Breaking: AmiWest 2013 Keynote Report

Date 20-Oct-2013 18:20:11
Topic: Events

As the annual Amiga convention AmiWest draws to a close later today, is happy to present a short news report from yesterday's keynote held by Trevor Dickinson, founding shareholder of A-EON Technology and AmigaOS4 Team Lead, Steven Solie of AmigaOS ... (Title of Steve Solie edited by moderator per his request, and funding shareholder changed to founding shareholder for Trevor Dickinson)

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As expected, A-EON presented its Cyrus motherboard meant to serve as the hardware platform for an upcoming and yet unnamed Amiga computer. The Cyrus will sport the dual-core Freescale QorlQ P5020 PowerPC CPU running at 2 GHz and support up to 16 GB of RAM when AmigaOS will allow for it. Interestingly enough, the motherboard also features a Xena/Xorro-chipset described as "enhanced" to its predecessor. It remains unknown, however, in what way the chipset is updated. Telling from the applause and cheering, the audience was pleased to hear that A-EON will invest $1,200,000 USD in Amiga hardware in a partnership with British hardware manufacturer Ultra Electronics Varisys, paving the way for more and yet undisclosed future Amiga computers.

On the software side, Founder [of AEON] Trevor Dickinson also announced that Libre Office is still being ported to AmigaOS, and showed the first publicly presented screenshot portraying the open source office suite.

Behind Hyperion's doors, work with AmigaOS 4.2 continues. One of the major hurdles right now, as AmigaOS Development Team Lead Steven Solie implied, is getting the AmigaOS Exec-kernel to support multiple CPU cores. As part of the process, a new so called "scheduler" is being implemented. The new scheduler is apparently already running in the current, internal builds of AmigaOS although Steven suggested there will be room for improvement and optimizations prior to an official release. AmigaOS 4.2 will also introduce the Gallium3D WinSys API for hardware accelerated 3D graphics. Since the new API will allegedly support older PowerPC hardware targeted at legacy Amiga models, Steven made it clear no existing Amiga users will be left behind and that compatibility will be upheld.

Yesterday's keynote also established that future version of AmigaOS will support the NTFS file system used by most Windows platforms. Although Steven Solie didn't explicitly say whether or not NTFS for AmigaOS will support both read and write access, having support for NTFS will likely be a welcome addition to AmigaOS by users who want to be able to read USB-memory sticks and other removable media formatted with NTFS.

Despite the surge in interest the low cost Amiga laptop caused when it was announced at AmiWest two years ago, the project has now been officially declared as dead as Steven said the final product would have been anything but cost efficient. Apparently, the hardware manufacturer couldn't come up with a financially viable solution acceptable for Hyperion and its partners as the consumer product would have offered too little hardware for too much money. It does, however, seem like Hyperion still hasn't ruled out a portable Amiga since Steven stated that other options are currently being investigated.

Although the date of the release of AmigaOS 4.2 is still unclear, the AmigaOS development team doesn't currently rule out another 4.1 update. The contents and general availability of the update, which will be the 7th after AmigaOS 4.1 was released in 2008, is at this point unknown.

Courtesy of the AmiWest TV team, videos from yesterday's speeches are being uploaded to its YouTube-channel.

This article comes from AmigaWorld - Amiga Community Portal

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