Phoenix announces bootable CD-ROM specification; Specification developed jointly by Phoenix and IBM.
Developed jointly by Phoenix Technologies and IBM Corp., the Bootable CD-ROM Specification 1.0 describes how ATAPI (IDE) and SCSI-based CD-ROM drives may be used in place of floppy or hard disk drives as boot devices. The specification is now available in Phoenix's latest BIOS software, PhoenixBIOS Version 4.0.
"The bootable CD-ROM capability provided by this specification simplifies system configuration," said Clay Clatur, vice president of Desktop Systems for Phoenix Technologies. "Now, system manufacturers can ship their systems with a single CD that contains everything needed for system configuration -- the operating system, applications and programs. For the end-user, this capability simplifies and speeds up system configuration by allowing them to load operating systems and applications from one CD-ROM." The Bootable CD-ROM Specification 1.0 is the first industry-wide specification for this type of product.
"Our server customers are increasingly looking to IBM for a solutions-oriented approach to solve their business problems," said Dave Nichols, worldwide director of Server Solutions for the IBM Personal Computer Co., in Somers, N.Y. "By incorporating Phoenix Technologies' bootable CD-ROM solution into our new PC Server family of servers," he added, "we are enabling our customers to eliminate tedious steps associated with getting a server up and running. That helps our customers' businesses stay productive."
"In addition," Nichols continued, "this new CD-ROM solution will enable IBM to fully exploit ServerGuide 2.0, IBM's PC Server software, which provides server customers with a simple way to automatically configure a system and locate reference material."
Currently, an operating system must be loaded (i.e. MS-DOS(R), UNIX(R)) and a device driver present to provide access to a CD-ROM. Bootable CD-ROM eliminates the operating system/driver requirement making it possible for software distributors to offer new options for installation and operation of their products.
With the bootable CD-ROM capability, companies offering systems and software can reduce costs and improve ease-of-use. For example, system manufacturers can offer a low cost replacement for floppy-only systems. Operating system suppliers can reduce the cost of distributing system software and software vendors can provide automatic installation of their software. This is especially beneficial for network operating systems such as Novell(R) and Banyan(R) and operating systems such as SCO UNIX(R).
Some other benefits of the bootable CD-ROM capability include:
Software applications can be designed to be loaded only from CD
(or contained only on CD). Software may be designed to
only operate directly from CD-ROM.
Since the CD-ROM is a read-only device, CD-ROMs are impervious
to today's modern viruses.
Microsoft's newly announced AutoPlay perfectly complements bootable CD-ROM. AutoPlay provides an automatic method of installing additional applications after initial system setup. Both Bootable CD-ROM and AutoPlay provide the tools necessary for easy system setup and configuration.
"Bootable CD-ROM will revolutionize the way software is distributed and used today. Many companies have begun to understand the need for a bootable CD-ROM standard and are implementing bootable CD-ROM," said Clatur.
"A standardized specification for bootable CD-ROMs is very important to the success of platform independent operating systems such as SCO Open Server and Open Desktop," said Glenn Seiler, senior product manager for SCO. "A standard format for bootable CD-ROM holds the promise of creating a single CD-ROM with SCO operating systems which can boot on any Intel-based hardware platforms. This in turn provides hardware OEMs with more options for providing integrated CD-ROM based solutions to their customers."
"With the continued growth of multimedia and CD-ROM-related applications, the bootable CD-ROM specification makes perfect sense for software distribution," said John Burger, vice president of marketing for Western Digital's Storage Products business unit. "The ATAPI segment of the Enhanced IDE, developed by Western Digital, opens the market for easy to use and install CD-ROMs, and the new specification further simplifies system configuration for the end user."
"Adaptec has a long-standing commitment to providing easy to use products that offer maximum performance with minimal effort to the user," said S. Sundaresh, vice president and general manager of Adaptec's Personal I/O business unit. "The bootable CD-ROM solution offered by Phoenix Technologies and IBM is consistent with our commitment to ease-of-use, by providing users with a software feature that allows for flexibility while simplifying the process. We look forward to supporting the Bootable CD-ROM Specification 1.0 in upcoming products."
"Bootable CD-ROM opens new doors for multimedia," said Darwin Stephenson, general manager for Primal Media, in Irvine, Calif. "By removing the guessing game involved in determining a user's system configuration, we are better able to develop dynamic multimedia applications based on the standards shipping on the CD-ROM."
"The bootable CD-ROM specification allows us to offer high powered kiosks without the cost or complexity of a hard drive that can be re-programmed by slipping in a new CD," said Steve Baker, director of the CD/OS Association in Saddleback Valley, Calif., an industry group charged with dissemination of bootable CD technology.
The Bootable CD-ROM Specification 1.0 defines a CD-ROM format and INT 13 extensions that allow systems to detect and boot CD-ROMs without any device driver. The CD-ROM boot images can emulate a 1.2 MB, 1.44MB and 2.88MB floppy image or a hard disk. The BIOS, upon finding a bootable CD-ROM, makes the CD-ROM device appear as floppy or hard disk device. The specification allows cataloging of multiple boot images. These images can be selected and booted by operating system or application software. This allows the system to boot different images based on vendor-specified criteria such as language, hardware configuration, user preference, etc.
The Bootable CD-ROM Specification 1.0 is available by writing to Phoenix Technologies, 2575 McCabe Way, Irvine, Calif. 92714, or by calling Randy Case, at 714/440-8037. Phoenix will also be showing this technology at their COMDEX/Fall '94 booth, No. L4816 in the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Phoenix Technologies Ltd. is the leading supplier of system-level software to PC manufacturers worldwide and an emerging supplier of Phoenix-brand software to PC users. Its system-level software products, such as BIOS, power management, PCMCIA, and Plug and Play technology, allow PC manufacturers to increase product differentiation, and reduce product development time and internal engineering costs. Capitalizing on its unique industry position and resources, Phoenix is creating a family of software products for end users that will make their PCs easier to use. -0-
NOTE TO EDITORS: Phoenix is a registered trademark of Phoenix Technologies Ltd. All other trademarks are registered trademarks of their respective companies.
CONTACT: Phoenix Technologies Ltd.
Randy Case, 714/440-8037 or The Benjamin Group Elizabeth Deans, 714/753-0755