VIA to Host Affordable Community Computing Workshop in the Philippines

Practical workshop for NGO and academic e-Learning professionals will demonstrate the benefits of ICT for education and development

Taipei, Taiwan, 24 November 2006 – VIA Technologies, Inc., a leading innovator and developer of silicon chip technologies and PC platform solutions, today announced a one-day VIA pc-1 Affordable Community Computing Workshop, to be held on Monday 27th November at the National Computer Center in Manila, Philippines, to coincide with the National e-Learning Conference.

In association with the Institute for Information Industry, the APEC Digital Opportunity Center and the Philippines Commission on Information and Communications Technology, the VIA pc-1 workshop will be a hands-on seminar for representatives from NGOs, universities and the government in building and operating affordable computers based on the VIA pc1000 mainboard and Puppy Linux. University of the Philippines professor, Dr Raffy Mananghaya, a keen advocate of minimalist open source software, will tutor the workshop.

Workshop systems will be exhibited at the National Computer Center during the National e-Learning Conference immediately following on 28-29th November, after which participants will be allowed to take the system they have built back to their respective organizations to advocate the benefits of the technologies.

“This workshop brings together education and development professionals with providers of cutting-edge PC technologies to demonstrate how easily and effectively ICT can be utilized for education and development purposes,” said Richard Brown, Vice President of Corporate Marketing, VIA Technologies, Inc. “VIA’s highly energy efficient pc-1 hardware and the flexible Puppy Linux GPL/free software combine to form a powerful solution for enabling community computing in all emerging markets, in line with our VIA pc-1 vision.”

Dr. Eva Yueh, General Director at the Institute for Information Industry (III), is also excited about the workshop concept: “III is increasingly involved in international collaboration projects, bringing the benefits of its highly trained and experienced technology staff and management professionals to ICT projects across the globe. We are delighted that VIA and Dr Raffy are working with us on this workshop concept, and we look forward to expanding the project throughout the Asia Pacific community in 2007.”

In welcoming the workshop, University of the Philippines Los Baños Chancellor Luis Rey Velasco noted that “Innovations on low-cost but versatile PC is a welcome idea and complements UPLB’s quest for excellence in research and instruction. Moreover, filling the vacuum of knowledge on cheap PC solutions would allow the consumers to enjoy computing and explore the World Wide Web using minimal resources.”

VIA pc-1 Affordable Community Computing Workshop Approach

The VIA pc-1 workshop will teach fifteen teachers and trainers the benefits of interactivity in education using ICT, and how to achieve that with the system that they themselves will build. Topics will include how to establish a small network, the exchanging of information through alternative browsers, operating systems and learning management systems, as well as low-cost technology innovations for education. During the course, participants will assemble an affordable PC, boot it with an ADOC Puppy Linux live CD, test it for e-learning applications and replicate the set-up for multiple users. The systems will be powered by VIA pc1000 mainboards, featuring the highly energy efficient VIA C3 processor and VIA CLE266 digital media chipset.

Further details about the VIA pc-1 Initiative may be found at: www.viatech.com/pc-1, while the Puppy Linux website is at: www.puppylinux.org.

Dr. Raffy Mananghaya

A farmer from Mindoro, Philippines, Rufino (Raffy) Mananghaya graduated with top honors with a baccalaureate in agricultural engineering from the Central Luzon State University in 1977. He worked from 1977 to 1985 with the Farm Systems Development Corporation, a public corporation devoted to rural development. He gained a Masters in Management at the University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) in 1983 and a Doctorate in Business Administration at the University of the Philippines Main Campus in 1996. He joined UPLB in 1986 and has been in teaching management since. His home unit, the Institute of Development Management and Governance (IDMG), is active in ICT empowerment of the grassroots. This, plus his first-hand experience as a poor farmer in his youth, is the driving force behind Raffy’s involvement in e-learning and e-governance for communities.

About the National eLearning Conference

The National eLearning conference, with the theme “Taking IT to the Next Level: The Team Approach to eLearning Program Development”, is the fifth of the annual conferences being held in the Philippines since 2002. It will address the issues holding back the deployment of e-learning in many institutions, particularly schools, and help create a roadmap for successful deployment of e-learning. A big part of the issues being addressed concerns affordability of hardware and software, which the VIA-sponsored workshop has already addressed. The organizer of the conference is the Philippine eLearning Society (www.elearning.ph), with help from CICT, ADOC, III, VIA and other sponsors.

About the APEC Digital Opportunity Center (ADOC)

ADOC was established in 2004 to assist APEC member economies in building their ICT infrastructures through the generation of trade and investment by the industry, and the Institute for Information Industry (III) has the remit to execute their policies. In May 2006, VIA became the first local vendor to partner with ADOC, and the VIA pc-1 Affordable Community Computing Workshop alongside the National eLearning Conference in the Philippines is an example of this active collaboration under the auspices of that ICT Alliance.

About the VIA pc-1 Initiative

The VIA pc-1 Initiative is aimed at enabling the next one billion people to get connected. With a focus on communication, education and information, the VIA pc-1 Initiative seeks 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. www.viatech.com/pc-1

VIA has also launched a community portal 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 the Institute for Information Industry

The Institute for Information Industry (III) was established in 1979 as a non-profit organization, jointly sponsored by the Taiwan government and dozens of prominent private enterprises, for the purpose of growing and strengthening Taiwan’s information industry development.

Since its inception, III has been a source of vision, creativity and technological advancement, and a major contributor to Taiwan’s development into a world-class player in the ICT global market. While dedicated to reinforce industrial advancement, III has, at the same time, adopted the strategy of promoting full utilization of technological advances, in government activities as well as in all fields of business; and thereby achieved remarkable success in efficiency, productivity, and quality of life improvement across all public and private sectors, and to the advancement of Taiwan’s information society development. Information on the Institute can be found at www.iii.org.tw/english/

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

VIA Technologies, Inc.