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Technology / AI and automation


The acquisition of board-level computer and embedded systems specialist Force Computers Inc of San Jose, California by Solectron Inc of Milpitas, California (CI No 3,009), has been completed: the company paid 3.5 million new shares, valuing the target at $205m. Solectron, a contract design and manufacturing house, will operate Force as a wholly-owned subsidiary. Force has offered board-level computers for embedding into systems on the OEM market for for the last 15 years, with Sparc and Motorola Inc 68000 systems accounting for the lion’s share, although more recently it has also offered PowerPC, Pentium and Pentium Pro- based hardware as well. The company has offices in Munich, Germany, and Tokyo, Japan. Force is also just coming to market with a $13,000 Windows NT-based computer built using the VME and CompactPCI buses, making the company one of the first in the VMEbus board market to embrace Windows NT. The new VME5-8700 is aimed at embedded control applications. Solectron said Force will continue to operate under its own name, hardly a surprise considering the subsidiary’s reputation in the VME world. It says it is also planning to use Force’s experience in embedded control to embellish its own set of contract design and manufacturing offerings, and the deal will also enable Force to take advantage of its worldwide manufacturing capabilities and services. Solectron, which has been around for 20 years, supplies contract pre-manufacturing, manufacturing and post-manufacturing services to electronics companies.

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