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No. 364, January 2000

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American Companies in Japan


The subsidiary of top connector maker AMP INC., which soon will be brought under the local umbrella of TYCO ELECTRONICS CORP. (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 363, December 1999, p. 20), is marketing among other new products a line of 0.6-mm surface-mount-technology connectors for use in the parallel stacking of printed circuit boards, especially those going into notebook PCs and other products where miniaturization is essential. The eight models in the series, all of which have an enhanced electrical performance, differ in height, allowing the spacing between parallel boards to vary depending on the components to be packaged or the equipment design.

The AMERICAN POWER CONVERSION CORP. family of Smart-UPS uninterruptible power supplies for protecting server and network data and equipment when power fails now includes a low-end, Japan-tailored model for workgroup servers. That opens up a huge sales market for West Kingston, Rhode Island-based APC. The $680 Smart-UPS 700 provides battery backup for roughly 1 hour and 28 minutes. The other three models in the Smart-UPS series, all designed to work with Japan's 100-volt electrical system, deliver coverage for as long as 6 hours and 45 minutes. .....The popularity of the Linux operating system in Japan has reached the point where AMERICAN POWER CONVERSION CORP.'s marketing unit released a version of PowerChute plus that is compatible with RED HAT, INC.'s Linux 6.1. The program, which works with APC's Back-UPS Pro, Smart- UPS, Matrix-UPS and Symmetra Power Array UPS products, automatically shuts down Linux servers during extended power outages.

DIGITAL HARMONY TECHNOLOGIES INC. has lined up the first two Japanese consumer electronics manufacturers — NIPPON COLUMBIA CO., LTD., which sells under the Denon brand name, and ONKYO CORP. — for its hardware/firmware modules that add standards-based high-speed IEEE-1394 interfaces to audio/video devices. The Seattle firm's technology links together up to 63 home entertainment devices through a single, high-bandwidth cable connection. Both Nippon Columbia and Onkyo expect to release Digital Harmony-powered products in 2000.

Another Japanese maker of A/V products has licensed SPATIALIZER AUDIO LABORATORIES, INC.'s N-2-2 technology, which provides a virtual surround sound effect with just two front speakers, for a new line of DVD players. MARANTZ JAPAN, INC. will release three DVD players in the first quarter of 2000 that incorporate the Woodland Hills, California company's audio solution. The deal represents the first time that Marantz has adopted Spatializer's audio know-how.

An exchange rate of ¥103=$1.00 was used in this report. aaaaa

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