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Microdigital explain lack of Omega

By Chris Williams. Published: 5th Feb 20:52:09 | Permalink | Printable

In a report on RISC OS portal iconbar.com, RISC OS computer manufacturer MicroDigital have told of the reason for the long delays in Omega shipping:

As most readers are aware we had hoped to be in a position to ship the first machines before christmas. Unfortunately that was not to be and we are still awaiting delivery our chip set.

It might help readers to understand the problem if we explain that the chip set refered to above is our own design and as such it is not an of the shelf device, so we are unable to go into the market and simply buy an alternative. The reality of the situation is that our order is small compared to other much larger manufacturers and we are told that we going to have to wait our turn.

Had we realised at the time of ordering that any delay would be this long we would have used a different technology, which is still a real alternative.

The Omega computer is a long awaited RISC OS machine that is hoped to break RISC OS away from the aging Risc PC system. It boasts an attractive specification, however development and manufacture of certainly RISC OS computers is not always a straightforward business. To quote a RISC OS user from the newsgroups, "the silence is deafening".

Omega Specifications (according to Microdigital):

  • Dual processor design
  • Intel StrongArm 110 Revision T
  • 287 MHz

  • Optional daughter board processor
  • Intel Xscale 80200
  • 733MHz

  • Memory : PC133 SDRAM
  • Expandable via 2 x 168pin DIMM PC133 SDRAM to 1Gb max
  • 10MB Flash Memory Operating system + modules

  • 240 Byte battery backed up CMOS RAM

  • Video :Lightning + video chip
  • Hardware acceleration of JPEG and MPEG decoding
  • 2D and 3D graphics acceleration
  • Note: The lightning chip is fitted to the PCB. It is not a plug-in card
  • 240MHz video triple DAC

  • Video Modes: Up to 2048 x 1536 x 24 bit colour@72Hz

  • I/O ports and interfaces : Parallel printer port 25 pin D connector
  • ATA 66 Ultra EIDE interface supports 4 drives
  • Floppy disc interface
  • PS2 Mouse interface
  • PS2 Keyboard interface
  • 2 RS232 Serial ports up to 460KB/sec via 9 pin D connector
  • 4 USB Ports @12Mbit/sec

  • Expansion :4 x 32bit x 33MHz PCI slots

  • Real time clock :Day, date, month, year, time and BST time
  • Multiple alarms

  • Operating System : Risc OS v4.03
  • Will support 32 bit operating system when available

  • IDEFS 32 bit Hard Disc Management System
  • Password protection, protect and unprotect, Read Only, and No Access
  • Drive partitioning
  • Name disc
  • Dismount
  • Format
  • Verify
  • Free space

  • Microdigital: www.microdigital.co.uk

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