The announcement marks the first time that the BeOS has been shown running on a four-processor system such as Daystar's Genesis. The Genesis MP 800+, which is aimed at use in multimedia and press pre-production houses, has four 200-MHz 604e PowerPC processors. The 604e family of processors are the fastest PowerPC chips available today.
One of the greatest strengths of the BeOS is its ability to support multiple processors in a single system, a feature known as multiprocessing. In theory, multiprocessing speeds up performance since more computations can be done simulataneously on a number of processors, as opposed to having all the number-crunching done by only one processor.
Daystar says Be is incorporating multiprocessing support into the version of the BeOS that is designed to run on Mac OS-based systems. Daystar is the developer of nPower multiprocessing technology for the Mac OS, a technology used by Apple and UMAX for their own dual-processing implementations.
While Daystar created multiprocessor support for the MacOS, the company is now facing increased competition in MP systems with Power Computing's recent announcement that it will be shipping a dual-processor system that takes advantage of the capabilities of the BeOS.