India Innovation Center a major step towards VIA’s Intrepid Computing vision to deliver affordable and accessible computing “to the next one billion people” across the developing world through the VIA pc-1 Initiative
Mumbai, India, 23 January, 2006 – VIA Technologies, Inc., a leading innovator and developer of silicon chip technologies and PC platform solutions, today announced that the first VIA Technology Innovation Center will be established in Mumbai to develop new VIA pc-1 PHD computing and connectivity appliances that combat power, heat, dust and other environmental challenges in developing markets around the world.
The VIA Technology Innovation Center in Mumbai will work closely with government, industry, and educational institutes such as the IITs in various parts of the country, to define and develop affordable PHD appliances that consume much less electricity than traditional desktop PCs, and are specifically designed to withstand the rugged conditions found in rural communities in India and other parts of the world. In addition, the center will also work on the development of advanced server appliances featuring wireless mesh networking technologies in order to enable easier and more affordable high bandwidth “last mile” Internet access in both urban and rural communities.
“It makes good business sense for us to establish our first Technology Innovation Center in Mumbai because of India’s world-beating software base and innovative design expertise,” said Mr Wenchi Chen, President and CEO of VIA Technologies, Inc. “India will not only be a research base for our business in India but also for Taiwan, US and Europe, and is a key element of our VIA pc-1 Initiative aimed at making computing and connectivity more accessible throughout the developing world.”
Unstable currents and voltages create a major infrastructure problem for implementing computing technologies in most developing countries, so designing power efficient, power saving, rugged platforms is key to delivering computing and connectivity to rural areas.
“The convergence of computing, communication and content is underway, yet computers in the developing world, especially in remote and rural areas, have to work on unreliable power and connectivity infrastructures”, said Mr Ravi Pradhan, India Country Manager, VIA Technologies, Inc. “While VIA has already invested considerably in reducing power consumption, such that our new family of PHD Appliances can run on car batteries for several hours, the aim of the VIA Technology Innovation Center is to further improve power efficiency and develop enhanced platforms that will set the computing and communications standards for the future.”
Two major technological challenges to Internet connectivity facing developing countries are low bandwidth and high cost of Internet access, especially for large land-mass countries like India that needs to link hundreds of thousands of villages, many of which have poor power infrastructures.
“Last-mile connectivity has major cost and logistics implications for both developed and developing nations alike, for which wireless mesh technologies can provide a viable solution,” said Mr Richard Brown, Vice President of Corporate Marketing for VIA. “By focusing on creating innovative wireless connectivity solutions, the VIA Technology Innovation Center can help us achieve our goal of much wider access to the benefits of computing and connectivity.”
VIA has played a major role in bringing down the price of Personal Computers in India and around the world. It has set up Affordable Computing Laboratories in various IITs, including those in Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore , and was first to introduce PCs priced below Rs10Ks (US$225 approx) and laptops below Rs30K (US$675 approx), in close association with its OEM partners in India . “VIA has by far the largest share of the Indian thin client (low cost, centrally-managed computers) market and has helped banks, insurance and other financial and educational institutes reduce costs on basic IT infrastructure,” said Mr Pradhan.
“The opening of this Innovation Center will further our goal to develop the right building blocks to enable the next one billion gain access to the global community online, and will also help stimulate local technology growth catering to both the domestic and global markets,” added Mr Chen. “By choosing India as our innovation hub, we are clearly demonstrating our long term commitment to the Indian market, and to bringing low cost, reliable computing to the masses.”
About the VIA pc-1 Initiative – Enabling the Next One Billion
The VIA pc-1 Initiative is aimed at enabling the next one billion people to get connected. With a particular focus on communication (email, VoIP, etc), education and information, the VIA pc-1 Initiative hopes to empower millions of people to improve their quality of life through technology, especially in emerging markets. Comprising a range of flexible systems based on VIA’s acclaimed energy-efficient processor platforms, the VIA pc-1 Initiative is a realistic approach to bringing technology to millions more people within a sustainable business framework. Of the numerous initiatives VIA has launched to enhance the technology experience and the quality of life, the VIA pc-1 Initiative has a universal remit to make a difference to the lives of many more millions of people.
Further information on the VIA pc-1 Initiative may be found on the VIA website at:http://www.via.com.tw/en/initiatives/empowered/
About the VIA pc-1 Website
VIA has also launched a website specifically to cover issues relating to the digital divide, the VIA pc-1 website (www.viapc-1.com), which looks at the real technical, logistical and economic challenges facing the PC, communications and infrastructure industries as well as governments in trying to bridge the digital divide.
About VIA Technologies, Inc.
VIA Technologies, Inc. (TSE 2388) is the foremost fabless supplier of market-leading core logic chipsets, low power x86 processors, advanced connectivity, multimedia, networking and storage silicon, and complete platform solutions that are driving system innovation in the PC and embedded markets. Headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan, VIA’s global network links the high tech centers of the US, Europe and Asia, and its customer base includes the world’s top OEMs, motherboard vendors and system integrators. www.via.com.tw