Digital Equipment Corporation announced that its StrongARM SA-110 high-performance, low-power microprocessor will drive Apple Computer, Inc.'s new Apple MessagePad 2000, a powerful, handheld computer that allows professionals to use essential business applications while away from the office. In addition, the StrongARM chip will be at the heart of the Newton platform, which will serve as the reference design for Apple's Newton platform licensees. The StrongARM SA-110 delivers up to 10 times the performance of competitively priced, low- power microprocessors, enabling advanced features such as handwriting recognition and Internet/intranet communications, plus the potential for speech recognition, in hand-held devices.
Combined Strengths Benefit Consumers
According to Ed Caldwell, vice president, Digital Semiconductor, "Apple's and Digital's technical strengths together will put new computing and communication capabilities into the hands of mobile professionals, with hand- held products designed for convenience and simplicity. StrongARM chips will enable these devices to offer features such as advanced user interfaces, longer battery life, built-in communications, and data transfer capability with Windows or Mac OS PCs." Commenting on the announcement, Sandy Benett, vice president of the Newton Systems Division at Apple said, "We have created an architecture for the Newton platform to support a wide variety of low-cost, mobile appliances representing complete solutions for specific markets. Digital Semiconductor's StrongARM microprocessor is key to providing the features and performance that users want in a mobile platform."
Digital's StrongARM Microprocessor To Power Apple's New MessagePad 2000,Newton Platform
The StrongARM SA-110 chip chosen for the Newton platform operates at 160 MHz and is capable of higher performance than most desktop computer CPUs, while dissipating less than 1/4 watt of power. In the Apple MessagePad 2000, the StrongARM microprocessor delivers an unprecedented 925 MIPS/Watt and can run on four AA batteries for weeks of typical use.
Development Tools Ported
Creator of the original MessagePad personal digital assistant (PDA), Apple is porting its Newton 2.1 operating system to the StrongARM SA-110 microprocessor, as well as the Newton development environment and NewtonScript language tool chain. Apple is also providing the Newton operating system, application software, and Newton Reference Platform to its partners. Digital's StrongARM SA-110 microprocessor is firmly established as the industry's performance and price/performance leader for low-power microprocessors. StrongARM family members are performance- and power- optimized for a variety of applications including Internet terminals, battery-operated systems such as handheld computers and PDAs, and traditional embedded control tasks. StrongARM microprocessors are supported by a growing infrastructure of hardware, software and simulation tools.
StrongARM SA-110 chips are now in volume production with performance and speed options from 115 MIPS at 100 MHz to 270 MIPS at 233 MHz. They range in price from U.S. $29 to U.S. $49 in quantities of 10,000.
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