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LinuxWorld: Small footprint, big impact [Neoware EON]

Jul 06, 2000, 01:33 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Rawn Shah)

"The Great Second Coming for Linux might just be in the realm of embedded devices. Already analysts are predicting that Internet-accessing smart devices will outnumber desktop computers in a few short years.Linux has an advantage in that area when compared to a platform such as Windows because of its simpler process model, low-memory footprint, and easier development environment. Some vendors have already started the move from proprietary realtime OSs to Linux. One example is Lynx Systems, nowcalled Lynux Systems, with its BlueCat Linux. However, most analysts don't expect embedded Linux products to emerge for a while."

"It won't take long to see some of the early birds though. One company is already hard at work, creating a useful product that falls in line with its marketing segment and long-term plans. Longtime terminal manufacturer Neoware has jumped into the Linux fray with a new thin-client device that runs its own flavor of embedded Linux. Neoware, originally called HDS, used to make text terminals, then network computers and Windows terminals. The company continues to focus on its core thin-client desktop for the business market with its latest creation, the EON running NeoLinux."

"That two-fisted device from Neoware comes in a small-footprint box about the size of a textbook just barely larger than the mainboard itself. Inside is a National Semiconductor Geode processor, a highly integrated chip with a 233 MHz Pentium core, a graphics adapter, a PCI controller, a network controller, an audio controller, and a serial and parallel port controller -- all in a single package. The Geode obviates the need for separate chips for each of those features and thus makes for a more affordable system that saves on power consumption as well."

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