WESTERN DIGITAL SET TO MARKET NEW CIRCUIT BOARD

WESTERN DIGITAL SET TO MARKET NEW CIRCUIT BOARD

In an about-face, Western Digital Corp. said last week it soon will market an inexpensive circuit board for personal computers that enhances VGA graphics and speeds up Windows, Microsoft's popular graphical user interface.

The super VGA accelerator card, which will be available later this month at a suggested retail price of $349, is the first Paradise brand computer board Western Digital has introduced in two years.At one time, Paradise graphics boards were some of the most popular in computer stores; as of December 1991, Western Digital had sold 50 million.

But faced with declining margins at computer retailers, Western Digital decided to exit the board business about 15 months ago to concentrate on making hard-disk drives and semiconductors and selling them to computer manufacturers.

However, acceptance of a new Windows accelerator chip was so great among manufacturers that Western Digital decided to bring out a board-based product so consumers could add the same features to an existing computer, said Bob Blair, a company spokesman.