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Cyrix demos $300 wireless Internet tablet

The MediaGX-based low-cost device could be in production by mid-99

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In Las Vegas today Cyrix demonstrated prototypes of an x86 compatible wireless Internet access device, WebPAD, which the company says could be in production at a price of $300 by the middle of next year. The WebPAD is one of the earliest fruits of Cyrix's PC-on-a-chip design efforts. It weighs three pounds, has a 10.4in LCD, a Cyrix MediaGX processor and a Harris Semiconductor 2.4GHz wireless networking connector with a range of 500 feet to a base station transceiver. It will support various diskless operating systems, including QNX, Windows CE and Embedded NT, claims Cyrix. The company is pitching the device at cable TV companies and ISPs, and that it would probably go out as a subsidised or rented device as part of a monthly connection fee. At the moment the WebPAD is a 'proof of concept' device roughed-up by Cyrix's worryingly-named Conceptual Products Group (motto - 'we think up things that don't exist'). But the company intends to have an optimised reference design available in Q1, and this will use a new low-voltage implementation of the MediaGX. Also in Vegas Cyrix has announced that the MediaGX is being used in a raft of new products. These include Boundless Technologies new Capio line of Windows-based terminals, point of sale systems from Siemens, Boca's set-top box system and Atari's Site4 arcade console. Most of these are emerging technologies which could finally see Cyrix's shipment figures curving upwards. Provided they emerge, that is. ®

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