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Apple Introduces Quadra 840AV and Centris 660AV

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Date: 29 Jul 1993 14:44:41 -0500
From: [email protected] (Fernando Urbina)
Subject: [!] Quadra 840AV/Centris 660AV (Cyclone & Tempest)
Announcement:

         Apple Introduces Quadra 840AV and Centris 660AV

MACWORLD, BOSTON--July 29,1993--Redefining the boundaries of personal
computing once again, Apple Computer, Inc. today announced two new
Macintosh computers that feature a unique combination of
communications and computing capabilities. The Macintosh Quadra 840AV
and Macintosh Centris 660AV bring together telecommunications, video
and speech technologies on a desktop computer for the first time,
offering users new and enhanced ways to communicate.

Apple refers collectively to the set of technologies that distinguish
the new models as "AV Technologies". With AV Technologies, Apple adds
a new dimension to personal computing. For example, with these new
systems, customers can:

-- access voice mail, electronic mail and faxes from the convenience
   of a single location on their desktop;

-- use the computer as a hands-free speaker phone and answering
   machine;

-- communicate using desktop videoconferencing capabilities with
   greater ease and at a new price point;

-- use speech for command, control and navigation.

"No other personal computer on the market today can provide all of
these capabilities in one integrated system," said Ian Diery,
executive vice president of Apple's Personal Computer Division. "With
AV Technologies, we are extending the Macintosh platform, and
providing countless new communications possibilities for our
customers and developers. Once again, Apple is raising the industry
standard in personal computing."

-------------
Powerful CPUs
-------------

Powered by the Motorola 68040 microprocessor and an AT&T 3210 Digital
Signal Processor (DSP), the new Macintosh Quadra 840AV and Centris
660AV computers are powerful personal computers that extend the
capabilities of the Macintosh family with new levels of performance
and functionality.

While the Motorola 68040 microprocessor does general-purpose
computing work, the DSP handles specialized tasks and real-time data
-- including speech, audio, modem, telephone and fax signals -- to
provide customers with advanced performance. Third-party developers
also can tap into the power of the DSP to provide performance
enhancements, such as "plug-in filters" for the popular publishing
program PhotoShop by Adobe.

With AV Technologies, Apple is laying a foundation for future
Macintosh systems. Apple intends to begin integrating these
technologies as appropriate into its next generation Macintosh
products based on the PowerPC RISC chip.

---------------
AV TECHNOLOGIES
---------------

   AV Technologies include the following technology components:

-- Telecommunications

The GeoPort telecommunications architecture featured in the Quadra
840AV and Centris 660AV is a plug-and-play access system for
telecommunications that integrates data, fax and voice telephony.
Unlike a traditional modem, the GeoPort architecture is a software-
based telecommunications architecture. With the GeoPort Telecom
Adapter and associated software, users can immediately connect to
telephone services and support phone calling and answering, as well
as send and receive data and fax.

The GeoPort Telecom Adapter will be sold separately. At introduction,
the adapter will support analog services at 9600 bits per second
(bps). Apple is also working with third parties to offer additional
GeoPort adapters for PBX and ISDN services in the future.

-- Digital Video

The new Macintosh AV models feature a rich video and graphics
architecture, permitting seamless display of full-motion video from
sources such as VCRs, camcorders and laserdiscs, plus the
digitization and capture of single frames as pictures or video
sequences. For video-in, all major standards are supported--NTSC, PAL
and SECAM--and composite and S-video ports are provided.

The Macintosh AV series' video-out capabilities make it possible to
connect to a regular television, which allows users greater access to
inexpensive large screen TV for presentations--without the cost and
complexity of additional hardware circuitry and equipment to support
the connection. At the same time, business and education users will
find it easy to create inexpensive presentation materials by simply
connecting their VCR and using their Macintosh to print a
presentation to videotape.

The sophisticated video capabilities of the new Macintosh AV models,
when combined with GeoPort and built-in Ethernet networking
capabilities, enable a new class of collaborative applications for-
document sharing and local area network (LAN)-based videoconference
capabilities. As ISDN becomes  more pervasive, Apple believes these
built-in video and telecommunications capabilities will open more
cost-effective ways to communicate with electronic desktop
videoconferencing over wide area networks (WANs).

-- Speech

Equipped with Apple's PlainTalk speech technology, the Quadra 840AV
and Centris 660AV are the first mainstream personal computers to
offer both speech recognition and text-to-speech capabilities as a
standard user interface extension, complementing today's keyboard and
mouse. The first release of PlainTalk supports North American English
only.

The PlainTalk speech recognition system offers a robust speaker-
independent, continuous speech system for voice commands. Users can
manipulate standard Macintosh menu commands, and streamline computing
tasks with applications that take advantage of PlainTalk. Or they can
create their own speech-activated commands, using either AppleScript
or QuickKeys as a scripting engine. Both technologies come bundled
with the new systems. The latter is licensed from CE Software.

With PlainTalk's text-to-speech system, Apple delivers a standard way
for applications to synthesize a human voice. Today, this capability
is particularly useful in applications such as language instruction
and proofreading. In the future, with third-party applications, users
also will be capable of accessing electronic mail or faxes from a
remote location over their voice mail and have the text of messages
read to them.

"Although it represents the first generation of speech technology,
PlainTalk is a robust speech engine that will grow in richness," said
Dr. Kai-Fu Lee, Apple's chief speech technology scientist. "We hope
to learn from real users' experience as they explore the benefits of
speech in mainstream settings and provide valuable feedback on future
speech product enhancements and development."

----------------------
Product Specifications
----------------------

Based on a 40 MHz Motorola 68040 microprocessor, as well as a 66MHz
AT&T 3210 Digital Signal Processor (DSP), the Macintosh Quadra 840AV
becomes the highest performance Macintosh in the line. With a
balanced mix of high performance and expandability, the Quadra 840AV
is well suited to designers, publishers and media authors, engineers,
scientists and power users. Expandable from 8MB of DRAM to 128MB, the
Quadra 840AV features four standard expansion bays for internal
storage, including two 3.5-inch bays for hard drives or removable
media, and two 5.25-inch bays for removable devices. Offering up to
2MB of VRAM, the Quadra 840AV supports 24-bit color on displays up to
16 inches and 16-bit color on 21-inch displays.

The Macintosh Centris 660AV is the highest performance offering in
Apple's midrange line and is an ideal system for educator, trainers,
business professionals and telecommuters. Powered by a 25 MHz Motorola
68040 microprocessor, as well as a 55 MHz AT&T 3210 DSP, the Macintosh
Centris 660AV is expandable from 8MB of DRAM to 68MB.  For internal
storage, the Centris 660AV provides one 5.25-inch bay for removable
devices.  The Centris 660AV offers up to 1MB of VRAM for supporting
16-bit color on displays up to 16 inches and 8-bit color on 21-inch
displays.

Both systems come standard with Ethernet and feature the fastest
implementation of NuBus ever, NuBus 90.  NuBus 90 transfers data up
to four times faster than the existing Macintosh NuBus
implementations. The Quadra 840AV comes equipped with three high-
speed, 13-inch NuBus slots and the Centris 660AV supports one 7-inch
NuBus slot via an optional NuBus adapter. In addition, both models
support a Digital Audio Video (DAV) connector that provides a high-
speed path to and from the raw digitized video and audio data
produced by the computer. The DAV slot can be used for real-time
audio and video hardware compression cards such as JPEG, MPEG, DVI
and H.261.

The new systems also support 16-bit stereo audio input and audio
output at various sample rates including 44.1kHz and 48kHz for
outstanding quality audio.


The Macintosh Centris 660AV provides an ideal technology solution for
home and small business, and education use.  It has an integrated
digital signal processor, which complements the Motorola 68040
processor by handling the telecommunications, audio, and speech
features provided by built-in Apple AV Technologies.  It supports up
to 32,768 colors on most Apple displays, including the Macintosh
16-inch Color Display.
 
Some of the features include:
   -  25-MHz 68040 processor; 55-MHz AT&T 3210 digital signal
      processor
   -  8MB of RAM, expandable to 68MB
   -  Apple SuperDrive; 80MB, 230MB, or 500MB internal hard disk;
      space for a 5.25-inch half-height internal storage device
   -  Built-in LocalTalk and high-speed Ethernet connection; AppleTalk
      networking software
   -  Expansion slot for 7-inch NuBus card (requires adapter)
   -  Two serial ports, SCSI port, ADB port, two video-input ports,
      two video-output ports, 16-bit stereo sound­input/output ports,
      monitor port, Ethernet

The Macintosh Quadra 840AV incorporates the latest technology advances
to make it our highest-performance Macintosh computer.  It has an
integrated digital signal processor which complements the Motorola
68040 processor by handling the telecommunications, audio, and speech
features provided by built-in Apple AV technologies, and can be used
with add-on filters to accelerate some graphics-intensive
applications.  It comes with 1MB of built-in video RAM, and can be
expanded to two megabytes, to support up to 32,768 colors on the
Macintosh 21-inch Color Display, and up to 16.7 million colors on the
Macintosh Color Display and the Macintosh 16-inch Color Display.
 
Features include:
   -  40-MHz 68040 processor integrates PMMU, math coprocessor, and 8K
      memory cache; 66-MHz AT&T 3210 digital signal processor
   -  8MB of RAM, expandable to 128MB
   -  Apple SuperDrive; 230MB, 500MB, or 1GB internal hard disk; space
      for two additional internal storage devices
   -  Built-in LocalTalk and high-speed Ethernet connection; AppleTalk
      networking software
   -  Three NuBus expansion slots, one with DAV (digital audio/video)
      connector
   -  Two serial ports, SCSI port, ADB port, two video-input ports,
      two video-output ports, 16-bit stereo sound­input/output ports,
      monitor port, Ethernet

Apple AudioVision 14 Display  -  Applešs newest color display,
advantage of the multimedia features of your software applications.
It features built-in stereo speakers and microphone that are
specifically entineered to take advantage of the integrated
telecommunications and speech technologies of the Macintosh Centris
660 AV and the Macintosh Quadra 840AV computers.
 
Other features include:
   -  14-inch diagnola screen; Sony Trinitron tube
   -  640 by 480 pixesl; 70 dots per inch
   -  66.7-hertz screen refresh rate
   -  .26mm stripe pitch
   -  Autodegaussing circuitry-eliminates magnetic interference
   -  Tilt-and-swivel base for adjustable viewing angle
   -  Two ADB ports, sound-input port, headphone and microphone ports

----------------------------
Accessories and Applications
----------------------------

The Apple PlainTalk Microphone and software that supports North
American English voice recognition and text-to-speech will be shipped
standard along with the new AV Macintosh computers in the United
States. Outside the United States, the Apple PlainTalk Software Kit
and Apple PlainTalk Microphone can be purchased separately. The
GeoPort Telecom Adapter is sold separately, with a U.S. suggested
retail price (SRP) of $129.

For an introductory period in the United States, Apple is bundling a
number of applications on the hard drive of the new systems, to make
the new AV Technologies useful out of the box. These include: Apple
Phone, a screen-based phone application developed by Apple; ExperFax
by ExperVision, a fax-to-text conversion application; FusionRecorder
by VideoFusion, an application that provides users with the
capability to record video and high-quality 16-bit audio; and ES.F2F,
a LAN-based videoconferencing application by The Electronic Studio.

------------------------
Pricing and Availability
------------------------

The Macintosh Centris 660AV will be offered worldwide through
authorized Apple resellers beginning Aug. 3, 1993.  The Macintosh
Quadra 840AV will be available worldwide beginning Aug. 25, 1993.
Pricing and availability will vary outside of the United States.

Apple plans to make logic board upgrades available for Macintosh
Centris 610 customers to the Macintosh Centris 660AV and for
Macintosh Quadra 800 customers to the Macintosh Quadra 840AV later
this year. Both new Macintosh computers will support upgrades to
PowerPC in the future.

-------------------------------------------
Configurations and U.S. SRPs are as follows:
-------------------------------------------

Configurations                                           U.S. SRP

Macintosh Quadra 840AV 8/230, 1MB VRAM, Ethernet           $4,069
Macintosh Quadra 840AV 8/230, 1MB VRAM, Ethernet, CD-300i  $4,399
Macintosh Quadra 840AV 16/500 1MB VRAM, Ethernet           $5,119
Macintosh Quadra 840AV 16/500 1MB VRAM, Ethernet, CD-300i  $5,449
Macintosh Quadra 840AV 16/1000 1MB VRAM, Ethernet, CD-300i $6,249
*Macintosh Centris 660AV 8/80  1MB VRAM, Ethernet          $2,139
Macintosh Centris 660AV 8/230 1MB VRAM, Ethernet           $2,489
Macintosh Centris 660AV 8/230 1MB VRAM, Ethernet, CD-300i  $2,799
Macintosh Centris 660AV 8/500 1MB VRAM, Ethernet           $3,139
Macintosh Centris 660AV 8/500 1MB VRAM, Ethernet, CD-300i  $3,449
Macintosh Centris 660AV NuBus Adapter Card                   $129
GeoPort Telecom Adapter                                      $129
**Apple PlainTalk Software Kit                                $39
**Apple PlainTalk Microphone                                  $29

*Education market only configuration.
**Available outside of the U.S. only.


------------------------------

/END

07-30-93