FirmWorks Introduces First Open Firmware Product to Support Mac(tm) OS

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., May 6, 1995 -- FirmWorks, a leading developer of Open Firmware products, today announced that its Power Firmware(tm) software is now available to developers of systems based on IBM's PowerPC(tm) microprocessors that will run the popular Mac(tm) OS operating system. The availability of Power Firmware will help developers bring Mac OS-compatible an PowerPC Platform systems to market quickly and cost effectively.

FirmWorks's announcement is being made today in conjunction with IBM's announcement that it has signed an agreement with Apple Computer, Inc. to license current and future releases of the Mac OS.

"We're pleased to be part of this important industry development with IBM and Apple," said Michael Summers, President and CEO of FirmWorks. "As the leading provider of Open Firmware for PowerPC, we're looking forward to increased opportunities in the emerging Mac OS market."

"Power Firmware is a key enabler of Mac OS portability," said John C. Gleason, Vice President and General Manager, Worldwide Marketing and Sales, IBM Microelectronics. "Our relationship with FirmWorks ensures that system designers can develop PowerPC systems easily and cost-effectively."

Open Firmware is a portable boot firmware system that enables computer systems to fully support the booting of multiple operating systems and processor-independent, plug-and play add-in cards. Boot firmware is the ROM-based software that controls a computer from the time it is turned on until the primary operating system takes control of the machine. Its main function is to initialize the hardware and then to load and execute ("boot") the primary operating system.

Using Power Firmware, system designers can build computers that will run multiple operating systems such as Mac OS, Windows NT®, AIX® and others. In addition, Power Firmware is designed in a compact, modular format that provides a rich set of tools and a powerful user interface that enables rapid porting of the firmware to new hardware. This ensures rapid time-to-market and lower development costs.

The Power Firmware microkernel is small, fast and efficient, enabling designers to leverage its power, interactive debugging capability and automatic system configuration. The field-proven code can be easily ported to various system architectures and supports multiple operating systems.

Founded in 1994, FirmWorks pioneered the development of Open Firmware and adds PowerPC and Mac OS to its long list of currently-supported microprocessors and operating systems. Its mission is to promote the Open Firmware standard by supplying Open Firmware services and products such as Power Firmware for the PowerPC market. Information about FirmWorks products is available on the World Wide Web at

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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.
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Windows NT is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.
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Last Modified: September 26, 1996