AST Research, Inc.
was a personal computer
manufacturer, founded in Irvine
in 1980 by Albert Wong
, Safi Qureshey
and Thomas Yuen
. (The name comes from the initials of their first names.) AST's original business was the manufacture and marketing of a broad range of microcomputer expansion cards, later focusing on higher-density replacements for IBM
's standard I/O cards in the IBM PC
. A typical AST multifunction card of the mid-1980s would have an RS-232
serial port, a parallel printer port, a battery-backed clock/calendar (the original IBM PC did not have one), a game port, and 384 KB of DRAM
(added to the 256 KB on the motherboard to reach the full complement of 640 KB) - marketed under the product name 'Six Pack'.
AST Research also produced the Mac286
, a pair of NuBus
cards containing an Intel 80286
, allowing a Macintosh
to run MS-DOS
side by side with its existing operating system. These cards were announced March 1987 alongside Apple's Macintosh II line (AKA, the 'Open Mac'). The product line was eventually sold to Orange Micro
, who developed the concept further.
manufacturers improved the integration of peripheral controllers on their motherboards
, AST's original business began to dry up, and the company developed its own line of PCs, for the desktop
, and server
AST was one of the members of the Gang of Nine
which developed the EISA
In 1992 AST became a Fortune 500
company at place 431.
AST computer's reliability was considered... Read More