Japan-US Business Report Logo

No. 360, September 1999

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American Companies in Japan


SOFTWARE AND INFORMATION SERVICES

With forecasts showing that half of all Web surfers in Japan will be women by 2003, WOMEN.COM NETWORKS, INC. hopes to mine this potentially rich market. Already the top Internet destination for women in the United States, the San Mateo, California company has teamed up with MITSUI COMTEK CORP. to translate existing Women.com content into Japanese for uploading under license to the Living Ladies Community site run by SANKEI LIVING SHIMBUN INC. The combination offers Japanese women the depth of Women.com's coverage of women's issues and the local perspective of Sankei Living and Mitsui Comtek through their contributions of unique material.

Even before the launch of its Internet store for new cars and light trucks (see Japan- U.S. Business Report No. 358, July 1999, p. 25), AUTOBYTEL.COM INC.'s subsidiary has formed a partnership with RECRUIT CO., LTD., AUCNET INC. and GULLIVER INTERNATIONAL CORP. in preparation for selling used vehicles on-line. The virtual used-car lot is expected to open in spring 2000; new car sales will start in November. Buyers will complete an on-line form detailing exactly what they are looking for in a used vehicle. The Autobytel operation then will forward the request to the participating dealer closest to the customer, who will be contacted by e-mail.

Hoping to tap the bargain-hunting side of Japanese Web surfers as well as their pocketbooks, EBAY INC. has signed a deal with NTT-ME INFORMATION XING, INC. to provide access to its on-line auction system via the NIPPON TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE CORP. subsidiary's Goo Web portal. Goo already attracts 10 million page hits a day, making it the number-two portal in Japan. NTT-X expects access to San Jose, California-based eBay's auction system to boost this number. This is eBay's initial entry into the Japanese market.

To support the rapidly expanding volume of on-line commerce, makers of back-end payment systems are showering the market with new products. For example, ECHARGE CORP. has opened a wholly owned subsidiary in Tokyo to sell and support its no credit-card settlement system. eCHARGE adds on-line shopping charges to existing monthly bills, such as for telephone service. Officials of the Seattle company claim that their system reduces the chance of credit-card information falling into the wrong hands, a marketing thrust that should play well with Japanese consumers. The eCHARGE subsidiary plans to sign business alliances with operators of virtual shops and malls, including NIPPON TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE CORP.

The world leader in back-end e-commerce services, CYBERCASH, INC., is not taking it easy. It has added MITSUI & CO., LTD. to the list of 11 Japanese firms backing its technology and Tokyo-based subsidiary. The trading company invested $1.3 million in the CyberCash affiliate for a 10 percent stake. It ranks as the third-largest investor in the operation, which was formed in April 1997, after the Reston, Virginia company's parent (40 percent) and SOFTBANK CORP. (16 percent). Mitsui will help CyberCash market its real-time credit-card payment processing services.

A third pair in this market segment — HEWLETT-PACKARD JAPAN LTD. and NEC CORP. — has finished codeveloping a virtual point-of-sale program and launched a combined marketing effort (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 354, March 1999, p. 24). vPOS 4.5J is written entirely in Japanese. It can handle a wide variety of demands, everything from single stores ($5,400) to unlimited on-line Internet malls ($31,600). Together, HP Japan and NEC expect to sell 200 copies of the package in the first year. VERIFONE, INC., a HEWLETT-PACKARD CO. company, is the originator of vPOS.

VALUECLICK INC., the pioneer in pay-per-click Internet advertising, is so pleased with its nascent Japanese sales initiative that it has taken ownership control of its 15- month-old joint venture and plans further international expansion. While upping its stake in the subsidiary to 54 percent from 32 percent by buying shares from JAFCO CO., LTD., the Carpinteria, California company retained its marketing partnership with TRANS PACIFIC LTD. (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 348, September 1998, p. 16). ValueClick's Japanese unit hopes to target Web site operators in other Asian countries, offering localized, turnkey Internet advertising solutions.

Irvine, California-based WEBZTER CORP. has similar Asia-focused expansion plans. The high-end Web site/e-commerce developer has opened offices in Tokyo as well as in Hong Kong and Singapore. The Tokyo facility, which also will service South Korea, plans to sell a full line of Internet consulting services. These range from corporate reengineering for Internet-based operations and Internet media buying programs to Web site design and development.

To boost sales and use of its MP3-based on-line music distribution and play software, LIQUID AUDIO, INC. licensed its know-how free of charge to MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC CORP., SANYO ELECTRIC CO., LTD. and TOSHIBA CORP. for incorporation into their portable digital music players. The Redwood City, California firm's SP3 program handles the downloading of music from the Web while preventing illegal copying of protected digital works. Liquid Audio moved into the Japanese market last September (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 349, October 1998, p. 22).

A global leader in engineering know-how, ENGINEERING INFORMATION INC., plans a fully localized version of its award-winning Internet site for architectural and construction services. Japanese engineers will have access from their desktop to a huge pool of archived and current information, including Ei's CompendexWeb engineering data base, 40 other engineering-related data bases, 30,000 relevant Web sites, patent and standards information, current product catalogs and the full texts of engineering journals and articles deliverable via Internet fax. The Japanese version of Engineering Information Village will go live in October.

Westport, Connecticut-based INTERNET.COM CORP. has brought its information resources for the Internet industry and Internet technology professionals to Japan. With the help of Tokyo's COMMUNICATION ONLINE INC., internet.com launched the japan.inter-net.com Web site. It provides entirely in Japanese the latest news and editorial content on the rapidly evolving Internet business. The partners hope to attract local advertising yen by offering space on the site's 45 e-mail newsletters, 55 on-line discussion forums and 52 moderated e-mail discussion lists.

The subsidiary of Internet hardware giant CISCO SYSTEMS, INC. has completed shifting all its customer support services to the Internet. The SmartNet service provides periodic software upgrades and 24x7 remote troubleshooting to purchasers of Cisco's switches and routers. The service goal is to diagnose problems within one day of receiving a request and then, if needed, to dispatch support personnel from one of the more than 100 Japanese companies with which Cisco works.

Software developed by CENTRA SOFTWARE, INC. that powers on-line learning and business collaboration is now available from MACNICA, INC. The Lexington, Massachusetts firm's Centra 99 is used by more than 150,000 companies worldwide. It has become the de facto standard for conducting business-to-business events over the Internet. Tokyo-based Macnica not only is selling Centra 99 but also offers after- sale support, training and localization services.

With the explosion of local interest in getting information on-line, STARBURST SOFTWARE has tied up with HITACHI INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD. to offer a complete content-distribution solution. The Concord, Massachusetts firm and the HITACHI, LTD. subsidiary will market, sell and support StarBurst Software's OmniCast product, which can simultaneously broadcast content via the Internet to thousands of recipients. Moreover, because it works seamlessly with existing intranets/extranets, OmniCast is simple to install, integrate and operate.

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The booming Japanese market for handheld, Internet-capable communication devices also is attracting more foreign interest. For instance, SPYGLASS INC. licensed its Internet content-delivery platform for handhelds to SEIKO EPSON CORP. for use in a new generation of cellular telephones. The Naperville, Illinois firm's SpyglassPrism proxy server not only provides a full range of telephone functions but also includes a Web browser, information directory, a road map data base and other personal information services. Spyglass-Prism automatically identifies the device requesting information, then dynamically reformats the desired content to fit the handheld's small screen.

Following its acquisition of PROXINET, INC. of Emeryville, California, PUMA TECHNOLOGY, INC. is offering a competing product but one with a slightly different thrust. By combining its Intellisync synchronization package with ProxiNet's proxy- based data and content transformation software, Puma Technology's package reformats information on the fly for small handheld devices, just like SpyglassPrism. Intellisync, however, automatically and efficiently ensures that data files stored on remote servers and on the personal device are identical. The subsidiary of San Jose, California Puma Technology is marketing the integrated product.

With the broader market for intelligent TV-related devices in mind, ORACLE CORP.'s local arm is offering Liberate Connect ISP Suite 1.5J. Licensed from Redwood Shores, California-based LIBERATE TECHNOLOGIES (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 357, June 1999, p. 11), the package helps ISPs manage the deployment and the support of set-top boxes, game consoles, Internet TVs and embedded Internet devices. For prices starting at $153,100 for 500 users, the software allows ISPs to deliver value- added services to customers using existing network architectures and front-end/back- end software. As a companion, Oracle's subsidiary is selling Liberate TV Card SDK 1.1J, a $15,900 software development kit for the network interface card.

IBM JAPAN LTD. has rolled out a new version of its popular talking Web browser, Home Page Reader. The $130 Japanese-language package reads Web pages aloud as they are downloaded, enabling visually challenged people to surf the Internet without special equipment. The latest edition includes a headline reader, fast-forward and jump-forward commands and full support for sending and receiving e-mail.

Targeting the large number of Japanese firms that want to contract out their e-mail system needs, CRITICAL PATH, INC. has teamed with MITSUI & CO., LTD. The trader will localize and exclusively market the San Francisco company's contract e-mail services, which run from the very basic to the highly customized.

INFORMATION RESOURCE ENGINEERING, INC. announced that NOMURA RESEARCH INSTITUTE, LTD. has bought more of its secure business communications software and services. IRE provided its SafeNet/Trusted Services VPN (virtual private network) package for NRI's secure extranet system, which connects more than 13 brokerage houses for electronic trading communications. Since last year, NRI has protected its intranet with IRE's SafeNet/Security Center VPN software. The Baltimore company provides a complete solution, including design, implementation, operation and technical support.

ENCOMMERCE, INC.'s recently established subsidiary added NETONE SYSTEMS CO., LTD. as its third marketing partner (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 357, June 1999, p. 24). Demand for enCommerce's getAccess Web portal access- management software has been stronger than expected, leading the Santa Clara, California firm to bolster its marketing team. The package allows administrators to discourage unauthorized Web browsing and adds another layer of security.

WATCHGUARD TECHNOLOGIES, INC. is finding a ready market in Japan for its Internet broadcast security products. On the heels of landing a contract from INTERNET INITIATIVE JAPAN INC. (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 359, August 1999, p. 27), the Seattle business announced that SOFTBANK CORP. and FUJI XEROX CO., LTD. would join its family of distributors. The WatchGuard LiveSecurity System takes a comprehensive approach to protecting networks and transmitted information, including a firewall/VPN module (WatchGuard Security Suite), a centralized management tool (WatchGuard Policy Manager) and an automatic network threat/antivirus update service (WatchGuard LiveSecurity Broadcast Service).

Two new authentication packages are on the market from SECURITY DYNAMICS TECHNOLOGIES, INC.'s subsidiary for its SecurID system. Token 2.0, which costs $355 for a 10-user license, generates single-use passwords to verify users while a network is being serviced or upgraded. That capability provides secure access during a period when normal protections may not be operating. For its part, ACE/Server 4.0 controls access to networked applications by authenticating users. A 25-user license for this program is $6,400.

With just weeks to go before January 1, 2000 arrives, MICROSOFT CORP.'s subsidiary released a Japanese-language version of the dominant PC operating system. Windows 98 Second Edition not only includes greater integration of Internet functions (Internet Explorer 5.0) and multimedia tools (Windows Media Player) but also readies PCs for the date rollover to the new millennium. A full version lists for $220, while an upgrade from earlier versions of Windows is likely to go for $120. Users of the original edition of Windows 98 need only pay about $9.00 for a CD-ROM of the upgrade.

HEWLETT-PACKARD JAPAN LTD. is giving users of its Internet Advisor protocol analyzer that have purchased service contracts a free piece of software to detect Year 2000 issues in their HP equipment. Y2K Commentator analyzes user data and user- defined protocols in real time, looking for potential problems that might develop when 2000 starts. The package not only detects potential issues but offers repair recommendations.

Software developed by BASIS TECHNOLOGY CORP. has allowed LYCOS, INC. to fully localize its Japanese Web portal with a minimum of time and effort. The Cambridge, Massachusetts firm's Rosette C++-class library for UNICODE gives most C++ software packages the ability to handle multiple languages. Lycos not only employs Rosette to make Japanese the default language of its Japan Web presence, but the Internet portal operator also uses it to localize its products for the Korean and Chinese markets. Basis Technology is showcasing its work with Lycos to attract other Asian-minded Internet and software companies.

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The insatiable demand for information infrastructure management solutions that can deal with mixed networks of legacy and new hardware and software has led INTEL CORP. to expand distribution and service capabilities for its LANDesk products. CORE CORP., a software value-added reseller, will coordinate the recruitment of what are called deployment VARs. These companies provide customers with a network of trained regional and national technicians experienced in deploying LANDesk products. Core also will sell Intel's family of network analysis and management tools and provide front-line customer service. LANDesk helps customers plan the development and the evolution of their heterogeneous networks as well as handling management functions.

SECURE COMPUTING CORP. of San Jose, California chose NETONE SYSTEMS CO., LTD. to distribute the latest version of its network firewall software. Sidewinder 4.1 takes advantage of advances in processor speeds and architectures, reducing the potential for the firewall to become a bottleneck to network traffic. NetOne Systems priced the package at $8,700. It hopes to sell 300 packages the first year.

With the takeover of Dallas-based ABIRNET, LTD. finalized, COMPUTER ASSOCIATES INTERNATIONAL, INC.'s subsidiary rolled out the latest version of Abirnet's network surveillance and intrusion detection package. SessionWall-3v1 Release 4 provides reports on network usage, content scanning, intrusion detections, blocking, alerting and logging. It also can monitor and enforce Internet access according to company-set policies and scan the content of e-mail messages to develop a data base to defend against future litigation. Available through FORVAL CREATIVE, INC., the new SessionWall-3 is priced from $2,700 for a 25-user license to $26,500 for an unlimited license.

Similarly, PICTURETEL CORP.'s marketing unit introduced a package developed by a 1998 acquisition. The StarWorks multimedia streaming package for networks is a product of PictureTel subsidiary STARLIGHT NETWORKS, INC. of Mountain View, California. For $151,300, StarWorks provides a complete set of tools that allow network managers to create and distribute streaming media services, such as videoconferencing, live and interactive multicasting and video on demand.

Racing to beat competing products from MICROSOFT CORP., the subsidiary of collaboration leader NOVELL, INC. released a localized version of its GroupWise 5.5 messaging server software. The package not only handles e-mail, appointment data and other types of messages, but it offers many document management capabilities as well. GroupWise has client packages for PCs running under any version of Windows as well as the Mac OS.

With Japanese executives taking a harder look at how assets contribute to the bottom line, GLOBETROTTER SOFTWARE, INC. is offering a product that improves the return on investments in software. The San Jose, California company's SAMsuite 3.0 provides a central control console to manage software usage over large and complex networks. It also generates software licensing fee data, usage reports, bill-back and other data that can help companies make the most of their software budgets. GLOBEtrotter tapped SOFTWARE RESEARCH ASSOCIATES, INC. to handle the software asset management package. Pricing starts at $22,100 for a single site license, plus $3,200 for an annual maintenance contract.

IBM JAPAN LTD. has bolstered its menu of enterprise application integration products by adding ENTERPRISELINK TECHNOLOGY CORP. to its Vendor Logo Product program. The Campbell, California firm and ITOCHU TECHNO-SCIENCE CORP., its marketing partner since March 1998, now can use IBM Japan's huge sales network to promote SmartTran eBusiness EAI solutions. SmartTran already has been deployed by such corporations as DAI-ICHI KANGYO BANK, LTD., NIPPON TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE CORP., SHARP CORP. and YASUDA LIFE INSURANCE CO. for internal purchasing networks and currency trading systems.

A competing EAI product from NEW ERA OF NETWORKS, INC. has been selected by SUMITOMO BANK, LTD. to complete the first phase of its Global Information System initiative. The bank will use the Englewood, Colorado firm's NEONet software to enable its applications and data bases to exchange information seamlessly, reducing the cost of its international banking operations. NEONet has been deployed by other top Japanese banks for similar reasons (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 349, October 1998, p. 24).

The Japanese unit of ANDERSEN CONSULTING LLP has crafted an enterprise resource planning package that meets the special needs of local governments. With many municipal budgets in the red, authorities are desperate to wring efficiencies from their operations and control their budgets. Andersen Consulting's ERP solution is based on PEOPLESOFT, INC.'s PeopleSoft 7.5 package. The consultant hopes to sign up at least 50 local governments to use its software and services by 2002.

In a powerful pairing, the subsidiaries of STRUCTURAL DYNAMICS RESEARCH CORP. — the developer of the I-DEAS computer-aided design, manufacturing and engineering package and the Metaphase Enterprise product development management software — and HEWLETT-PACKARD CO. have formed a partnership targeted at the PDM market. They will open a Metaphase Solution Center at SDRC's Tokyo offices that is staffed by employees from both companies with expertise in supporting information management requirements. The center initially will focus on the needs of automotive and electronics customers of SDRC and HP, including their supply chains, offering these manufacturers turnkey PDM solutions that address their business objectives. SDRC, which reportedly controls nearly half of the world PDM market, and HP plan to extend their collaboration in Japan to Europe and even the United States.

To kick-start sales of its newest sales force automation package, SIEBEL SYSTEMS, INC.'s subsidiary will double its work force to 60 by the end of this year. The Menlo Park, California company hopes that this expansion will help to push sales of its Siebel 99.5 SFA package and other products to $106.2 million in 2000 from a projected 1999 total of $31 million. Part of this forecast depends on solid sales of a scaled-down version of Siebel 99.5 aimed at companies with less than 100 sales representatives. Both this version and the full-blown one designed for major corporations feature improved e-commerce functions.

Through its subsidiary, TIVOLI SYSTEMS INC. has rolled out a localized update of its customer assistance administration package. Priced from $41,200, Tivoli Service Desk 5.0.2J allows network managers to provide comprehensive help and other services with distributed resources following centralized policy guidelines. Integrating problem management, asset management and change management modules, the solution tracks customer interactions from start to finish. It uses artificial intelligence to bring the proper resources to bear on customer issues.

SAS INSTITUTE INC. has developed a data warehouse solution specifically for clinical test data. The PH.DataWare package, which its subsidiary has priced at $66,400, includes PH.Study Manager to apply the clinical study format to warehoused information and to document how data are handled and transformed. Other components are: PH.Documenter to publish the output of PH.Study Manager to an intranet or a document management system; PH.DataPilot to handle complex dependencies to update accurately tables and batch processes; PH.MetaBuilder to provide hooks to external programs for automatically downloading data or metadata; and PH.Interfaces to act as a gateway between PH.MetaBuilder and other clinical data management systems. The Cary, North Carolina company's marketing unit believes that it can sell 20 copies of the PH.DataWare package annually.

Market newcomer CAPTIVA SOFTWARE CORP., the leading supplier of forms- processing and document-capture products, has named NISSHO ELECTRONICS CORP. as its exclusive distributor. The San Diego, California developer simultaneously released Japanese versions of FormWare and Genesis. Captiva Software is convinced that it is moving into the Japanese market at the right time since domestic firms are interested in automating the now slow and costly manual collection of forms-based information but the availability of forms-processing and document- capture software is very limited. FormWare handles this task at the enterprise level, while Genesis offers a streamlined feature set for desktop users.

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Financial analysis software developed by SS&C TECHNOLOGIES, INC. will power FUJITSU, LTD.'s attempt to enter the market for integrating and configuring investment management decision systems. Fujitsu will modify the Windsor, Connecticut firm's CAMRA 2000 and Antares 2000 packages to suit Japanese trading practices. Starting in December, it will target its sales pitch to investment advisers, insurance providers and trust banks. Fujitsu expects to price packages incorporating both software and services from $442,500. The company hopes to land 30 customers within three years.

Broadcasting and entertainment businesses in Japan no doubt will be interested in a new enterprise-strength, 3D, digital video software package from C-3D DIGITAL, INC. The Salt Lake City, Utah company signed an agreement with SOFTWARE TOO CORP. to distribute its complete line of Strata 3D and DV products, which allow broadcasters to deliver 3D entertainment to any standard television by converting two-dimensional films in real time. C-3D Digital already is in the programming end of the Japanese market through an arrangement with a company to broadcast its 3D content to premium TV subscribers (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 357, June 1999, p. 31).

Creating clear, informative business diagrams is the purpose of VISIO CORP.'s upgraded eponymous software. The four editions of Visio 2000 — Standard, Technical, Professional and Enterprise — integrate closely with MICROSOFT CORP.'s Office suite, making it easy to add Visio diagrams to any Microsoft Office document. The Visio 2000 family also is Web-en-abled. That allows users to share diagrams over the Internet/intranet. It also supports Japanese phonetic alphabets and characters. Available through the Seattle company's subsidiary, the localized version of Visio 2000 Standard Edition is priced from $120 to $265.

WOLRFRAM RESEARCH, INC. released the latest version of its popular Mathematica technical computing package through SUMISHO ELECTRONICS CO., LTD. Mathematica 4 grinds through complex mathematical formulas up to 10 times faster than its predecessor, requires half as much memory and is fully localized for Japan. Sumisho Electronics is promoting the new version of the Champaign, Illinois developer's product by initially offering it at the same price ($3,200) as the last release. It is eyeing first-year Mathematica 4 sales of 1,700 copies. To date, educational and research organizations have purchased annually some 1,500 copies of earlier Mathematica releases.

Translated versions of two popular MICROSOFT CORP. PC games will be available before the end of 1999. Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings is a strategy simulation that spans the millennium between the fall of Rome and the end of the Middle Ages. Players can choose from 13 cultures to rule and command. Flight Simulator 2000 provides a broader range of simulated aircraft and more realistic graphics.

New on the market from ADOBE SYSTEMS, INC.'s subsidiary is the latest localized version of the industry-standard PhotoShop image-editing program. Version 5.5 integrates tools to create high-quality images for print or for the Web, reducing the need for other software and providing a unified creative environment for both types of media. .....Separately, ADOBE SYSTEMS, INC.'s Tokyo marketing unit linked up with MORISAWA & CO., LTD. to support the Osaka firm's Font NewCID software for embedding, displaying and printing Japanese outline fonts. Morisawa's product is compatible with Adobe's Acrobat 4.0, which is widely used to create documents that can be displayed regardless of hardware and software differences.

Through its subsidiary, STRUCTURAL DYNAMICS RESEARCH CORP. is offering updated CAD products targeted at both the high of the market and the middle. Gateways that allow the pair of 3D CAD products to collaborate with other software packages have been added to make them integral parts of supply chain management solutions. The two also have been Web-enabled for the Internet and corporate intranets. I-DEAS Master Series, Release 7, which starts at $12,400, and I-DEAS Artisan Series, Release 4, are available through INFORMATION SERVICES INTERNATIONAL-DENTSU, LTD., SDRC's longtime distributor. ISID is projecting combined sales of the two packages at 1,200 copies a year.

Palo Alto, California-headquartered ECHELON CORP. has teamed with YOKOGAWA ELECTRIC CORP. to promote worldwide the use of its LonWorks open-standards manufacturing control software. YOKOGAWA M&C CORP. will develop a full line of LonWorks-compatible sensors, actuators and controllers, which its parent then will integrate and deploy in its manufacturing execution integration services. The Yokogawa Group hopes to generate $88.5 million in LonWorks-related sales over the next five years. As part of the arrangement, Yokogawa Electric joined the LonMark Interoperability Association as a sponsor, the first Japanese company to join at this top membership level. However, a number of Japanese firms are authorized integrators of Echelon's facilities control network software and hardware (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 355, April 1999, p. 32).

At an undisclosed price, MENTOR GRAPHICS CORP. and distributor ITOCHU TECHNO-SCIENCE CORP. have completed delivery and installation of a new hardware simulator system at multiple MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC CORP. sites. The giant electronics maker will use Mentor's Celaro hardware emulator to develop its next generation of large-scale system-on-a-chip designs. It anticipates that Celaro's established architecture will reduce verification time from weeks to days and also cut design cost on a scale of million of dollars per project.

Electronic design automation software developer ALDEC, INC. has tapped ASSETCORE TECHNOLOGY K.K. and ZYCAD TSS K.K., both of Yokohama, to distribute and support the three configurations of its Active-HDL tools. The Henderson, Nevada company's Active-HDL 3.6 VHDL tools are used to design field- programmable gate arrays. They are priced from $4,800 (Standard Edition) to $19,900 (Expert Edition).

A new signal-processing EDA tool for next-gener-ation cellular phones, digital cameras and high-defi-nition TVs is available from CADENCE DESIGN SYSTEMS, INC.'s subsidiary. Cierto automatically converts specification and design data into standard circuit-design languages, completing in a few hours a task that takes weeks manually. The program also has modules that simplify the design of wideband CDMA cell phones and MPEG-2 decoders. Cierto pricing begins at $99,600.

Japanese makers of high-end consumer electronics products will receive a new product pitch from VERI-BEST, INC. and exclusive marketing partner CADIX INC. (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 355, April 1999, p. 31). They have taken the Boulder, Colorado firm's high-speed, high-density Expedition PCB (printed circuit board) design package and modified it to meet the special needs of local customers. Expedition's ability to shorten the design process, VeriBest and CADIX believe, can help manufacturers keep up with rapid changes in the consumer electronics market.

In what no doubt will give a boost to communications software developer TCSI CORP.'s Japan marketing efforts, the Alameda, California firm and NIPPON TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE CORP. have completed installation of an ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) control network for an unnamed government agency. Using TCSI's SolutionCore communications applications platform, NTT developed a highly scalable, robust ATM network management system in just six months. The SolutionCore variant, code-named Champion V3R2, manages a broadband network composed of a fabric of ATM switches from several vendors.

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