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MICRO CHANNEL GETS COMPLIANCE CERTIFICATION

 REDDING, Calif., Sept. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The Micro Channel Developers Association (MCDA) introduced today a design certification program for Micro Channel architecture implementations in an effort to ensure the highest quality products.
 The program will enable developers to verify adapter and system compliance and review test data and verification throughout the development process. The program also includes an MCDA certification seal to help users select MC system components, independent of manufacturer, to ensure top quality and complete interoperability in a system configuration.
 In addition, in order to provide quality assurance for design verification and certification to all developers, the service provides software and hardware compliance testing for Micro Channel software protocols and bus electrical characteristics of both systems and adapter cards.
 Certification is administered using a sophisticated testing lab, defined as a "clean room" facility. This laboratory is at the disposal of all developers and run by the Micro Channel Developers Association, an independent alliance of manufacturers producing Micro Channel hardware and software products. The association presently assigns adapter IDs, provides design assistance and training, and administers the Micro Channel specification for the industry.
 "Systems using Micro Channel have proven to be more reliable, and this service provides added protection for customers' Micro Channel investments," said Ramiz Zakhariya, MCDA president.
 "The Micro Channel has achieved a mature position as a premier advanced bus, its scope including about 1,100 cards and system implementations on just about every major processor platform available," said James G. Turner, general manager, premium systems development, for the IBM PC Co. "This service is essential to help developers and users achieve the highest level of interoperability and quality."
 "This MCDA certification program means that customers will buy Micro Channel systems with the confidence that these systems will provide consistent and superior performance, characterized by reliability, availability and supportability," said Steve Sefick, assistant vice president, Workstation Products Division, NCR Corp.


Q1: What will the service cost?

A1: Because Micro Channel designs can vary in complexity from simple I/O ports to complete systems, the price is based on the amount of testing required to assure the design.

Q2: How can developers be assured that their designs remain confidential from IBM or other manufacturers?

A2: The service was established with a "clean room" isolation similar to that defined for other hardware and software vendors that service the industry at large. The personnel are legally bound to hold results and data confidential, and the facility is in a secure isolation from other development in Boca Raton. The entire process is administered by the MCDA, a completely independent entity.

Q3: What is the MCDA?

A3: The MCDA is an alliance of some 100-odd manufacturers, consultants and software developers that use MC in their products and services. The MCDA president is Ramiz Zakhariya, an executive on loan to the organization from NCR. The MCDA is governed by an executive committee, comprised of leading manufacturers in the industry. The objective is to support the Micro Channel specification as an open industry standard.

Q4: How do developers obtain this service?

A4: They contact the MCDA: 916 222-2262; Fax 916 222-2528.

Q5: Can they deal with IBM directly?

A5: No. IBM will refer developers to the MCDA. This helps keep the MC an open standard for the industry.

Q6: Doesn't this give IBM lawyers a chance to inspect competitor's designs for use of IBM patents?

A6: No, as we said before, we have taken every precaution to isolate the services from IBM completely. IBM's patent rights enforcement will not hear of a design until it is announced by its developer.

Q7: Can't members of the test lab just move to other parts of IBM, or to other manufacturers and carry the information with them?

A7: No. They sign agreements prohibiting them from divulging confidential data of the clients.

Q8: Will IBM use this service?

A8: Yes, multiple divisions and units within IBM plan to do so.

Q9: Do you think other bus organizations in the industry will follow the MCDA's lead?

A9: Yes, because the service provides valuable improvement in quality to both the developer and customer.

Q10: Who is the first customer?

A10: We consider that confidential.

Q11: Isn't this expensive for simple card developers?

A11: No. Experience shows that quality saves the manufacturer support expense and improves the marketability of the product. The service helps avoid costly redesigns if used throughout the design service.

Q12: What about manufacturers that do not have the certification seal?

A12: We believe the MCDA seal is a cost-effective and useful means to demonstrate a quality commitment.

Q13: I find this surprising, since Micro Channel has not gained recognition by manufacturers other than IBM.

A13: Your reference point is false. Micro Channel has wide industry acceptance as an open bus standard and continues to be the strategic bus of choice in a broad spectrum of products.
 -0- 9/1/93
 /CONTACT: R. Zakhariya, president of Micro Channel Developers Association, 916-222-2262/


CO: Micro Channel Developers Association ST: California IN: CPR SU:

TB-TM -- SF010 -- 8188 09/01/93 20:05 EDT
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Date:Sep 1, 1993
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