiga owning Alpha customer back to the Amiga once more. This will give the performance of around a 50mhz 68030 based Amiga. Once they grow accustomed to the Amiga way of doing things they can upgrade to Stage three.

Stage Three
In final development, but taking advanced orders now.
Shipping in Q2-Q3.

Designed around the "Inside Out" PCI based Amiga on a card from Index Information ltd and the Siamese RTG v3.0 Software from HiQ Limited and Paul Nolan, this System would create the ultimate Amiga and Alpha combined Multi-OS machine on the planet and all "Powered By Amiga".

Amiga Features include:-

Stage 4
AmigaOS to Alpha Porting Plan.
Starts Q2

We aim to Launch the "Project Alpha" porting plans as soon as we ship stage three, this is because it starts the entire ball rolling with the first goal of creating an Alpha that is fully backward compatible with the Amiga. Once the Amiga is ported it will leap frog any other Processor in one jump.

Obviously the main advantage of this route is that the user has a machine that can run Amiga, Windows, MSDos, and Macintosh software from one incredibly powerful and economical system. This system is aimed at the serious Amiga user and not the budget user today, however the Alpha is coming down in price and once the porting is complete we expect to have a base machine for around 1500 which is what an average PC costs today. This is a realistic target unlike a lot of other so called new Amigas which will not appear.

Porting Time scale, (very approximate).
Starts from where Stage 3 finishes.

Stage 5
At Q3-4

Once this system is shipping, all Users who purchased the Alpha upgrade path license package will receive their first upgrade. This will include sections that can be removed from the Amiga OS control fairly easily and handed over to the Alpha to speed them up. Graphics, Sound file handling etc.

Improvements to some functions like the maths functions and additions to OS, to allow software to call Alpha Maths libraries etc. to speed up floating point operations.

Stage 6
At Q1-2 of 1999

Once finished the entire OS will be Alpha based and only using the Amiga Card for software that relies on the Amiga Custom Chip set, although hopefully an ECS and AGA emulator may solve this problem. However we see the Amiga chip set still being important for Amiga developers and that it will be needed for some time to come with the Analogue Video world.

All the best for the Future

Stephen Jones                       \|/
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|                                   |                            |
|  HiQ Limited                      | 9 Church Lane              |
|  Developers of the                | Hockliffe, Beds, LU7 9NQ   |
|  Siamese System for the Amiga     | Tel  +44 1525 211327       |
|  http://www.hiq.co.uk             | Fax  +44 1525 211328       |
|  email steve@hiqltd.demon.co.uk   |                            |

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