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ARM Powers Oracle Network Computer Demo

ARM allows OEMs to Hit the Magical Price Point of $500

Advanced RISC Machines Limited (ARM) congratulates Oracle on its first public demonstration of its Network Computer (NC) in San Francisco yesterday. The Network Computing concept as envisaged by Oracle is set to change the shape of our industry by greatly broadening the accessibility of information technology. The first Oracle NC is based on the ARM7500, single chip multimedia solution.

To appeal to the consumer market Oracle has to strike below the magical price point of $500. This would put the NC at the same cost as a video recorder, and within reach of the consumer market.

Achieving the sophistication required by the NC at this cost, simply is not possible with current desktop processors. Industry analyst Dataquest claims that a version of the NC, based on components used in a PC would amount to $600 in hardware costs alone.

The ARM7500 is a very highly integrated processor which integrates the main functions of a network computer into a single low cost chip. This high level of integration is made possible by the use of a very small, high performance, power efficient processor core and peripherals.

Here we outline in some more detail why ARM is suitable for the Network Computer:

ARM Partnership, making a World Standard
ARM has built an open world standard through licensing its designs to world leading global semiconductor manufacturers. Each of the current 14 partners brings unique skill and expertise to add to the capability of ARM itself. ARM extends this business model by also partnering with 3rd party software and development tool providers.

Size and Cost
All of ARM's processors are very small and hence low cost. Also because ARM processors are so tiny there is room for other functions to be integrated all into one economically sized chip.

The ARM704, microprocessor which is integrated within the ARM7500 has comparable performance and features to a mid-range 486, and yet is less than one third the size and a fraction of the cost. The ARM7500 adds high quality video, sound and I/O capability.

Performance and Scalability and Future Product Development
Anything less than a 32-bit processor would not be fast enough for a Network Computer. System designers want a choice of compatible processors capable of running the same software, which cover a wide performance range. The ARM RISC family is fully compatible across a huge performance range, from the ARM7TDMI Thumb, through ARM8 up to the awesome StrongARM chip. ARM and its partners will extend their product range in support of the Network Computer concept.

Power Consumption
All ARM processors feature very low power consumption. The ARM710/704 use about 1/8 the power of the similarly capable 486, allowing the use of small, inexpensive plastic chip packages without fans or heat-sinks further reducing system cost.

Design Environment
ARM is a secure, well supported development environment. Viewcall, Teknema and Online Media have already developed set top box and web browser products, available now using the ARM7500.

Editor Notes:

Advanced RISC Machines Ltd (ARM)
ARM designs, licenses and markets high-performance, low-cost, low-power consumption 32-bit RISC processors, peripherals and development tools for embedded control, consumer multi-media, DSP and portable applications. ARM also provides consulting and training. ARM licenses its technology to semiconductor partner companies, who focus on manufacturing, applications and marketing. The versatility of ARM's cores, together with the unparalleled breadth of the partnership's expertise ensures that ARM-based solutions are available to meet almost every customer's processor needs. The ARM semiconductor partners are: Alcatel Mietec, Asahi Kasei Microsystems, Atmel ES2, Cirrus Logic, Digital Semiconductor, GEC Plessey Semiconductors, LG Semicon, NEC, Oki, Samsung, Sharp, Symbios Logic, Texas Instruments and VLSI Technology. Together they make ARM the world volume embedded RISC standard.
To learn more about ARM, please see our Web Site at: http://www.arm.com

ARM, EmbeddedICE and the ARM Powered Logo are trademarks of Advanced RISC Machines Ltd.

Stephen Waddington/Natasha Anderson
A Plus Group
Tel: 01753 790700
Email: swadding@aplus.co.uk / nanderso@aplus.co.uk

ARM Contact:
Trent Poltronetti
Advanced RISC Machines
Tel: 01223 400400
Email: tpoltron@arm.co.uk

The above is a Press release from ARM Ltd, 28/2/96