Cyrix has made a major breakthrough in the corporate thin client market, announcing a deal with Wyse to design and produce one million terminals over the next three years.
The two companies are to work together to design a low cost Windows Based Terminal (WBT) using Cyrix' MediaGX Intel compatible processor. This is likely to be the start of a move by terminal makers into the WBT sector backed by Microsoft, which provides thin clients running Wintel technology and linked to Microsoft's Hydra terminal server software, due to ship this month.
The MediaGX is Natsemi-owned Cyrix' processor specifically aimed at low cost markets such as terminals and budget PCs, and the basis of its 'system-on-a-chip' project to produce even more compact and cheap machines. It gives Cyrix its first major step into the corporate IT sector.
Aside from the MediaGX, the design will make extensive use of Natsemi products, including SuperI/O devices, amplifiers and power circuits. Given the three-year timescale, the initial project is clearly the precursor of system-on-a-chip terminal products. The companies describe it as a first step in this direction, but the likelihood is that Cyrix-Natsemi will slipstream the next generation into the design as it achieves volume production.
The new terminals will ship next year, and will be developments of Wyse's current Winterm 2000 series of Windows Based Terminals, using the Terminal Server edition of NT 4.0.
The two companies are also to work together on "future desktop and information appliance product designs", using PC-on-a-chip technology and Natsemi's library of designs. According to Richard Sanquini, general manager of Cyrix, this represents the company's first co-development alliance for corporate market system level solutions.
"We are now doing for the corporate market what we did for the consumer market - enabling our customers to deliver greater value and functionality at lower price points," he said.
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