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February 25, 1999


By CBR Staff Writer

Siemens Computer Systems, a unit of German IT and telecoms equipment manufacturer Siemens AG’s information and communications products (ICP) division, is launching a new range of PCs for the business market which, it claims, is specifically designed for the European market. With the CeBIT computer fair in Hanover taking place next month, the company is holding some of the models back. So far it has shown the Scenic 300 and 500 models, aimed at the SOHO and small and medium-sized business markets, which will seek to compete mainly on price. Then there are the 600 and 800 models, which are for the corporate users, and where the sales pitch emphasizes total cost of ownership. This week it also unveiled the Scovery, a small-footprint, multi-function network PC, and the Activy, a digital multimedia box aimed at both the pay TV and business broadcasting markets, with more launches in its Celsius workstation range due over the next couple of weeks. The new models boast a series of innovations. These include the PISA slot, a patented design for card slots, angled at 45% to the box, which can handle both the PCI and ISA formats, thereby enabling companies to re-utilize their legacy cards in a new generation of machines. Then there is the Air Tunnel design for cooling, which obviates the need for two fans by putting a single one in the middle of the processing board with a hooded air tunnel to blow air onto the processor as required, thereby also reducing noise levels. Siemens also reckons to be the first manufacturer to use the so-called Save to RAM technology, which effectively keeps RAM alive when the machine powers down during moments of inactivity. This is preferable to the traditional Save to Disk technology, as it means that the response time when powering back up is shortened considerably. The name Save to RAM is, however, a misnomer, admitted the marketing director for business PCs at SCS, Winfried Schauerte, in that the data is not actually saved. Siemens adopted the term from Intel, however, as it is already something of an industry standard, he explained.

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