Advanced RISC Computing
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Advanced RISC Computing (ARC) is a specification promulgated by a defunct consortium of computer manufacturers (the Advanced Computing Environment project), setting forth a standard MIPS RISC-based computer hardware and firmware environment.
Although ACE went defunct, and no computer was ever manufactured which fully complied with the ARC standard, the ARC system still exerts a widespread legacy in that all Windows NT family of operating systems use ARC conventions for naming boot devices. Further, SGI uses a modified version of the ARC firmware (which it calls ARCS) in its systems. All SGI computers which run IRIX 6.1 or later (such as the Indy, Octane, etc.) boot from an ARCS console (which uses the same drive naming conventions as Windows, accordingly). In addition, most of the various RISC-based computers designed to run Windows NT used versions of the ARC boot console to boot NT. Among these computers were:
- MIPS R4000-based systems such as the MIPS Magnum workstation
- all Alpha-based machines with a PCI bus designed prior to the end of support for Windows NT Alpha in September 1999 (the Alpha ARC firmware was also known as AlphaBIOS)
- most Windows NT-capable PowerPC computers (such as the IBM RS/6000 40P).
It was predicted that Intel IA-32-based computers would adopt the ARC console, although only SGI ever marketed such machines with ARC firmware (namely, the SGI Visual Workstation series, which went on sale in 1999).
Products complying (to some degree) with the ARC standard include:
- ARC on www.linux-mips.org