IBM Licenses Digi International's Communications Adapters for AS/400

Responding to a need for communications adapters in the AS/400 market, IBM announces an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) agreement with Digi International Inc., a Minneapolis-based provider of voice and data communications hardware and software. Under terms of the agreement, Digi's DataFire RAS 4 and AccelePort RAS 8 communications adapters will be generally available for the AS/400 on December 17 of this year.

DataFire RAS 4 is a PCI card designed to provide both ISDN B Channel and 56 Kbps modem connectivity on four BRI points. The AccelePort RAS 8 provides connections for up to eight POTS connections to and from analog modems on a single PCI card.

According to IBM, the AS/400's growth as an Internet and e-business server has created the need for strong communications on the platform. "Customers using our popular AS/400 servers are increasingly interested in leveraging the servers' reliability and scalability to support communications services such as remote access and faxing," says Russ VanDuine, IBM's program manager of AS/400 I/0 Development. "We will sell the DSP-based technology because we believe it will enable our customers to benefit from future advances in connectivity and data access."

Digi is licensing the hardware and Application Programming Interface (API) technology to IBM, which is configuring the communications adapters for OS/400.

VanDuine says IBM chose Digi because "the functions they had were what we were looking for. They were the best fit for us, and they were well along in developing both products when we were examining the market." Both adapters are designed to meet the needs of small and medium-sized AS/400 customers for 56 Kbps analog and digital ISDN communications services.

DataFire RAS 4 and AccelePort RAS 8 will come pre-configured on AS/400s. VanDuine also says customers running V4R4 can purchase the communications adapters without having to upgrade their AS/400.

-- J. Martin