Published: Friday 15 August 1997

In chips and pieces

Everything needed to browse the Web and send e-mail will soon be put into a single microprocessor. The Japanese firm Toshiba, in association with iReady, a chip designer from San Jose, California, are close to developing the Internet Tuner chip that will allow manufacturers to give features, such as browsing and e-mail, in pagers, mobile phones, and personal organisers for a few additional dollars, says Ryo Koyama, president of iReady.

Those wishing to connect their telephone, television, or personal organiser to the Net need all the basic computer components -- a processor, memory, and operating software. This adds to the manufacturing costs. The Internet Tuner chip will cut down on these costs. An input-output system, however, would still be needed.

The chip will take data from a modem or other network connections and translate the incoming information into e-mail or Web pages, displaying them on the screen of the device they are built into. The initial version is only going to work on plain text.

Advance versions will be able to handle fax, still images, video, and audio. The first products will be introduced in the market by December 1997.
Cyberspace warfare If space-wars and aliens are right in line with you, Project: Von Neumann is something to look forward to. At, you can play God and create artificial creatures that rule the roost in Cyberspace. The name of the project is derived from Jon von Neumann, who theorised about machines that could reproduce in 1956.

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