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Technology / AI and automation


The Portable Systems Division of VLSI Technology Inc in Tempe, Arizona has made good use of its collaboration with Intel Corp on notebook computer chips, and has come out with SCAMP IV, an 80486 notebook chip set that integrates all major system and peripheral functions with mobile computing technologies licensed from Intel and Hewlett Packard Co. From Intel, it has licensed the power management architecture of the 80386SL and 80486SL chip sets, the 80C51 microcontroller, and 82365SL-compatible ExCA – PCMCIA – controller logic, and from Hewlett-Packard, it has bought rights to use the wireless infra-red communications technology used in the Palo Alto company’s mobile computing systems. The Power Management compatibility and embedded 80C51 microcontroller for keyboard control enable the system designer to re-use existing power management software and firmware developed for current 80386SL and 80486SL systems. The chip card slot controller is register-compatible with Intel’s 82365SL PCMCIA PC Card interface chip. The SCAMP IV set comprises three devices – VL82C420 system controller, VL82C144 peripheral combination chip, and optional VL82C146 ExCA controller. A standard SCAMP IV system design can be completed with as few as three TTL components. The devices in the set interconnect via the VLSI proprietary Multiplexed Local Bus interface; they are implemented in 0.8 micron CMOS and support mixed voltage operation at 3V and 5V. The VL82C420 is designed to be tightly coupled with the power-managed Intel CPUs running at up to 33MHz including ones with clock-doublers. The memory controller supports up to 32Mb.The peripherals chip also includes floppy disk controller with digital data separator, a 16C550-compatible universal asynchronous transmitter-receiver with infra-red support. Power management features include socket power control, 3.3V/5V suspend with modem and ring resume detection and power saving with Window inactivity. Up to four VL82C146s can be used in each system. Samples August, volume October at $32.50 for the VL82C420, $25.00 for the VL82C144 and $8.50 for the VL82C146 for 1,000-up.

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