Kinetic

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Kinetic is a processor card for the RiscPC made by Castle Technology Ltd and contains a 233 MHz StrongARM processor (revision T), a 64 or 128 MB SO-DIMM DRAM memory and a flash ROM containing a copy of RISC OS 4.03 which is also the minimal OS version needed to support this hardware.

The Kinetic card has a speed advantage over a normal StrongARM processor card for the RiscPC as its own memorybus is clocked at 66 MHz instead of the 16 MHz clock used by the RiscPC memorybus. At startup a copy of RISC OS is made from the flash ROM to Kinetic's own DRAM memory and executed there. The onboard RiscPC DRAM can still be used so the total available RAM memory is the DRAM memory from the Kinetic card added with the installed RAM of RiscPC motherboard (DRAM and VRAM) minus the memory needed for the softloaded copy of RISC OS which is 4 MB. Programs are using a possible mix of RAM from Kinetic card and onboard RiscPC DRAM.

A disadvantage of the Kinetic card is that it is technically not possible to have DMA using Kinetic DRAM so all DMA capable podules are using their fallback method to normal podule bus transfers which could sometimes result in a disappointing performance.

At some point Castle sold Kinetic equipped RiscPC machines, called Kinetic RiscPC, which used a 300 MHz StrongARM processor cooled with a small fan.



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