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Digital does latest NC design

Digital joins Oracle's Network Computer subsidiary to formally announce a new reference design for network computers.

Digital Equipment (DEC) and Network Computer Incorporated (NCI), a subsidiary of Oracle, formally announced today a new reference design for network computers based on a StrongARM RISC microprocessor and NCI's software environment.

Digital says that Funai Electric and Aranex of Bedford, Massachusetts, will build systems according to the specification laid out by Digital.

The announcement is but the latest reference design for network computers, as other designs are slated to use processors from Intel and a software environment from Sun Microsystems.

In NCI's rendition of the network computer, or NC, applications are downloaded from a central server computer and executed locally on a powerful host processor. NCI's software, called NC Access, is a suite of applications including email, scheduling, news services, and multimedia capabilities that are for environments that will work with Digital's reference design. The reference platform will support other software environments, however.

Sample units will be available in April with volume shipments occurring later in the second quarter, according to Digital.