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Cyrix envisions sub-$200 system

The chipmaker is working with two other firms to offer a NC design for under $200, as the National unit looks to enter the corporate market.

Chipmaker Cyrix is teaming up with two other companies to offer a network computer system design for under $200, as the National Semiconductor subsidiary continues trying to enter the corporate market

While the price of some new PCs have now been pushed to under $700, Cyrix, M-Systems, and Bcom will offer PC vendors a network computer specification that costs substantially less. The blueprint will address both the home and business markets.

The design will rely heavily on the server computer for the processing of data, forgoing the usual hard drive and instead using a "flash disk" that can store between 2MB and 72MB of data in a chip. Most applications will be stored on a central server, with data such as address books residing in the desktop.

Both home and business designs will use a 180-MHz MediaGX processor that incorporates graphics, audio, and other functions onto one chip; both will include anywhere from 8MB to 64MB of memory. Built-in networking, standard connection ports, and an expansion slot for devices such as cable or a DSL modem are also offered as a part of the design.

The companies said the reference design can be used to build Internet set-top boxes, sales kiosks, or NC terminals that use operating systems such as Windows CE.

For Cyrix, the reference design is the latest attempt to sell more of its processors to the corporate market. The company recently won a deal with Wyse to supply chips for use in Wyse's Windows-based terminal.