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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

New Year Special Features '99

  • Clarion to Adopt IBM’s Microdrive for AutoPC
  • January 15, 1999 (TOKYO) — Clarion Co., Ltd. said it will work on hard disk drive technical issues with IBM Japan Ltd., whose drive Clarion will use in its new car computer system.
    Clarion decided to use IBM’s new 1-in. hard disk microdrive for the Clarion AutoPC onboard computer system for cars. The microdrive was developed in the United States by IBM Japan’s parent company, IBM Corp.

    The two companies plan to work to make the microdrive durable enough to withstand the vibration, heat and other harsh conditions that it will have to cope with in the onboard environment. This work may take time, according to Clarion, and it still has not been decided when it will actually start being incorporated into onboard systems.

    IBM said it aims to start selling the microdrive some time in the middle of this year. The 1-in. disk drive has a capacity of 340MB. When it is eventually incorporated into the AutoPC system, it will be used for car navigation and for downloading map data from the Internet.

    The onboard AutoPC system features functions for car audio, computing, car navigation, voice recognition and wireless communications. It was jointly developed by Clarion and U.S.- based Microsoft Corp., and employs Windows CE2.0 as its operating system.

    Sales of the AutoPC were launched in January in the U.S. market.

    (Nikkei Electronics)

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