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AST Research Inc has introduced the AST Premium/386, a 20MHz 80386-based personal computer claimed to give users the multi-tasking benefits of IBM’s Micro Channel Architecture, while maintaining compatibility with existing IBM AT-class hardware and software: AST has developed an advanced, arbitrated bus architecture, called SMARTslot Architecture, for the machine, which accommodates multiple, intelligent co-processors; it comprises three components – dedicated 32-bit pathway from CPU to memory, and feature bus and the arbitration bus for management of memory and peripherals; with up to 13Mb memory, seven expansion slots, three user-selectable speeds, disk up to 150Mb and disk controller, it starts at $4,695 with 1Mb CPU, from January.

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