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March 9, 1988

ACER CLOSE TO LICENCE PACT WITH IBM ON MICROCHANNEL

By CBR Staff Writer

The Multitech Group, now Acer International Corp, says it is in advanced negotiations with IBM for licence to the Microchannel bus of the Personal System/2s, and that it is currently only haggling about the price. In the meantime, it will be launching a clone of the – non-Microchannel and already moribund – PS/2 Model 30 at the Hannover Fair next week. The Taiwan electronics group, which bought Unix systems manufacturer Counterpoint Computer Corp last November, also intends to set up a direct sales and marketing organisation in the UK near Heathrow by the end of this month and is considering research and development and manufacturing facilities for Europe. The Acer 1030 is built in 1.5 to 2 micron CMOS and is claimed to offer a 20% speed advantage over the IBM model; it will be available by the end of May for around $3,095. Texas Instruments will start producing the machine in July under its second source contract manufacturing agreement with Acer. The name change came about because Multitech was deemed too long and too common a name: after nine months deliberation Acer was chosen because it was less than five letters, easy to remember and is – as far as the company knows – unique. Tandy Corp is tipped to be first off the blocks with a clone of the Personal System/2 with Microchannel: the Wall Street Journal hears gossip that the machine will be out in mid-April and that it will use the Chips & Techologies Inc chip set, although one source hazarded that Tandy would be first to use the forthcomong Intel chip set (CI No 883).

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