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  1. Technology
August 21, 1995


By CBR Staff Writer

Following a five-year sabbatical, the Amiga side of the liquidated Commodore International Ltd, now called Amiga Technologies GmbH, and a subsidiary of Escom AG (CI No 2,695), will mark its return to the personal computer and games consoles market with the September launch of the Amiga 4000T Tower and A1200 machines. The primary objective was to get Amiga products back on the market as fast as possible, said Petro Tyschtschenko, general manager of Amiga. Consequently, the A1200s have been revived without any modification and will ship either with or without a 170Mb hard drive. The former will cost ú400, the latter ú500. We were the first, apart from Unix, to come up with a multi-tasking operating system that also has a powerful graphics engines, said Jonathan Anderson, general manager of Amiga UK. Amiga hopes that this fact will stick in the minds of some 2m UK old Amiga faithfuls number 2m and persuade them to buy the new machines. The Amiga 1200 will be produced by Solectron Corp at the plant in Bordeaux, France that it bought from IBM Corp in 1992. The motherboards for the 4000T will be produced in Philadelphia and assembled for local US markets, the units for Europe will be assembled at Escom in Germany and not in Irvine, Scotland by SCI Systems Inc as previously speculated (CI No 2,689). Escom plans to build 100,000 of the low-end Amiga machines and 20,000 towers by the end of the year. We expect to ship 60,000 1200 machines and 4,000 minitowers by Christmas, said Anderson. The company will target the Amiga towers, which are based around Motorola Inc’s 68040, at the home market – the machine will ship with proprietary software including a spreadsheet, and word processing package and two games titles. It will also come pre-loaded with Scala multimedia authoring software. The 4000T has 2Mb memory, comes with a 540Mb or 1Gb SCSI drive and has six 32-bit expansion slots. An upgraded version using Motorola’s 68060 processor will be available in November. The 4000T costs ú1,900. Amiga will also ship a Pentium 60 minitower running MS-DOS for ú1,000 in Europe as a stop gap before launching Pentium 75 and Pentium 100s with quad CD-ROM drives and built-in sound boards running Windows95 in October. In the longer term Amiga is planning to build PowerPC and Precision Architecture RISC-based machines. Prototyping will begin by the middle of next year although product will not be available for shipment for another 18 months, the difficulty being that the Amiga operating system is so tightly written around the Motorola chip architecture that it is hard to make it work with another processor, the company said. Confirming its intentions to license its motherboard for use in television set-top boxes (CI No 2,689), the company said it is currently in negotiations with Visicorp.

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