Chip manufacturer Cyrix has clinched a deal with Siemens Nixdorf to supply its MediaGX processor for the Beetle cash register.
Siemens, one of the largest suppliers of point-of-sale retail systems in Europe, announced last week it would be incorporating the chip in future versions of "the world's smallest electronic cash register".
While the company is working on a Pentium II machine, the general policy is to stay with MMX processors, which Intel will not be supplying for much longer.
The deal is good news for National Semiconductor, which bought Cyrix in November last year, and intends to broaden its market.
Cyrix hopes to bring the next generation of MediaGX, MXi, to the market in the new year. Codenamed Cayenne, the MXi will combine the core 6x86 technology of the MII chip, Cyrix's Pentium II equivalent, with the integration of the MediaGX.
The MXi could enable OEMs to break through the $500 (#305) mark, Cyrix estimated.
The chip maker is also working with vendors on digital "set-top-box" projects that could bring Web surfers to the market for less than $300 (#180). Cyrix hinted that deals with notebook vendors are now in the pipeline.
Meanwhile, Cyrix is still making inroads in its traditional market for low-end and consumer desktops, witnessed by Packard Bell/NEC's announcement last month that it would bring MII and MediaGX desktops to the market.
The main appeal of the MediaGX chip to OEMs is the cost. By integrating graphics, audio and memory onto the chip, costs are kept to a minimum, allowing vendors to keep prices of PCs highly competitive.
Market leader Intel concedes that integration is necessary for OEMs to hit very low price points, but takes a slightly different tack, by integrating graphics, audio and "wired for management" on the motherboard rather than the chip.
Intel's EX motherboard, with integrated graphics, audio and management functions, will be shipped on 24 August with the Celeron 333MHz.
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