Oregano, Kinetics and NeuronsPublished: 22nd Oct 2001, 02:47:34 | Permalink | Printable
RISC OS 2001 proved to be quite an eye opener as drobe.co.uk learns of Castle Technologies's plansCastle Technologies, developers of the Kinetic RPC range, usually erect great walls of secrecy around their commercial products, announcing press releases only after a product actually appears on the street.
So this weekend, drobe.co.uk was quite shocked to learn of the following goodies to emerge from Castle's managing director during his presentation on Saturday afternoon at the RISC OS 2001 show.
- Oregano users get Organo 2 beta
- This week, existing Oregano users are to be emailed about the availablity of a beta version of Oregano 2 for them to try out. Castle will in due course be handing out version 2 of the popular RISC OS browser to existing users for free. Oregano 2 boasts built-in Flash support amongst other features.
- Kinetic 300Mhz supplies warning
- Earlier this year, Castle were the first to break the 300Mhz barrier for RISC OS by producing special Kinetic cards featuring 300Mhz StrongARM processors. These enhanced processors are from a special Intel production line and can withstand the higher clock rate. However, this production line is expected to end soon and therefore supplies of these 300Mhz SA processors will run out completely. Castle therefore urge customers to upgrade sooner rather than later.
- Will RISC OS be behind the brains of Castle's Neurons?
- Castle need to sell products to make enough money to develop more products. It's basic R&D. Recently, drobe.co.uk has learnt that Castle has reached out into the embedded market and developed a product called the Neuron. This is a small board containing the essentials of a computer: a processor, memory and a generic input/output interface. At the moment, Neurons are fitted with ARM7500 processors and will later use StrongARM processors.
The plan is this: Castle produce a large run of Neuron boards. On their own, Neurons can do very little, they need devices connected to them to do things and are very flexible in what can be connected to them. Next clients approach Castle, asking them to design various different embedded products such as electronic blackboards etc. For each product model, Castle can then pick and choose the required devices and hook them up to the standard Neuron boards. This saves on development time and production costs as most of the hard has been done beforehand.
What has this to do with RISC OS? Well firstly Castle believe RISC OS has a future in the embedded market and wishes to employ it with the Neuron boards. Secondly, any money and technologies acquired from the Neuron project can be used to develop further RISC OS specific products. Drobe expects that some time next year, if you buy a RISC OS machine from Castle, it will probably have a Neuron board in it.
(By the way, appologies for the lack of news updates during the week. There is news and lots of things happening in the RISC OS world, unfortunately there just aren't enough hours in the day for us to cover all of it. Hopefully this week, we can surprise you.)
Chris, coffee reviewer
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