SUNNYVALE, Calif. June 28, 1993 Atari Corp. announced today that it has contracted with the IBM Corp.'s Charlotte, N.C., facility to manufacture the Atari Jaguar, Atari's new 64-bit multimedia entertainment system. 

IBM's multi-year contract is valued at $500 million.

The Atari Jaguar, to be made in the United States, is an interactive multimedia entertainment system which features over 16 million colors in 24-bit true color graphics and produces shaded 3-D polygons for manipulation in a "real world" in real time. A 32-bit expansion port will allow for future connection into cable and telephone networks, a digital signal processing port for modem usage and connection to digital audio peripherals. The Jaguar will also feature a double-speed compact disc peripheral. 

"This system is clearly the wave of the future," said Sam Tramiel, president of Atari. "Because the Jaguar will feature such an array of visual and audio special effects, we wanted to work with a premier company that we are confident can manufacture the quality product we have developed."

The Charlotte-based IBM plant, which for 15 years has manufactured and developed products only for other IBM businesses, just recently began working with outside companies to meet their production needs. The Atari Jaguar project represents one of IBM's first entries into manufacturing for the mass consumer electronics market. 

"This is a wonderful opportunity to work with Atari and their new system," said Herbert L. Watkins, director of Application Solutions manufacturing at IBM Charlotte. "Everyone expects IBM to manufacture complex information technology products, and with this, we'll show that we can competitively build a sophisticated consumer product."

In addition to assembling the Jaguar, IBM will be responsible for the component sourcing, quality testing, packaging and distribution. The Jaguar, announced on June 3, is based on an Atari-designed proprietary 64-bit RISC processor that features four times the technology currently seen in the marketplace today. The sound system is based on Atari's proprietary, high-speed, Digital Signal Processor dedicated to audio which can produce CD-quality sound. The Atari Jaguar will be available on a limited basis in the fall, focusing on the New York market. A national roll-out is expected next year, and the Jaguar will retail for approximately $200. 

NOTE: Atari Corp. manufactures and markets personal computers and video games for the home, office and educational marketplaces throughout the world. Atari headquarters are located at 1196 Borregas Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94089. 

The IBM Corp.'s Charlotte facility manufactures and develops for IBM and other companies a wide variety of products, such as banking systems, automotive diagnostic systems and electronic circuit boards. The site includes 2.3 million square feet of work space on a 1,200-acre site. Its address is 1001 W.T. Harris Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28257. Telephone: 704-594-1000.