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November 16, 1995


By CBR Staff Writer

Oracle Corp chairman Larry Ellison has given more details of his $500 Internet access terminals, and it looks as if the thing will be built around the StrongARM high-speed variant Advanced RISC Machines Ltd’s ARM RISC, which is being developed by Digital Equipment Corp in part to put more work into its Digital Semiconductor chip plant in Hudson, Massachusetts. Ellison is talking of a processor running at 220MHz, and that is the sort of speed the StrongARM will do. Ellison says his machine will run an operating system Oracle is developing – perhaps derived from the Newton operating system – that would be licensed for about $15 per computer and provide an alternative to Microsoft Corp’s Windows95 with its wholesale cost of $35 per unit. The computer will include the 220MHz processor, keyboard and mouse, monitor, 4Mb memory, 4Mb of Flash memory and a network interface board; he said the devices could be built for $500, but did not specify a retail price or explain how they would be distributed. Oracle is building a prototype of the device and will demonstrate it publicly in February, he said, adding that the things will be available in quantity by the summer of 1996, built by a variety of North American and Asian manufacturers. Operating systems, applications and information would be updated automatically as new versions become available. He insists that it will be dramatically easier to use and have capabilities beyond today’s personal computers, such as the capability to handle multiple streams of video.

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