Packard Bell NEC Inc, US Robotics and Texas Instruments announced Thursday a deal which will put 56k modems in Packard Bell and NEC brand desktop PCs. The US Robotics x2 technology, built into modem chipsets manufactured by Texas Instruments, will be available in the PCs by the second quarter of this year. Packard-NEC hopes to be the first to market with the 56k modem-integrated PCs. In January, Compaq and modem manufacturer Hayes Microcomputer entered into a similar agreement and announced plans to ship products based on the K56flex protocol developed by Lucent Technologies and Rockwell Semiconductor Systems. With the high-speed modem equipped PCs and over 400 Internet Service Providers adopting the x2 technology, Packard Bell NEC sees its new desktops enabling customers to perform internet-related activities in about half the time.