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Friday, September 09, 2005

VIA Tech, Juniper deal to crash PC prices

TAIWAN-based innovative developers of silicon chip and Personal Computer (PC) solutions, VIA Technologies Incorporated, has concluded plan to further crash the price of new PCs in the country, to as low as N35,000.

This plan was the outcome of the recent partnership deal between Nigeria’s Juniper Solutions Limited and VIA Technologies in Lagos, to offer affordable PCs and Internet access using broadband.

Manager, Marketing Division at VIA Technologies Inc, Mr. Werner Du Plessis, disclosed theseto newsmen, saying that prices of new PCs from the firm’s stable would crash PC prices drastically and would continue to come down as time progresses.

VIA Technologies, he said, focuses on emerging market with low cost PCs, which has been very helpful in growing PC availability in developing nations like Nigeria.

Mr. Werner noted that emerging markets are the major forces to reckon with PC usage and his office has encouraged this in China, India, Brazil and Russia, even as PC penetration rate is less than 10 per cent of the global population.

With inexpensive and accessible broadband connectivity, computing and entertainment capabilities through high scalable system platform, the partnership would “enable innovative new individual and community-based broadband connectivity and computing scenarios,” he said.

The manager, who was accompanied by the chief executive of Juniper, Mr. Gboyenga Ojuri, also said VIA Technologies has various solutions platform, citing for example the VIA PC-1 initiative.

This, he said, offers VIA PC 1000/1500 processor, which is beneficial due to its affordability, stressing that this is usually optimized for entry-level PC price points based on its Low Total Cost of Ownership (LTCO) and low power consumption, which is good for the nation’s environment.

Also, with increased reliability and durability because of the minimal cooling requirement, Mr. Werner said, VIA PCs minimize burden on electricity generation infrastructure.

He further said the platform offers rich functionality and performance between 1.0 and 1.5 GigaHertz equivalent, while the advanced digital media capabilities comes with three dimensional (3D) graphics, Moving Pictures Experts Group (MPEG-2) decoding and six-channel audio.

MPEG is the 1994 designation for a group of audio and video coding standards agreed upon by MPEG and published by the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 13818 international standard.

On the connectivity features, he said, the PCs on this platform come along with enhanced connectivity options of 10/100 fast Ethernet and Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0, even as it is fully x86 compatible.

“This solution has the ability to run all the most popular computing, internet and entertainment applications,” he said, in addition to optimized security based on integrated VIA padlock co-processor 1.

Mr. Ojuri said his firm is into the partnership to optimize it for the sake of connecting Nigerians to the world through affordable PCs and internet access.

This interest was what motivated Juniper into this deal with VIA, saying his firm is ready for the physical take off of the partnership, hinting however, that the VIA laptop series would soon make a debut in the country, courtesy of the new firm, in whose name the PCs would be marketed, which he is yet to be made public.

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