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New RISC OS computer: IYONIX PC 
The IYONIX pc is a real RISC OS computer, built around the latest computer technology, such as an Intel XScale processor, USB and PCI-bus. On top of this all is the latest version of our favourite operating system: RISC OS 5. Some of its specifications are highlighted below, but it would of course be much better to call us for a demonstration.
 
Contents of this page

Specification
Although most details haven't been disclosed as yet, here are some to tease you:
  • MicroATX mid tower case
  • RISC OS 5
  • Full 32-bit operating system 
  • ARM X-Scale processor (80321)
  • DDR memory cards (Double Data rate), up to 1GB RAM, 200 MHz
  • 66 MHz PCI bus, 32 and 64 bit
  • GeForce2 MX400 PCI video graphics card
  • Podule bus, now suitable for high-speed podules
  • Ultra-DMA 100 harddisc interface
  • USB support
  • Gigabit networking, 10/100/1000 Base T

 
A new computer
Probably one of the best kept secrets in the RISC OS world is this new IYONIX pc from Castle. The IYONIX is introduced in a time were the current range of RISC OS computers is no longer suited for a number of today's applications. At the same time we see that a number of critical components used to build the Risc PC a nearing the end-of-life.

IYONIX has two key features:
  •  It is based on the new 32-bit ARM XScale Processor (a.k.a. StrongARM-2)
  •  It will be supplied with a new 32-bit version of RISC OS (RISC OS 5)

 
A new motherboard and a new case
As a number of existing Risc PC components are no longer available or are nearing end-of-life, it was necessary to design a completely new motherboard. Castle have used this opportunity to redesign the entire system, using modern industry-standard components and fitting the new motherboard in a modified PC-standard tower. This way, users can benefit from a number of PC developments, such as PCI, USB and DDR memories.
  • Space for 2 x 5.25" drive
  • Space for 3 x 3.5" drive (of which 2 x external)
  • Start button at front
  • 2 x USB port at front
  • 2 x USB port at rear
  • Recessed RESET button at front
  • Power and HDD LEDs at front
  • 250 Watt PSU, with automatic fan
  • 4 x PCI slot (2 x 32-bit, 4 x 64-bit)
  • 2 x Hi-speed podule slot
  • Networking 10/100/100 Base T
  • 2 x Serial RS232 port

 
A new version of RISC OS
Existing RISC OS versions, make use of the 26-bit mode of the existing ARM processors. This was necessary, as the older RISC OS computers, such as the A5000, were based on the ARM2 and ARM3 processors, that featured only a 26-bit mode.

Later ARM processors, such as the ARM600, ARM700 and StrongARM, feature both a 26-bit and a 32-bit mode, enabling existing software to run. However, as time evolves, new processors are introduced, such as the Intel XScale, that only have a 32-bit mode, preventing existing software from running.

In order to make full use of the latest generation of RISC processors, a new version of RISC OS has been developed: RISC OS 5. In RISC OS 5, all critical components have been translated to 32-bit and at the same time, hardware-dependancy has been phased out, enabling the use of PCI graphics cards and hardware-acceleration.

As RISC OS 5 will be further developed once the IYONIX pc has been launched, users may have to upgrade their operating system from time to time. RISC OS is prgrammed into a flash-ROM on the motherboard, enabling users to carry out the upgrade process themselves.
  • 32-bit
  • Video via PCI card
  • Feature set based on RISC OS 4.02
  • Licenced by Pace
  • Dedicated IYONIX version
  • Long filenames
  • ICA client
  • Font manager with Unicode support
  • Printing via USB
  • OS in flash-ROM, running from RAM
  • Bigger WIMP-slot (now 128MB rather than just 28MB!)

At the moment, most RISC OS developers are converting their software to 32-bit compatible versions. It is expected their many software titles will be avaiable at the launch of the IYONIX computer. A number of interesting titles and demonstration versions of commercial packages will be supplied on IYONIX as well. A new version of the Acorn C/C++ Development Suite has been released, with all software and documentation needed to convert existing software and write new applications. At the bottom of this page we've tried to assemble as list of applications that have already been converted to 32-bit.

Please note: 32-bit software will also run on older systems running RISC OS 3.50 or later (ARM600 and later). The conversion from 26-bit to 32-bit will therefore be useful to existing users as well.
 
PCI cards and Podules
One of the key featues of the new design is the ability to use both PC-standard PCI expansin cards, as well as existing Acorn-style Podules. This ways existing users can continue to use their 'old' expansion cards AND use industry standard expansion cards as well.

PCI will be very useful when it comes to PCI expansion cards that are currently very popular in the PC-world. Such PCI cards are generally cheap and, if an appropriate RISC OS driver is written, can be used directly in IYONIX.

Podules, on the other hand, may prove a useful alternative. First of all because existing cards can be used, provided that new 32-bit compatible drivers are supplied. Secondly, Podules are much easier to develop, enabling small companies and hobbyists to create their own cards and markets. Besides, IYONIX now features a new Podule standard, enabling the use of high-speed Podules. The new tower case has been modified, so that two podules can be fitted.
 
Standard DDR memory
IYONIX uses standard DDR memory modules (DDR: Double Data Rate) with a maximum total capacity of 1GB internal RAM! This will allow users to run more concurrent applications than before, whilst each application can 'grab' more memory than before. Graphical software will particularly benefit from these new features.
 
32-bit compatible software
This software has already been converted to 32-bit RISC OS and is therefore suitable for use on the new IYONIX pc. Any software on this website that is known to be 32-bit compatible will be marked with this symbol: . If you are aware of any software, not present in this list, that is known to be 32-bit compatible, please notify us.
 
  • ConfiX 
    Onze generieke configuratie hulp.
  • AltKeys 
    Een handige module voor het invoeren van bijzondere letters en tekens.

  • !PDF
  • StrongEd
  • ZAP
  • !FTPc 
    Probably the best FTP client for RISC OS

Speed improvements
 
Theoretical speed improvements
Component SA Risc PC IYONIX pc Improvement  
Processor 233 MHz 600+ MHz 2.6 x  
RAM 16 MHz 200 MHz 25 x  
Hard drive 2 MB/s 32 MB/s 16 x  
Expansion bus 8 MB/s 240 MB/s 30 x  
Podule bus 4 MHz 8 MHz 2 x  
Resolution (at 16 million colours) 800 x 600 1920 x 1440 5.8 x  
Screen draw 4.32 sec 0.99 sec 4.3 x  

 
Links
  • The official IYONIX PC website
    Please follow the link above to go directly to the official IYONIX PC website and try your luck in winning one of these new and exciting machines.

  • 26-bit emulator
    As the new IYONIX pc can only run 32-bit software, a number of 'old' applications cannot be used as they are only suitable for use on 26-bit systems. This is where Aemulor comes to the rescue.

  • Acorn C/C++ Development Suite
    This is a complete software development environment that can be used to create both 26 and 32-bit RISC OS software. The suite comes on CD, featuring the latest releases of the Acorn C Compiler with all its tools and documentation. A brand new 32-bit version of the ABC BASIC compiler is also supplied as are 32-bit versions of !FTPc, !PDF, StrongEd and Zap.

  • Information about the different versions of RISC OS

  • Report about the South East Show
    Read this detailed report about Castle's presentation of IYONIX at the South East Show on 2 November 2002.

Link to IYONIX website
Any links shown in red are currently unavailable. X-Ample Technology BV.
Last changed: Sunday, 08 May 2005 - 06:55 CET.
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