Sharp Selects Intersil

By Eric Griffith

July 23, 2002

Recently announced Sharp ultra-light notebooks with built-in 802.11b-based networking are using Intersil's PRISM 2.5 chip set.

At PC Expo last month, Sharp Systems of America, based in Huntington Beach, CA, announced new additions to its Actius line of ultra-light laptop computers. They'll be integrating the mini-PCI reference design for the Intersil PRISM 2.5 WLAN chip set to get Wi-Fi network connections.

PRISM 2.5 has been put to work in two currently available models, the Actius MV10W and UM30W.

The MV10W, which starts at a base price of $2,199, features a 12.1-inch LCD screen, Pentium III-M 1GHz processor, 256MB of RAM, and a 30GB hard drive in the base unit. It measures only one inch thick. In addition to 802.11b it also builds in a CD-R/RW and DVD combo drive and features DVD optimization software to make sure the video displayed is as clear as possible. There's an optional extended battery available.

The slim Actius UM30W base unit goes for $1,999 and features a 12.1-inch LCD, Pentium III-M 866MHz processor, 256MB of RAM, and a 40GB hard drive. The UM30W is geared even more to travelers, as it's only .77-inch thick and is capable of 7.5 hours of battery life (using the optional extended life battery; it gets 2.5 hours on a standard battery). There's no build in CD, but all UM30W's come with an external USB-based CD-ROM drive.

In the announcement, Larry Ciaccia, vice president and general manager of Intersil's Wireless Networking Product Group, said: "Sharp's new Actius ultra-mobile notebooks are excellent examples of the easy integration of Intersil's PRISM 2.5 wireless LAN technology and of Sharp's focus on integrating the latest technologies into its innovative products."

The PRISM 2.5 chip set used by both computers features a combined baseband processor and MAC chip. The PRISM 2.5 is also available in reference designs for PCMCIA cards and USB adapters.

Both notebooks have a one year or three-year Express Exchange limited warranty, and free phone technical support.

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