A user-configurable interface chip to ease the task of designers of add-on boards for the IBM Personal System/2 has been announced by Altera Corp, Santa Clara. The company claims that the part is the first programmable interface to the Micro Channel bus structure, and looks to it to help create a significant market: it notes that a year after the PS/2 was announced, relatively few add-on boards are available. By simplifying the Micro Channel interface, the chip should enable add-on board vendors to get to market faster, as well as provide more functionality. PS/2 boards are 40% smaller than AT boards, but the chip uses only two square inches of board area. As it is configurable by the user, the same chip can be used to design and build a wide variety of types of boards: it is progarmmed using Altera’s MC Map software, written to run on an AT-alike. The new part is available now and costs $12 apiece when your order lots and lots of the things.