A Pentium-based PC fit for James BondNAI...


A Pentium-based PC fit for James Bond

NAI Technologies' System Division in Columbia has laid claim to the title of being first on the market with a Pentium-based personal computer that meets the Tempest security standards.

The federal standards are designed to prevent the data on a computer from being "broadcast" in ways that can be intercepted and interpreted by enemies. They even cover components like monitors, where faint traces of screen images can linger for hours.

The NAI unit's newest product is the XpressStation/4-T. It's available with the Intel Corp. Pentium chip, or with Intel's high-end 486 chips.

Keith Wood, marketing manager for the Systems Division, said the 55 workers in Columbia start with main circuit boards from Intel, for which NAI is a distributor, and build the rest of the systems around them. The division also produces Tempest-shielded printers and network routers.

Not surprisingly, virtually all the Tempest machines the unit sells are destined for government agencies. But Mr. Wood noted that the company expects demand in Europe for the new machine to equal or exceed U.S. demand.

Meanwhile, the Systems Division found itself with a new boss last week. Word came from the NAI headquarters in Hauppauge, N.Y., that its four computer-oriented divisions, including the Columbia company, would be merged into a single business segment -- Electronics Systems. Brian M. Maloney will head the group.

When you care enough to program very best

A Silicon Valley firm has a hot new computer sound circuit on the market. The specs are impressive -- on-board oscillator, microphone pre-amplifier, automatic gain control, antialiasing filter, smoothing filter and speaker amplifier.

It's no surprise that they're selling millions. The surprise is the price -- $2.60 apiece, if you buy enough of 'em.

You see, the device is Information Storage Devices Inc.'s ChipCorder, the heart of Hallmark Cards Inc.'s new $7.95 talking greeting cards.

Steve Stephansen, sales and marketing vice president of ISD, said the company came up with the idea in 1991, but has since worked hard to drive the cost to the point of practicality for things like greeting cards and talking teddy bears.

The tiny chip is a technological wonder, using a patented method to record a 10-second greeting and hold it for a lifetime without battery power.

For those who talk tech, it uses an EEPROM (electrically erasable, programmable, read-only memory) that can store one of 256 voltage levels in each of its cells, rather than the traditional 1 or 0 of binary code. That lets a lot more data be packed onto the chip.

Mr. Stephansen said the San Jose, Calif., company has othemodels that range from 16 seconds of recording time up to 90 seconds; they're showing up in devices ranging from games to answering machines and cellular phones.

White Marsh company stock now on Nasdaq

Information Resource Engineering Inc. of White Marsh announced last week that its stock had begun trading on the Nasdaq National Market.

The company, whose trading symbol is IREG, noted that the move gives it increased market visibility, with quotes available on 190,000 electronic terminals, as well as the advantage of multiple market makers competing to offer the best bid and asked prices.

Market makers for the company's stock include Barber and Bronson, Herzog, Heine, Geduld, M.H. Meyerson, NAIB Trading, Nash Weiss, Paragon Capital, Shamrock Partners, Sherwood Securities and Wien Securities.

IRE builds hardware that uses the Data Encryption Standard (DES) to encode information traveling on computer networks. Its clients include Citibank N.A. and other large companies in the financial world.

Intel plans to spend billions on research

Intel's top officers were quoted last week in the Financial Times of London as saying that the semiconductor and microprocessor company will spend $2.5 billion, or 50 percent of sales, on research and development this year to maintain its dominant market position.

Chief Operating Officer Craig Barrett said that level of investment could go on indefinitely "so long as our revenues are growing and our margins are good."

A gadget that tells you where to go

A Canoga Park, Calif., company has a new gadget that might be just right for the executive who's leery of taking the full leap into the world of personal digital assistants.

Voice Powered Technology Inc.'s pocket-sized Voice Organizer stores phone numbers, calendar entries and the like, and recalls them on voice command.

The company says the $200 organizer will hold up to four phone numbers for each of 100 people; to retrieve them, you just say the person's name.

It will also hold up to 99 brief voice memos, like "Meet with Bob Jones." The user records the note, then hits a button and speaks the date and time of the meeting. When that time arrives the gadget beeps; it will play back your spoken note when you hit a button.

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