The Digital Network Appliance Reference Design

Digital Equipment Corporation Recommends FirmWorks's Open Firmware

The firmware that controls system initialization for the Digital Network Appliance Reference Design (DNARD) is FirmWorks's Open Firmware implementation for the StrongARM. This firmware complies with IEEE Std. 1275-1994, and also provides many experience-driven, value-added extensions to the standard.

A partial list of companies using our firmware in their DNARD-based network computers is:

And, for those customers designing network computers based upon the PowerPC(tm), FirmWorks can provide its Power Firmware(tm) boot firmware.


FirmWorks's Open Firmware implementation for the DNARD provides complete initialization and configuration checking of the DNARD hardware prior to starting the OS software. The OS can be booted from various devices (e.g. Ethernet, ROMcard, Zip drive, etc.) and can then obtain a number of services from the firmware, including a complete description of the machine's hardware configuration (i.e. the Open Firmware device tree) and access to all of the Open Firmware device drivers which can be used by the OS for device control until the OS device drivers are operational.


A special feature of FirmWorks's Open Firmware implementation is its ability to update itself to new versions over the network. This on-board PROM programming can be especially valuable to manufacturers during early testing of DNARD-based prototypes.


FirmWorks's Open Firmware for the DNARD contains an extensive suite of hardware diagnostics that are executed as a "power-on self-test" (POST) at boot time.


In addition to our diagnostics, we can provide your design team with the assistance of FirmWorks's skilled engineers who are intimately familiar with the DNARD design, and who already have assisted other companies in bringing up their DNARD-based designs. FirmWorks can help you to get your design to market fast. Please contact us for more information.


FirmWorks's DNARD Open Firmware is available to manufacturers on very attractive licensing terms. Please contact us for the details.

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Last Modified: November 19, 1997