Java processor company Patriot Scientific Corp chose Comdex/Fall to show off its PSC1000 processor, formerly known as ShBoom, running in a Network Computer configuration for the first time in public. San Diego-based Patriot is the first company to get a Java operating system and Java virtual machine onto silicon. But being first creates its own problems. For instance, at the demonstration Patriot was using such an early cut of Sun Microsystems JavaOS – a pre- pre-alpha version compared to the current one, says director of development engineering Clay Douglass – that it had no network drivers on its NC reference board, and therefore had to make do with a few simple Java drawing and charting applets stored on the device’s RAM. However, Patriot did say it would use the board for a web server product, probably by next quarter, and might even do a Network Computer product. The web server will be targeted at the industrial control market, and Patriot will partner with software companies. It’s talking to a few right now, according to Phil Morettini, vice president, sales and marketing. He said the web server software will be ported directly to the chip. A likely source for the software could be Spyglass Inc, although Morettini did not mention any names. But Douglass emphasized that the company’s overall desire was to simply sell silicon. To that end it is going to offer up a core to silicon vendors and cellular phone manufacturers to license for less than $5. The core will comprise the microprocessing part of the chip with the complete JavaOS and JVM. Morettini said the product plans will ultimately depend on what customers ask for. The full PSC1000, which comprises the MPU and the Input-Output Processor will cost a shade under $10 each, with further discounts depending on volume. Morettini said the company is now referring to the part as the PSC1000-100 to emphasize its speed in MHz.
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