Tadpole-Cycle completes Motorola military deal

Cambridge-based Tadpole Technology has announced a deal to sell custom computer boards for military use to Motorola.

Cambridge-based Tadpole Technology has announced a deal to sell custom computer boards for military use to Motorola.

By John Sabine

The deal, the first for newly-acquired subsidiary Tadpole-Cycle, comes at a time when its broker has expressed hope for the future for its software business. But it also illustrates its continuing reliance on hardware sales.

The announcement of the contract, which concerns the sale of no more than about 20 motherboards, also appears to be an attempt to boost the new company’s credibility.

The boards involved in the $750,000 deal normally sell for around $40,000 each.

Tadpole-Cycle was formed about three weeks ago, shortly after Tadpole’s purchase of the Cycle Computer Corporation for £5.6m in shares.

In the latest statement from Tadpole’s broker Beeson Gregory, "considerable upside potential" was seen for its software revenues.

But hardware sales remain its primary revenue stream, and are expected to remain so over the next few years.

Predictions for 2002 suggest that the Tadpole group will generate around £42m from hardware, with only some £8m coming from software.

Tadpole was originally known for high-value Sun-compatible portables, and then moved into mobile computers aimed at utility engineers. It is now switching focus to software development, especially in the fields of mapping information systems (through Tadpole-Cartesia) and peer-to-peer information management (through subsidiary Endeavors Technology).

This agreement will see Tadpole-Cycle’s technology incorporated into Motorola’s Global Missions hardware. The Global Missions systems provide battlefield information to allow military commanders to assess and evaluate combat situations.

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