National Semiconductor offers "PC-on-a-Chip"

National Semiconductor has released a so-called "PC-on-a-Chip" capable of integrating most of the functions of a computer and information appliances.

The chip, called the GeodeSC1400, can work in TV set-top boxes that provide Web browsing features; in "thin client" computers that use servers for most processing functions; and in portable Web-access devices, according to National Semiconductor.

The Geode uses National Semiconductor's MediaGX processor to integrate into a single silicon chip digital video and major PC functions, with the exception of DRAM (dynamic random access memory) and high voltage components, said Mike Brozda, a National Semiconductor spokesman. The major functions integrated by the chip include the processor, system logic, graphics, MPEG video decompression, audio, TV input/output and peripheral input/output, all of which require at least six separate chips in a conventional set-top box.

The chip will be altered to fit the use envisioned by customers, according to Brozda. "This is almost chip technology on demand," he said. "We can mix and match functionality or defer to customer requests."

Since National Semiconductor first announced its plan to produce a "PC-on-a-Chip" in April 1998, increasing demand for Internet access has led the company to specifically target the Internet-capable information appliance market, such as set-top video. National Semiconductor also has added the MPEG video decoding function to the original feature set.

The chip will allow manufacturers to build new information appliances that will give consumers easier access to the Internet, according to an analyst. "This chip looks like it can do a lot of things," said Nathan Brookwood, an analyst with Insight 64, a research and consulting firm in Saratoga, California.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jack McCarthy

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?