New Iyonixes shipping with Nvidia FX52 cardsPublished: 19th Aug 2006, 21:11:25 | Permalink | Printable
Plus Iyonix Ltd takes over Iyonix operationsNew Iyonix computers are shipping with Nvidia FX52 series graphics cards and RISC OS 5.12 fitted as standard. The FX5200 and FX5500 cards are newer than the dinosaur Nvidia GeForce MX 2 that shipped with original Iyonixes, plus they feature dual-head and DVI output capabilities. RISC OS support for these two functions is understood to not yet be fully complete, however. The new cards, pictured, are also mildly faster than the MX 2 devices, speeding up graphics operations by an estimated 25 to 30 percent.
RISC OS 5.12 includes support for the FX52 chipset cards as well as USB 2 support. Each FlashROM image is locked down to the ethernet hardware address, which is unique to each Iyonix motherboard. Castle are understood to have prepared a new online shopping system where users can buy tokens, and then exchange them for ROM upgrades - initially to pay for the ROS 5.12 upgrade which will come with a modest price tag, and is expected to launch as a separate upgrade in September. The online shop will work without any interaction needed from Castle's end - streamlining the purchasing of Iyonix firmware upgrades.
John Ballance told drobe.co.uk earlier today that the days of Castle issuing all updates to RISC OS 5 free of charge are now over.
In an email to the Iyonix support mailing list, John added: "As some may now have noticed, the majority of new Iyonix machines from Iyonix Ltd, shipped from June onwards, have been shipped with RISC OS 5.12, and a newer type of nVidia card, either the FX5200 or FX5500.
"RISC OS 5.12 will be a pay-for upgrade. It permits the use of nVidia graphics cards later than the GeForce 2 series. It also will 'start' both of the heads in a dual head card. It does not yet, unfortunately, start the DVI drivers if they are present, though the analogue output capabilities of the DVI connector are available."
The FX52 cards were said to be chosen after there were problems sourcing suitably reliable GeForce MX 2 cards after a few users began seeing 'pyjama stripes' on their screens. Castle is also said to be planning to put out a number of "interesting" announcements over the coming months.
The RISC OS 5 developers have also shifted Iyonix operations to Iyonix Ltd, a standalone company to work around the recent RoHS regulations until the Iyonix motherboard can be redesigned. It's understood Castle made sure enough motherboards were manufactured before the July 1 cut-off date, and then passed the lot onto Iyonix Ltd, who build the final machines and ships them to customers. Iyonix Ltd's directors are Castle's Jack Lillingston and John Ballance, and its registered address shares Castle's registered address.
CJE Micros's Chris Evans, who resells Iyonix kit, told Iyonix users that Castle "have stock in the distribution chain to satisfy demand for some weeks and months, and that after that, further batches of motherboards will comply with RoHS".
Castle say they are currently fully compliant with the new EU green rules, although they will have to redesign the Iyonix motherboard when stocks run out in order to accommodate a new MACH logic chip; the device currently used on Iyonix motherboards is no longer available in a 90-pin package that is RoHS-safe, although a larger compliant part is available for use.
John Ballance's post this evening to the Iyonix list
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