AST Research, Inc. was a personal computer manufacturer, founded in Irvine, California 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 card of the mid-1980s would have two RS-232 serial ports, a parallel printer port, a battery-backed clock/calendar (the original IBM
PC did not have one), perhaps a bus mouse port, and 384 KB of DRAM (added to the 256 KB on the motherboard to reach the full complement of 640 KB).