IYONIX pc

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Contents

Background

In 2002, RISC OS seemed like it was disappearing forever. The only people being vocal about hardware development were Microdigital, with their new Omega computer, which they claimed would be the first step towards a true 32bit RISC OS, being able to use both a StrongARM processor and an XScale on a daughterboard. Many people had suspicions about the validity and feasibility of what Microdigital were trying to do, but they seemed to be the only people developing at the time.

Then, in November, Castle Technology made an announcement that shocked the entire community: They had a fully 32bit desktop machine, running RISC OS 5, and it would be available for sale in a matter of weeks. True to their word, the IYONIX pc was launched on 1 December 2002, in time for the RISC OS Midlands Show, and was available to buy at the show and take home.

The IYONIX pc was available from IYONIX Ltd, an off-shoot of Castle Technology, as well as through several resellers such as CJE Micros. Prices for base systems ranged from £799 for a small case with no bundled software to £1099 for a full unit with 512MB RAM and DVD-RW drive.

The End

The Iyonix PC ceased production in 2008. A Mark 2 was considered but was deemed not to be viable.

Target Audience

The IYONIX pc is aimed at users wishing to upgrade from their older hardware to a faster RISC OS based machine. Unlike the A9home it is designed to fit in a standard PC case, and thus externally looks like a standard x86 PC.

Specification

Internal

Processor Intel XScale 80231 clocked at 600MHz
Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce 2MX PCI card until June 2006. Now supports newer 5200 and 6200 cards
Motherboard features PCI Sockets (2x32bit, 2x64bit)

UDMA100 IDE sockets (2)

DDR200 RAM socket (1) - Max 1GB

Flash ROM - Allows software updating of the OS

Rear Connectors

  • On Board Audio - Mic, Headphone, Audio in
  • Gigabit Network port
  • Serial ports (2)
  • Standard ATX power connector
  • 2x USB2 compatible ports (USB2 is available via a chargeable upgrade for users with early systems)

Front Connectors

Vary according to model, but most include:

  • 2x USB ports
  • Mic, Headphone ports
  • Power button
  • Reset button

Other features

  • CDRW drive (or optional DVD-RW drive)
  • RISC OS 5 supplied on Flash ROM
  • Support for multiple graphics cards, providing dual-head display.

Links

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