A Connection CoProcessor board that Intel Corp hopes will revolutionise personal computer communications was introduced this week by the firm’s Hillsboro, Oregon-based Personal Computer Enhancements Operation. The $1,000 board, available next month, supports a new Communicating Applications Specification jointly laid down by Intel and Digital Communications Associates Inc, Alpharetta, Georgia, which the industry leaders such as Microsoft, Ashton-Tate, Lotus, Borland, and Novell have rushed to endorse. The Connection CoProcessor board offloads all communications from the main processor and communicates with MS DOS micros that also have Connection CoProcessors installed, and with all Group III facsimile machines. It has spare sockets to take a family of communications options, so that it can be enhanced without requiring use of another slot. Intel and Digital Communications say they plan to develop compatible, public-domain Communicating Applications Specification updates to expand transparent communications support to other devices, including modems and micro-to-mainframe communications products. The aim is that users of host-connected micros will be able to use a single interface to communicate directly with mainframes; share the information with remote micro users and facsimile machines connected only by telephone lines; and concurrently download communications and continue with other work. The Communicating Applications Specification includes core functions of communications scheduling and execution so that software developers can implement communications as simply and transparently as they currently implement printing, without the user having to exit the program or use special communications protocols).