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Press Release
                          Contact:-
                          Chris Shimizu
                          NEC Corporation
                          TEL    : 81-3-3798-6511
                          FAX    : 81-3-3457-7249
                          E-mail :shimizu@p10-22150.star.nec.co.jp

*****	For Immediate Use September 24, 1997

NEC Adopts PC 97/PC 98 System Design for Next Generation PCs in the Multimedia Network Age
~ Announces Introduction of PC98-NX Series ~


NEC announced today, the introduction of its new PC98-NX Series, adopting the "PC 97/ PC 98 System Design"(Note 1) hardware design guidelines as the standard for the next worldwide generation of PCs, to provide easy use of multimedia information in a network environment.

The PC98-NX Series carries forward its inheritance as a Windows(R) 95 and WindowsNT(R) 4.0(Note 2) platform and yet is a post PC-9800 Series and AT compatible truly next generation worldwide standard for PCs. Through this series, NEC lays down its challenge for the leadership in establishing the de facto standard in the multimedia networking era, and reflects its new business strategy based on its Management Commitment, "Creation and Reformation".

To meet the diverse demands expected from the market for this new computing experience, NEC will provide over 20 models from late October, 1997.

The PC98-NX Series not only fully adopts the "PC 97 Hardware Design Guide" (Note 3) but also adopts the main features of the "PC 98 System Design Guide" The main features of these hardware specifications are as follows:-

  • Transition of all expansion slots to 32 bit (Adopt PCI slot/CardBus) (Note 4);

  • Adoption of ACPI (Advanced Configuration Power Interface) for all power management, including modem, FDD and other internal peripheral devices;

  • Adoption of the USB (Universal Serial Bus) interface for desktop PCs keyboards;

  • Adoption of AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port) bus between the main memory and graphic accelerator (Note 5).

Adoption of these new hardware standards will offer:

A.Easier Operation

  1. Conventional PC operating systems require approximately one to two minutes startup time. By maintaining major components in energy saving mode, however, operating systems can startup in approximately 15 seconds (OnNow functions equivalent);

  2. By using USB, the variety of current peripheral interfaces can be unified into one standard and with the use of additional hubs (Note 6), various peripherals can be attached simultaneously;

  3. True plug and play is achieved - set up and installation of drivers for peripherals can be completed automatically while adoption of USB and CardBus allows peripherals to be either connected or disconnected without turning off the power. (Plug and Play)

B.Enhancement of Multimedia Functions

  1. By improving data transmission speeds between main memory and the graphics accelerator to approximately four times the maximum using current techniques, three dimensional graphic processing is improved.(AGP);

  2. Adopting the high-speed IEEE1394 interface for peripheral devices, an approximate five-fold increase in speed is seen over the current common interface (Note 7) while transfer of multimedia data is achieved at as maximum 400Mbps.

C.Network Operation Management Function

With the "Remote Power On" function LAN network administrators can turn on and shut down client PCs.

D.Environmental Functions

  1. At approximately 30 dB(A), the PC98-NX series are quiet as a library.

  2. Hard disk, floppy disk drive, fan and CPU power consumption can all be minimized, and with Windows(R)98, even the power consumption of peripherals and expansion cards can be controlled (ACPI).

The PC98-NX Series will consist of the following product developments:

Corporate
Market
Mate Server NX2 modelsClient server (Mini tower)
Mate NX7 modelsClient PC (Desktop + Mini tower)
Fine NX2 modelsSmall footprint client PC
VersaPro NX3 modelsNotebook PC for corporate
NetFine NX1 modelNetPC client PC
Personal/
SOHO
Market
ValueStar NX6 modelsPC for Personal/SOHO market
(Desktop + Mini tower)
LaVie NX2 modelsNotebook PC for Personal/SOHO
Mobile
Market
Aile NX2 modelsA4 thin/B5 size notebook PC
mobio NX1 modelA5 size mini notebook PC
Home
Market
CREB NX*Multimedia home PC
CanBe NX*PC for Edutainment

* Available in FY 1997 4th Quarter (Jan.-Mar., 1998)

Multimedia networking is being promoted around both corporate and home environments with the widespread use of the Internet and intranets, and the digitalization of information media. In a multimedia networking society, PCs are positioned as core information devices in both offices and homes. Since there are various demands and needs, such as information networking management from corporate users, and needs for combined information media from home users, it has proved difficult to enhance such functions in the current hardware platform.

Microsoft Corporation (Microsoft), therefore, established the "PC 97 Hardware Design Guide" as a new hardware specification in August 1996, while Intel Corporation (Intel) joined in September 1997 helping to establish improved guidelines in the new "PC 98 System Design Guide".

On the other hand, NEC last month established a technology alliance with Microsoft for the development of next generation servers for corporate use. This market requires the construction of an advanced multimedia network system, from PCs through to servers.

For the home market, NEC has promoted various products, such as its CEREB series with its capability to receive terrestrial broadcasting, and believes it is important to provide interest through multimedia networking to create new demand.

Considering these changes in the market environment and the trends in the PC market today, NEC decided to provide a new line of PCs by adopting advanced functions that are the leading edge in personal computing.

Also in order to support users of its current PC-9800 Series, NEC will continue to provide hardware and software for them. NEC will announce further new products in these series later, in October:

98MATEValueStarLavieAile
2 models2 models1 model1 model

In addition to support from Microsoft and Intel, NEC is joined by various domestic and international software/hardware vendors in its support for the new PC 97/ PC 98 System Design it is adopting.

***


Notes:
(Note 1)PC 97 Hardware Design Guide, v. 1.0, August 30, 1996. (C)1996
Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
PC 98 System Design Guide, Version 1.0, September 5, 1997. (C)1997
Microsoft Corporation and Intel Corporation. All rights reserved.
(Note 2)Short term of Microsoft(R) Windows(R)95 Operating system.
Short term of Microsoft(R) WindowsNT(R)Server
Network Operating system Version 4.0 and Microsoft(R)WindowsNT(R)Workstation Network Operating system Version 4.0.
Microsoft, MS-DOS, Windows, Windows, and WindowsNT are
trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in US and other countries.
(Note 3)Planning to apply for Microsoft's Certification Program.
(Note 4)CardBus will not be adopted on mobio NX.
(Note 5)Adopted in Pentium II processor model.
(Note 6)Extension equipment to use various peripherals from one port
(Note 7)Comparison to SCSI II (narrow) interface.

[Copyright(C) NEC Corporation 1997. NEC and C&C are trademarks of NEC Corporation.]