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  1. Technology
September 11, 1995

MINIGRAMS EXTRA

By CBR Staff Writer

Swindon, Wiltshire-based GEC Plessey Semiconductors Ltd has extended its licence agreement with Acorn Computer Group Plc affiliate Advanced RISC Machines Ltd (CI No 2,280) to include the Thumb extension to the ARM architecture: GEC said use of Thumb will enable it to expand its range of ARM7-based microcontrollers by offering 32-bit RISC performance at 16-bit costs; Thumb, or AMD7TDMI, is a 16-bit subset of the standard 32-bit ARM RISC chip.

Toshiba Corp is introducing a new multi-bit, 16-megabit memory chip with an enhanced read-write mode that enables rapid data transmission: sample shipments are available now ranging from $91 to $105, and mass production will begin in October at a monthly rate of 300,000 chips, Toshiba said: it said the new DRAMs were about 40% faster than equivalent DRAMs without the enhanced read-write mode.

Taiwan has decided to allow foreign investors to take part in the domestic telecommunications industry, according to local newspaper The Commercial Times, which reported that authorities have decided to allow up to 30% of the basic domestic telephone industry to be taken by foreign investment: in addition, foreigners can invest in added-value telephone service industries, such as pagers and cellular telephones, on a case-by-case basis without limits, the paper says; however the Directorate General of Telecommunications said the cabinet is still discussing the case and has not yet come to any conclusion, and that opening domestic industries is a set policy under the Asia Pacific Operation Centre project; even if the cabinet decides on the easing, it would still need financal approval from parliament.

Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corpdenied reports that it was bidding for a stake in Indonesia’s PT Telkomsel, 51% owned by state-run PT Telkom and the rest held by government-controlled telecommunications firm PT Indosat: Nippon said it was not among foreign telecommunications firms bidding for a stake in the global system for mobile communication operator, and said it was not focussing on Groupe Speciale Mobile technology, rather it was pushing for Indonesia to adopt its Personal Handy Phone system currently being tested there; Indonesia is planning to sell a stake in PT Telkomsel, one of three companies licensed to operate digital cellular telephones, as part of a two-pronged strategy to woo foreign expertise and raise cash; bidding is expected to close this month, and Indonesia is due to make a decision later this year on whether it will use the digital technology.

Bombay-based Standard Chartered Equitor Group, the Asian custody and clearing division of Standard Chartered Bank Plc, has appointed Tata Consultancy Services Ltd, Bombay for a $30m software development project for an Asia-wide equity custodial network; Tata Consultancy, a subsidiary of Tata Sons & Co Pte Ltd, will develop and implement a custody information processing system for Standard Chartered to be used in 15 Asian countries; the new system will be introduced in phases from 1997; the Standard Chartered unit, launched in 1991 and headquartered in Singapore, administers assets of some $55,000m, it said.

AT&T Corp says it is hoping to expand its operations in Indonesia, where it is one of three permitted suppliers, by bidding for a stake in a state-owned Groupe Speciale Mobile operator and for major equipment supply contracts; the company has bid for a 400,000 line supply contract with Bukaka Singtel International a consortium building and operating telephone services in east Indonesia, with what it calls very aggressive pricing, and will also bid for the four other contracts under which Indonesia has allowed foreign operators to take over existing services and provide another 2m lines under 15-year revenue-sharing agreements; AT&T is also one of the operators bidding for a stake in PT Telekomsel.

Tandem Computers Inc, Cupertino, California is to buy in 1m more of its own shares, bringing the total authorised for repurchase to 2m; the exercise will be funded from working capi

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tal, and the shares will be used for its employee stock purchase plan, employee stock ownership plan and for future plans.

Data I/O Corp, Redmond, Washington has completed the acquisition of the assets of Indianapolis-based maker of integrated circuit handling products Reel-Tech Inc, which had revenues for the first eight months of 1995 of $2.0m, excluding sales to Data I/O: Data I/O currently markets programming and handling equipment that facilitates the use of programmable integrated circuits in both engineering and manufacturing environments; Doug Hall, chief executive of Reel-Tech joins Data I/O as director of the Indianapolis Semiconductor Operation; the purchase price included an initial payment of $2m plus the assumption of liabilities, and the company has agreed to pay up to an additional $2.0m if targets it set are met over the next three years.

Although the company is uninterested in creating an applications business, Hewlett-Packard Co claims that it is now the sixth-ranking software supplier in the world after IBM Corp, Microsoft Corp, Computer Associates International Inc, Oracle Corp and Novell Inc.

X/Open Co Ltd is fast becoming the roach motel of high tech: standards check in, but they don’t check out, an anonymous Sun Microsystems Inc official told InformationWeek.

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