Although analysts expecting to see the first clones of IBM’s Personal System/2 at Comdex this year were to be disappointed, evidence of the new burst of clone fever was everywhere, and not to be dampened by IBM’s renewed cry that it wanted a good return on its investement in the PS/2 and would under no circumstances licence its technology. Most of the myriad of 80306 boxes shown at Comdex claimed to be OS/2 ready: AST Research Inc of Irvine, California went one stage further with its Premium/386, which has an advanced arbitrated architecture that AST claims gives users the multitasking benefits of IBM’s Micro Channel architecture while maintaining compatibility with AT-class hardware and software. The bus can accomodate multiple, intelligent co processors for graphics, communications, and disk control. However for those who wish to get closer to the real thing, San Jose-based Chips & Technologies was showing VLSI components that claim to achieve a 100% interface to the MicroChannel Bus of the PS/2. The new MicroChips family should allow manufacturers of bus-compatible boards to bring Micro Channel add-in boards to the market, as an alternative to developing their own ASIC chips. The company also revealed that it would be introducing full chip sets for the Model 50 and 60 in January 1988. A spokesman from Chips & Technologies said that he was confident that licencing arrangements between IBM and potential clone makers would be sorted out over the next few months. So watch out at Comdex/Spring.
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