High-power handheld unveiled at Comdex

National Semiconductor Corporation unveiled a new conceptual device at Comdex 2002. The Geode Extended Office (GXO) is targeted at mobile professionals who need easy wireless access to all their office data and applications, including Windows XP and video conferencing.

The Geode Extended Office, combines key Internet, office and video-conferencing applications in a compact portable about the size of a framed 5 x 7 photograph. Incorporating both Bluetooth and 802.11b wireless capabilities, the GXO is smaller, lighter and easier to carry than laptops. It also provides a bright 6-inch TFT display with 1024 x 768 resolution. The screen is four times the size and offers five times the resolution of a high-end PDA.

"The Geode Extended Office takes the concept of worker mobility to a new level of functionality and productivity," said Mike Polacek, vice president of the Information Appliance Division at National Semiconductor. "Today's PDA's suffer from small displays and are incompatible with software, content and corporate security requirements. The GXO integrates PC-compatible software, ultra-low-power processing and wireless connectivity to ensure seamless interfaces to existing business infrastructure. This small, full-featured package is easy to deploy, easy to use, and fun," Polacek said.

The GXO is a wireless thin client that uses 802.11b connectivity to access corporate wireless LANs and Bluetooth to access web-based and other information sources through cellular connections. Utilizing technology from Citrix, the GXO can remotely run enterprise applications and access data that are stored on a server.

The GXO is based on National's SC2200 Geode integrated system-on-a chip. Embedded inside this chip is a fully PC-compatible x86 processor that ensures software compatibility with Windows XP and other PC software. The device is also enabled for both Citrix MetaFrame XP application delivery and management software and NFuse Elite Access Portal software. In addition to running virtually all software applications, the GXO has more features than a PDA and more functional mobility than traditional notebooks.

Key Features of the Geode Extended Office

The GXO is 7.3 inches wide, 5.8 inches high and 0.9-inches thick. Weighing one pound, nine ounces, National Semiconductor's GXO packs a world of functionality into a compact, easy to travel form factor.

GXO Features:

  • SC2200 Geode processor (233MHz)
  • Full Windows XP operating system
  • On-board digital camera for video conferencing
  • 6-inch TFT display with 1024 x 768 resolution
  • 10-gigabyte Toshiba hard drive
  • 802.11b and Bluetooth connectivity
  • Enabled for both Citrix MetaFrame XP and NFuse Elite

Approximate Dimensions

  • Height: 152 mm (6.0 in
  • Width: 183 mm (7.2 in
  • Depth: 25 mm (1.0 in)

Approximate Weight

  • 710 grams (1 lb, 9 oz)

"Easy-to-use multifunctional products are sure to be popular with a large portion of the computer-literate market," said market analyst Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies. "The inclusion of standard protocols such as Bluetooth, 802.11b and the Windows XP OS, could transform National's conceptual device into a mainstream tool that can be used easily with existing systems and applications."

How much will it cost and when will it be available?

Since the GXO is a conceptual device, there is no consumer price associated with it. National Semiconductor has shown the design to several of their major customers, and they’re excited about the design. Since the concept design is close to a final product, National Semiconductor expects manufacturers to be able to offer their versions of the products in the second half of 2003.

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