San-Jose, California-based software modem developer PC-Tel Inc has licensed the Rockwell International Inc/Lucent Technology Corp K56Flex protocol for use in its PCT388 modem chip and software low cost modem package. The privately held company, founded in 1994, has developed a one-chip modem application specific integrated circuit that borrows 60MHz from the speed of an Intel Pentium chip to do the conventionally hardware-based functions of a modem. According to PC-Tel the chip and software package works out at half the price of a full modem chipset, and can be mounted on a daughter-card. Running most of the features in software means the system is easier to upgrade, argues the company, and for laptops the system creates less heat and uses less power. PC-Tel has licensed the system to a number of Personal Computer manufacturers, among them Acer Group Inc, AST Research Inc and NEC Corp. PC-Tel is due to announce the signing a major Japanese laptop vendor, for a license of the technology, and it sees its technology as particularly well suited for laptops where space, power-consumption and heat-dissipation are critical factors.