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© 1997-2006
Gareth Knight
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AmigaOS Development Timeline: Summer 2001 - Winter 2002

In the aftermath of the Amiga 2001 show announcement, Fleecy Moss made some clarifications regarding the feature list for the development of the AmigaOS. The timeline for development will extend from the initial release, in 'Summer 2001' to the release of OS5 'late next year' (Winter 2002). Version 4.2, 4.5, and 5.0 will be general releases aimed at Amiga users, while other versions will be developer-only.

AmigaOS 4.0
AmigaOS 4.1
AmigaOS 4.2
AmigaOS 4.3 & 4.4
AmigaOS 4.5
AmigaOS 5.0

AmigaOS 4.0 (Summer 2001)

AmigaOS 4.0 Original logo
An initial release that will introduce Amiga users to several new concepts. It is the first stage to portation of the AmigaOS to PPC. The largest percentage of code will be 68k, running through a PPC 68k emulator. The initial release will require an A1200 motherboard for keyboard & mouse input. As time progresses this will be replaced by native PPC code.

The feature set for OS4.0 will include;

A PPC native EXEC that will allow PPC, 68k and mixed (PPC+68k) executables.

PPC 68k emulator
In order to execute 68k code, a software PPC emulator will be utilised. At no time will a real 68k processor be used, though an A1200 will be required for AGA software.

Virtual Memory System
For the first time developers will be able to take advantage of the PPC Memory Management Unit. This will allow the use of virtual memory as part of the operating system (PPC native).

'Amiga Component Model'
Provides resource tracking  and datatype-like system

Graphics system - all PPC native

  • AmiRTG - high performance retargetable graphics system that provides full access to hardware acceleration features of modern graphics cards
  • Drivers - Voodoo3 and Matrox G450
  • Ami2D - low level access for high performance 2D functionality
  • Ami3D - low level access for high performance 3D functionality
  • Full Mesa 3.4 implementation for 3D development
Audio system
Fleecy Moss has made the following comments,
"The Audio system will be the best of any system out there. We have 5 of the best audio people in the world working on it."
  • AHI integration for samples and streaming
  • CAMD integration for MIDI
File system
AmiFFS2 - brand new reimplementation of the AmiFFS offering much higher performance and reliability

AmiNetStack - brand new high performance TCP/IP stack optimized for PPC, multiplayer gaming and content serving

All other AmigaOS libraries will remain as 68k executables and be executed by ExecPPC via the 68K emulator.

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Internal release for beta testers

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AmigaOS4.2 (Winter 2001)

AmigaOS4.2 will build upon the foundation of AmigaOS4. It is designed to ;

  • Integrate the Amiga Digital Environment (AmigaDE) into the AmigaOS
  • make OS4 fully device retargetable, allowing all applications to be able to operate without the need for physically attached older Amiga hardware
  • Open up access to the new hardware features offered by the zico hardware specification
  • Convert, reimplement and enhance more of the AmigaOS4.0 68k code to PPC
The feature set for AmigaOS4.2 includes;

AmigaDE integration

  • AmigaDE hosted directly in the AmigaOS
  • Personal Java
  • SHEEP scripting language
PPC-native Audio System
  • Retargetable Audio system (RTA)
  • AHI/CAMD drivers for EMU10K1 PCI cards
  • Multiple Audio Contexts
  • Advanced MIDI support
System device drivers
  • USB2.0 OHCP stack
  • System device drivers - mouse, keyboard, hub
Amiga Device retargeting
  • Amiga.devices reimplemented as retargetable, removing the requirement for old Amiga hardware to be present
Further conversion of 68k code to native PPC - this will be done by order of contribution to execution performance, to give developers and users the most improvement.

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AmigaOS4.3 & 4.4

Internal release for beta testers

AmigaOS4.5 (Summer 2002)
AmigaOS4.5 represents the final stage in the creation of a native PPC OS. Its tasks include;

  • All remaining 68k OS code to be converted to PPC native
  • All hardware features of the zico specification to be made accessible to developers
New user environment
  • 'a new Workbench'
  • 'Improved intuition.library'
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AmigaOS 5.0 (Winter 2002)
"AmigaOS5 represents a revolution in the development of 'other' operating systems and the evolution of the AmigaOS as it seeks to provide the best way forwards for users and developers."
Technical Update Part 2 - 12 April 2001
By release 5, it is hoped that the remaining sections of the AmigaOS will be complete. These will  include:
Brand new services model providing
  • Virtual Memory
  • Memory Protection
  • Symmetric and Asymmetric modes
  • Contract QoS
  • 64 bit
  • Fully distributed
AmigaOS4 sandbox - Similar to the MacOS X approach to previous MacOS software.

PDP sensory processing system - PDP stands for Physical to Digital to Physical and provides a scalable system that provides for capture, conversion, representation, manipulation and presentation of sense delimited observation and interaction

Orthogonal Persistence - all content is persistent, instead of having to be saved to and loaded from storage.

Safe and Unsafe environments - separate memory spaces in which developers can continue to use unsafe languages or develop using the new SafeC language and environment.

Semantic Context - an environment is which the user can layer any number of associations, relationships and meaning to their environment and content, and use that semantic information to organize and query.

Read the Technical Update (April 2001) discussing these issues

Last Update: 8/8/2002



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