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News from the Wakefield Show 1997

After the huge success of last year's Wakefield Acorn Computer Show, the show this year was made a two day event - held over the weekend of 17th & 18th May. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the show, but Steve Potts was there, and reports here on some of the main events:

The New A7000+ Computer

On Saturday 17th of May, Acorn revealed the new A7000+ computer. This is a major update to the A7000. At the heart of the machine is an ARM 7500FE processor with on board FPA. The chip is clocked at 48MHz compared with the 33MHz ARM 610 which shipped in RISC PCs. Acorn had brought the first five off the production line, plus the prototype machine to the show. Chris Cox used one of the A7000+ machines for his presentation to demonstrate it's increased performance. As well as having a faster processor, the machine has a faster bus and memory, which gives equivalent performance to a RISC PC 610 with 1Mb of VRAM. Interestingly enough, the A7000+ out performs the StrongArm RISC PC, when it comes to Floating Point intensive applications. This however is not the case for integer operations.

Acorn to re-launch AcornSoft

Over the last month or two, the Acorn Computer Group have restructured (again) and have now re-merged the separate divisions which we were just beginning to get used to. ART, OnLine Media and Acorn Network Computing are no longer. These are once again under the umbrella of Acorn Computers.

In his talk on Saturday 17th May, Peter Bondar explained that this change has been needed, as the difference between the technologies involved with each division began to blur. The situation arose where customers were confused as to why they had to talk with different divisions when they wanted products which drew on the resources of the different divisions.

As part of the re-structuring, Acorn has seen the need to have a product delivery channel. This will enable products which are technically ready for market to be sent through the product delivery channel and therefore, in theory, reach the customer more quickly. The technology part of the business will not beconcerned with how to package and distribute them, this will be handled by AcornSoft. Whether this will actully be called AcornSoft is not clear.

Thanks again to Steve for this report. For more views on the event, see this writep by Mike Henry.