Western Digital Corp, based in Irvine, California says its Micro Channel-compatible Ethernet adaptor board and software drivers have successfully completed field testing and will begin volume shipment this month. The EtherCard Plus Ethernet adaptor board for Micro Channel can be used in the IBM PS/2 models 50, 60, 80 and compatible products – if you can find any. It capitalises on the Micro Channel by operating in a shared-memory configuration, so that no direct memory channels are used, says Western Digital. This feature is shared with the original EtherCard Plus adaptor, which achieves a high performance on AT-class systems by avoiding the use of slow DMA channels. The EtherCard Plus for Micro Channel features a high-speed 16Kb buffer to maximise throughput in server applications, and an on-board transceiver, and Thin Ethernet cabling can connect directly to the board. EtherCard Plus operates in both Ethernet and IEEE 802.3 standards for those who can tell the difference. In addition, both industry-standard and extended-length network installations can be used. A Media Access Control layer driver conforming to the Microsoft and 3Com interface specification for LAN Manager will also be available to enable EtherCard Plus adaptors to operate with Western Digital’s LAN Manager product, and the board costs $500 in the US.
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