RISC World


Castle Technology

Castle Technology Ltd announce that after nearly ten very successful years the RiscPC is shortly to cease production. Once current RiscPC supplies have been exhausted the RISC OS market will be based on the Acorn A7000+ and IYONIX pc, both produced exclusively by Castle, and other RISC OS machines from independent manufacturers.

The RiscPC was announced by Acorn early in 1994 and went on sale in the spring of that year. At the time it was the worlds fastest desktop computer based on RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) technology.

Originally using the ARM600 processor this was subsequently replaced by the ARM700. A major step forward came with the advent of the StrongARM processor in the autumn of 1996 giving a significant boost in performance. The StrongARM processor remained the basis of the RiscPC from then on.

After Acorn pulled out of the desktop computer market in September 1998 Castle took over the production of the RiscPC and A7000+ computers, and RISC OS Ltd released RISC OS 4 the following year. In the autumn of 2002 Castle announced the all-new IYONIX pc, running on an XScale processor and with a new, updated, version of RISC OS, RISC OS 5.

Given the short lifespans of so many other computers it is a striking affirmation of Acorn's original design for the RiscPC that it has remained at the centre of the RISC OS world for nearly ten years.

Customers benefited from a string of upgrades that meant the RiscPC could be continually upgraded to the latest specification.

With the successful launch of the IYONIX pc, now a year old, it will have been obvious to market watchers that the RiscPC could not continue indefinitely. The time has now arrived when no more RiscPCs will be manufactured, but RISC OS will continue on the IYONIX pc, now the preferred platform of choice among RISC OS users.

Jack Lillingston said, "The demise of the Risc PC is the end of an era.

It has served the RISC OS market for an incredibly long time and proved a wonderful tool for those who appreciate RISC OS systems. The increasing difficulty in obtaining components and its relative lack of speed in today's demanding markets, make it no longer viable. As far as Castle is concerned the future of RISC OS computing now lies with the IYONIX pc and the continuing development of RISC OS 5. Nevertheless, the Risc PC will be greatly missed for what it has allowed users to achieve during its long lifetime."

Issued by Akalat Publishing on behalf of Castle Technology Ltd.

Editors note - this is a bit of a sad moment all round, but it was going to happen eventually, the RiscPC is simply too slow and too expensive to manufacture. Still the future is bright and I am sure that users will continue with their RiscPCs for many years to come and lets hope potential RiscPC owners buy a more modern machine such as the Omega or the Iyonix, or one of the many VirtualAcorn powered machines that are now available.

Castle Technology