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  1. Technology
July 29, 1994


By CBR Staff Writer

There is nothing more frustrating than losing hours of work on your computer when a power failure brings down the system. Magnum Power Solutions Plc, based in Coatbridge, Scotland is coming to the London market with a placing to raise ?5m to get its solution to the problem. It has developed a power supply that fits inside personal computers and guards against power failure and guarantees a power supply to your personal computer by switching to internal battery back-up for up to 20 minutes. Magnum’s finance director, Ian Irvin, boasts the new offering has no other competition saying big computer makers have spent much time and effort trying to make a similar product over the past five or 10 years, since the advent of personal computers, but according to Magnum everyone else has failed so far. The Bi-Ups product line is compatible with any personal computer and can also be used with networked machines. The personal computer version, Model SL270, is a switch mode power supply with integral uninterruptible power supply capability that is physically the same size as a standard power supply. The SL270 replaces the internal power supply in any non-IBM compatible personal computer by supplying power to the computer circuits directly. It provides back-up supply in the event of an interuption to the main power supply and will also support Super VGA monitors up to 17 in size. The SL270 operates with a battery pack that is external to the power supply within the computer chassis. The battery packs are mounted in place of either a 5.25 or full height disk drives. Depending on the battery used, the SL270 has sufficient capacity to power an 80286, 80386 or 80486 computer with an external monitor and peripheral with one hard and one floppy drive for a maximum of 25 minutes. The company sees its main market for export of the product as countries with a less reliable mains power supply than Britain’s. Bi-Ups has an American patent and European patents are pending. According to Irvin Bi-Ups should cost up to half the price of existing uninterruptible power supply products. Magnum Power plans to charge computer manufacturers between ?100 and ?200 for each Bi-ups product and hopes to sell hundreds of thousands a year. Other customers could include telecommunications companies keen to protect switchboard technology, and facsimile machine and video recorder users. We believe we have a reasonable chance of achieving big volumes without having to come back to the market for more cash, said Irvin. Magnum says the market for its Bi-ups product is huge, with 30m personal computers sold worldwide last year and is planning to go public later this month to raise ?5m to fund its growth. The placing is sponsored by Henry Cooke Lumsden.

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