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  1. Technology
November 28, 1995


By CBR Staff Writer

Cyrix Corp is negotiating with four semiconductor companies to obtain additional fabrication capacity for its iAPX-86 parts hopes to announce an agreement in the first quarter of 1996, said chief executive T J Rogers, but he denied reports that he is negotiating to be acquired by Texas Instruments Inc, although the latter could make a hostile bid.

Intel Corp could get Pentium Pro clock speeds up to 333MHz when it moves to 0.25 micron geometries in 1997, PC Week hears: the paper also believes a 75MHz bus is on the way to succeed the current 66MHz bus, and sees Pentium Pros clocked at 225MHz on the bus late next year.

Third party software support specialist Stream International Inc, already in the Republic with 900 employees, will create 500 jobs in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, by establishing a ú6m call centre to service the UK operations of its major US customers: the International Development Board has offered Stream ú5.4m towards the costs of the project; the company said Northern Ireland’s excellent fibre optic telecommunications system and the Development Board’s professionalism influenced the siting of the call centre; recruitment is already under way and the centre should be operational in early 1996, it said.

IBM Corp seems to be hedging its Internet bets, and while it is said to be considering licensing Java, it is also working on its own Web-executable language, described by observers as combination of a new language called Bart, and LotusScript, the development software that is planned to ship with a future release of IBM’s Lotus Notes.

Cray Research Inc is due to launch its T3E parallel processor today: having marketed the original T3D in a configuration with a vector supercomputer, the new one will be configured for use on its own: it is said to have theoretical peak performance of over 1 TFLOPS – Cray’s target in the original plan; the company says it has $100m in orders for the new machine already.

The Acer Computer International unit of Taiwanese high-flyer Acer Inc says it has increased its stake in Acer Africa Pty Ltd to 87.5% from 43.7%, acquiring 8.75m shares from Persetel Investments Pty Ltd for $2.6m: the investment elevates Acer Africa from an associate company to a subsidiary; Acer Africa is profitable and accounts for about 5% of group turnover.

Tokyo-based Sumikei Memory Disk Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Light Metal Industries Ltd will set up a unit in Malaysia to produce Aluminium and Nickel-Phosphorous plated substrates for disk platters: the new Malaysian firm, Sumikei Memory Disk (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, to be capitalised at about $4m, will start producing 1m parts a month in October 1996, rising to 3m a month by 2000, Sumikei said; it will create 200 jobs in 1997, rising to 400 jobs by 2000, spending $18m to build the first phase of the plant, another $9.9m in the second phase; products will be marketed in Southeast Asia and there are no plans to export to Japan.

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Mathsoft Inc, Cambridge, Massachusetts will buy TriMetrix Inc for $1.2m: Mathsoft, which develops technical calculation and data analysis software for personal computers, said the acquisition will broaden its customer base for MathCad and S-Plus users with the addition of TriMetrix’s Axum software.

System Software Associates Inc, Chicago is being sued by a customer, Owens-Illinois Inc of Toledo, Ohio for alleged fraud and breach of contract: the suit seeks return of all money paid by Owens-Illinois to System Software plus unspecified damages, and the issue appears to be the state of readiness of the Unix version of its software – Owens-Illinois says System Software engaged in repeated and material misrepresentations regarding the existence of software having the capabilities and functionality necessary to meet the known requirements of Owens, winning the business by promising that the new client-server product would be fully operational by the end of 1994; System Software told Dow Jones & Co that the contract was for $11m and that the company has received about half the money; it is countersuing in an effort to win the balance.

The Brazilian affiliate of Siemens AG made only $10m profit on $1,119m of sales, up 30%, in 1995, down from $86m profit in 1994: the major factors in reduced profits were the elimination of inflationary adjustments to long-term contracts, increased costs, particularly salary increases and overvaluation of the Brazilian currency, Siemens said; the growth in new orders came largely from expansion in demand for telephone equipment as the Siemens Equitel telephone subsidiary captured 41% of all new orders.

Amdahl Corp appeared to be making a big announcement on its Millenium Global Servers – CMOS mainframes – and Spectris storage subsystems, but it turned out to be only that the cosmetics were done by frogdesign Inc, which advises us that the design is a fresh, bold, simple, and strong aesthetic statement – this design symbolically represents the quality and performance of the systems, but also appeals to the emotions with its striking geometric shapes and play of light.

Northern Telecom Ltd unit Guangdong-Nortel Telecommunications, a joint venture between Nortel and the Ministry of Posts & Telecommunications has signed contracts worth more than $220m with six provinces and two cities in China, the Department of Industry announced: the contracts are for supply of DMS exchanges to the provincial telecommunications administrations of Guangdong, Jiangxi, Jilin, Yunan, Henan and Hebei and the city administrations of Peking and Chongqinq.

AT&T Corp has won a contract worth about $26m to add 92,000 underground feeder lines to the Egyptian telephone systems in Cairo and Alexandria: USAID, the US Agency for International Development is paying $13.4m toward the project and Egypt’s National Telecommunications Organisation is paying a total of $12.4m; AT&T won a similar Egyptian contract worth about $24m in July, for digital switching systems for lines in Cairo and in Alexandria.

Nokia Oy’s Nokia Telecommunications is set to sign an 80m telephone supply contract with the Philippines’ Globe Telecoms GMCR Inc, a Finnish official with a visiting trade delegation told reporters.

The siblings are rivalling again – Creative Technology Ltd has appealed the decision of the Singapore High Court in its action with Aztech Systems Ltd (CI No 2,781): the court ruled on October 24 that Aztech did not infringe on Creative’s copyright in SoundBlaster.

Where even the most politically correct Brits told Irish jokes at the height of the bombing campaign, the Irish tell Kerry jokes, South Africans tell you about Van De Merwe and Americans pick on Poles or Puerto Ricans, the French tell Belgian jokes – and you can understand why: a piece in the Wall Street Journal makes it clear that the government is selling a 49.9% stake in Belgacom NV to a consortium of commercially minded foreign phone companies in the desperate hope that they will be able to make it a bit less inefficient and a bit more commercial, it doesn’t really want to sell the stake to Koninklijke PTT Nederland NV because they fear the Dutch would cut jobs…

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