Korean giant LG Electronics Ltd chose the Comdex trade show in Las Vegas to unveil its own variant of the Network Computer, the NetChamp, based on Digital Equipment Corp’s 32-bit StrongARM SA- 100 processor and running Sun Microsystems Inc’s Java OS 1.1. The company reckons the Network Computer will become the new workhorse of the corporate computing environment, no doubt replacing the traditional ‘dumb’ terminal, and it seems NetChamp is so named because it is a thoroughbred among today’s NCs. It comes in two versions, 233MHz or the cheaper 200MHz version, and can be configured with 8Mb, 16Mb or 32Mb RAM. It includes 2Mb flash ROM for the Java operating system and 1Mb video RAM. NetChamp will be bundled with a load of software including a Hot Java web browser, desktop environment, terminal emulator, intranet package and a suite of the usual productivity tools such as word processor, spreadsheet and presentation tools. It will be available in January from $750. Meanwhile LG, a co-developer and manufacturer of Sun Microsystems Inc’s Java processor, says it has produced the first Java chip, and will be supplying it to Sun from next month. LG licensed Sun’s picoJava core back in March 1996 (CI No 2,925), and earlier this year extended its agreement with Sun to act as Sun’s manufacturer and collaborator on future Java processor derivatives (CI No 3,187). Sun said then that it would begin offering samples some time in the fourth quarter.
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