Feeds

NatSemi to build Linux version of Webpad info appliance

Multi-OS variants to follow QNX reference design

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

A NatSemi announcement yesterday reveals that the company is working on multiple operating systems, including Linux, for its Geode Webpad wireless information appliance. The Webpad has been on the stocks for some considerable time now, and had been expected by the middle of this year. NatSemi's sale of Cyrix however will have been one of the factors delaying its arrival. NatSemi is now however putting together Webpad reference platforms for OEM manufacturers. The device is an 8.5in x 11in tablet with a wireless range of 500ft (wireless technology used will vary depending on the market), and runs a Geode GXLV x86-based processor which integrates sound, graphics, memory control and PCI interface. So NatSemi's PC on a chip project isn't dead - it's just been sleeping. The current Webpad uses the QNX operating system, and according to NatSemi it will include Jot handwriting recognition technology from Communication Intelligence Corporation (CIC). But the NatSemi agreement with CIC also covers future Jot implementation on Linux, Windows XX (sic), pSoS and VXWorks operating systems. The embedded operating systems are logical, given the nature of the device, and the presence of A N Other Windows isn't a great surprise either - an implementation using CE or a successor/relation will certainly be required by some manufacturers. But the mention of Linux is interesting. It means that NatSemi thinks it's a logical operating system for low resource, high sales volume platforms, and that the company either already has or intends to commence Linux development. NatSemi doesn't seem to be ready to tell us which big-name manufacturers are going with Webpad, and when they're going to do so. But there's one official partner, Tatung, plus another likely one. A couple of weeks back NatSemi announced that VTech would be using a NatSemi 16-bit Risc chip, the Geode NSC1028, for a brace of email appliances priced at $79.99 and $99.99 respectively. VTech is also promising a cheap wireless email appliance for the US market before the end of the year. None of these are Webpad-based appliances, but VTech's relationship with NatSemi does suggest the company could be an early adopter. NatSemi will however need quite a few other companies to come on board if Brian Halla's assiduous courting of Taipei over the past 18 months is to be justified. And indeed, if Intel's proposed counterblast is to be stopped. Tatung's implementation of the Webpad, meanwhile, is due out in a couple of months, according to a NatSemi spinmeister. But Tatung is one of the Taiwanese companies that life has largely passed by, so you'll have to do better than that, oh spinmeister. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Forget silly privacy worries - help biometrics firms make MILLIONS
Beancounter reckons dabs-scanning tech is the next big moneypit
Microsoft's Office Delve wants work to be more like being on Facebook
Office Graph, social features for Office 365 going public
Alibaba swings a large one with STONKING IPO legal bills
Chinese e-commerce beast searches for $21bn from investors
EMC has nothing to say on VMware sale plan
Rumour and counter-rumour swirl around Wall Street
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.