Iyonix front, showing drives (CD-RW, floppy disk), power button, reset button, LEDs, USB ports
|Release date||22 October 2002|
|Discontinued||30 September 2008|
|Media||CD-RW, floppy disk|
|Operating system||RISC OS, Linux|
|Predecessor||Risc PC, A9home|
|Successor||Touch Book, ARMini|
The Iyonix PC was an Acorn-clone personal computer sold by Castle Technology and Iyonix Ltd between 2002 and 2008. According to news site Slashdot, it was the first personal computer to use Intel's XScale processor. It ran .
The Iyonix originated as a secret project by Pace engineers in connection with development of set-top boxes (STBs), and has been noted as a successor to the Risc PC. Pace had a licence to develop RISCOS Ltd's OS sources for use in the STB market. The Iyonix was developed under the code name Tungsten and uses , which is a version of RISC OS that supports ARM CPUs with 32-bit addressing modes. The sources and hardware design were subsequently acquired by Castle, who developed them into the final product. Castle continued to keep the project a secret, requiring developers to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Information was distributed to such developers via a confidential section of the website. Customers were occasionally able to buy the computer as a bare bones system for self-assembly.
Castle ceased production of the Iyonix after the July 2006 introduction in the UK of the RoHS Regulations. The design was not compliant and Castle did not redesign the Iyonix. Sales continued for over 2 years, via a newly established company, Iyonix Ltd, which enabled Castle itself to circumvent the regulations.
On 25 September 2008, Castle announced that production of the Iyonix had ceased and that new units would no longer be available to order.
- Standard ATX motherboard and Nvidia video card
- Intel XScale 80321 600 MHz 32-bit processor
- Two 64-bit and two 32-bit PCI slots (two occupied by graphics and USB cards, two free)
- RISC OS version 5 in hardware ROM module, using 32-bit addressing mode.
- Support for the Linux operating system
- Support for "legacy" Acorn DEBI expansion cards
- USB interfacing
It was the first time substantial changes had been made to the platform since the release of the Risc PC in 1993. All interim machines had been built on the ARM7500 system on a chip, which was widely regarded as a single-chip Risc PC. (It incorporated the memory controller, video, sound, IO and CPU logic of a Risc PC, leaving only memory and disc interfacing to be added.)
The presence of PCI and USB capabilities, as well as the retained "podule" bus, attracted comparisons to Acorn's aborted Phoebe PC; however, such comparisons should be tempered with Phoebe's proposed feature set, which retained VIDC and 26-bit mode, and although Phoebe was intended to be capable of SMP configurations, its proposed shipping configuration had been for one SA110 CPU.
- Mr J Sawyer (22 October 2002). "Iyonix at RISC OS South-East". Newsgroup: comp.sys.acorn.announce. Usenet: email@example.com. Retrieved 10 March 2011.
- Holwerda, Thom (2008-09-29). "Iyonix Range Taken Off the Market". OSNews. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
A huge blow to the already small RISC OS market and community: Castle Technology has announced that the Iyonix range of ARM-based RISC OS computers will be taken off the market after 30th September.
- "PR07-IYONIXproductiontocease.txt". Drobe. 2008-09-25. Archived from the original on 9 December 2008. Retrieved 2011-03-10.
IOYONIX Ltd would like to announce that from the 30th September 2008 it will not be possible to order an IYONIX computer.
- John Ballance (30 September 2008). "IYONIX Press Release". Newsgroup: comp.sys.acorn.announce. Usenet: firstname.lastname@example.org. Retrieved 10 March 2011.
- Chamberlain, Ian (7 December 2002). "First Desktop Computer To Use Intel's XScale". Slashdot. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
"Drobe, the leading RISC OS portal, has reported the release of Iyonix, the first desktop computer to use Intel's XScale processor.
- Proven, Liam (2006-10-20). "RISC OS six appears, only a couple of years late". The Inquirer. Retrieved 2011-06-28.
RO5 [...] appeared at the end of 2002. [...] put together a new, 32-bit ARM machine, the Iyonix.
- Lewin A. R. W. Edwards (18 July 2006). So, You Wanna Be an Embedded Engineer: The Guide to Embedded Engineering, from Consultancy to the Corporate Ladder. Newnes. pp. 139–. ISBN 978-0-7506-7953-4. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
- "Iyonix RIP". Foundation RISCWorld. 2008. Retrieved 2011-06-17.
"IYONIX is Born..." Foundation RISCWorld. Retrieved 2011-06-17.
The Tungsten developer Web site was used to distribute information to developers [...] Everybody involved in the Tungsten project, as it was known, had to sign a strict Non-Disclosure Agreement [...]
- Williams, Chris (2004-12-02). "DIY Iyonix kit available again". Drobe. Retrieved 2011-06-28.
Castle are once again selling DIY Iyonix motherboard kits, allowing users to save cash by building Iyonix computers themselves. [...] exactly like the DIY kit they offered in October.
- Williams, Chris (17 October 2002). "WOOT! It's a 32bit XScale RISC OS PC!". Drobe. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
A quick browse to Castle's website shows a link to Iyonix PC -- what's this? [...] It seems that the rumour mill that was bandied around on Usenet recently has some reality behind it. [...]
- Holwerda, Thom (2006-08-01). "Iyonix Banned by New EU Green Law". OSNews. Retrieved 2011-06-28.
The computer's motherboard will require a costly resdesign in order to meet the requirements of the new RoHS rules, especially to meet the low-lead levels in the PCB solder, say contacts close to Castle.
- Holwerda, Thom (2008-09-29). "Iyonix Range Taken Off the Market". OSNews. Retrieved 2011-06-28.
Castle Technology has announced that the Iyonix range of ARM-based RISC OS computers will be taken off the market after 30th September.
- Proven, Liam (2005-11-22). "New RISC OS machine coming soon". The Inquirer. Retrieved 2011-06-27.
The Iyonix is a standard ATX motherboard with an nVidia graphics card [...]
- Iyonix Linux port established | Drobe.co.uk archives
- Mellor, Phil (3 February 2005). "Iyonix USB 2 - review". The Icon Bar. Retrieved 2 February 2012.