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Acorn Computer Group Unveils Range of New NC Devices

Office NC, ExecPhone NC, Set-Top Box NC and NC TV Newest Devices to Come Out
 of Agreement with Network Computer Inc.

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- At Oracle Open World '96, The Acorn Computer Group today demonstrated a variety of network computing devices including the Acorn NC, the Office NC, the Set-top Box NC (STB NC), the ExecPhone NC, and the NC TV. The Acorn NC has been shipping since August to organizations who are developing their NC strategies. The Office NC and STB NC are new models being prepared as Reference Designs from Network Computer, Inc. (NCI). The ExecPhone NC and NC TV are working prototypes designed to demonstrate new concepts in network computing.

Acorn has been developing and licensing technology to NCI since January as part of an agreement to develop reference designs for a range of easy-to-use, low cost computing devices based upon open Internet standards. Many of the network computers on display in the NCI pavilion at OpenWorld are based on these Reference Designs.

"As one of our premier partners, Acorn is developing new and innovative NC prototypes," said Jerry Baker, President of Network Computer, Inc. "They've been instrumental in providing cutting edge technology and know-how to the industry that has helped turn the NC into reality."

Acorn NC

The Acorn NC is based on the ARM7500FE, a fully integrated RISC processor, video and I/O controller offering much of the functionality of a network computer on a single chip. The device offers a built-in network interface supporting 33.6kb modem, Ethernet, ISDN or ATM25. Its operating system and software are embedded in ROM to allow Web-browsing, email, word processing and other applications to be performed quickly and easily even though it has
neither hard disk nor large amounts of RAM. The Acorn NC includes NC SmartCard support, and comes with either a TV-style remote control handset or a wired keyboard and mouse.

Office NC

The Office NC takes the original NC reference design a step further by providing even more processing power to address corporate needs. The Office NC uses the ultra-fast 200 MHz StrongARM 110 processor, a joint development of ARM Ltd, a sister company of Acorn, and Digital Equipment Corporation. The Office NC is intended to run the wide range of JAVA applications which are now being offered to address corporate productivity needs on the network. The SmartCard allows users to roam between NCs, with their personal data being accessible from each via a secure mapping across the intranet.


The STB-NC, or Set-Top Box NC is capable of displaying quality real-time video from an MPEG 2 data stream. This NC provides an ideal solution for interactive TV applications when attached to a suitable network structure. Capable of running new Java-based applications, providing web browsing and video delivery the STB-NC addresses a range of digital, interactive TV needs for the consumer and entertainment markets. The SmartCard again gives individual users secure access to their service provider and personal data, and the SmartCard slot opens up opportunities for future micro payment schemes.

ExecPhone NC

By coupling NC technology with the normal desktop phone, the ExecPhone NC concept demonstrator provides an ideal executive workstation. The ExecPhone NC includes all features of the original NC design, including Web browsing, word processing and email, as well as secure access to personal data under SmartCard control and access to other corporate productivity tools and telephone systems.


The NC TV prototype shows how NC technology can be applied to the field of consumer electronics. By including the NC design within an existing consumer product, the cost of providing NC technology to the home is reduced even further. Users can explore the web from the comfort of their hotel or living room using a remote handset which includes a full alphanumeric keyset and special function keys designed for web use. Personal data and email can be taken from the office, to the home or a hotel, simply by carrying the SmartCard.

Acorn Computer Group plc is one of the leading groups of high technology innovators and suppliers in the world. Within the group Acorn has expertise in the development and marketing of advanced technology products, services and licenses which exploit the emerging standards in interactive multimedia, from Internet to broadband digital iTV.

Acorn's home page on the World Wide Web can be accessed at

NOTE: Acorn is a trademark of Acorn Computer Group plc. All other brand names mentioned are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders, and are hereby acknowledged.

SOURCE Acorn Computer Group
 -0- 11/05/96

/CONTACT: Kevin Coleman of Acorn Computer Group plc, 01223 725 005, or; or Julie Plimpton or Tim Dyson of Text 100, 206-443-8004, or, for Acorn/

CO: Acorn Computer Group ST: IN: CPR SU: PDT

KW-GZ -- SFTU001 -- 4138 11/05/96 09:02 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 5, 1996
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