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Via turns out to be in the right space at the right time

Computex 007 PC 2.0. Who'd have thought?
Thu Jun 07 2007, 04:50
VIA'S UNVEILING OF its micro ITX motherboard brings with it a new buzz. For Via, that buzz is PC 2.0. Yeah, we're a bit sick of the Web 2.0 palaver too, so the idea of PC 2.0 may make your toes curl, but there's something in it all the same.

Via has a stand here equipped with pretend grass* and stepping stones. You have to watch your step and once or twice your intrepid hack ended up in the gutter, but the firm is going all-out here to push its green credentials. Unlike Mr George W Bush, VIA recognises that the world is waking up to the environmental challenge. Other chipmakers may bang on about power consumption, but this is only out of recognition of the economic overhead power wastage puts on a business.


VIA too may have stumbled into the green arena by virtue of the fact that it has been hoovering up around the edges of the likes of Intel and AMD in its small-device, low-power niche for an age now. Luckily for it, that's where the marketing buzz is going and it's able to exploit this to its advantage.

In pushing "PC 2.0" to its partners here in Taipei, VIA said it would provide the building blocks to get the concept off the ground. It needs to work with others "to make this industry happen," a spokeswoman said. And inevitably, software applications will be key to making the tiny, ultra-mobile PC a reality she added.

If there's a revolution - or, dare we say, a paradigm shift - going on here, then its either with 20 years of foresight or damn good luck that VIA finds itself in the centre of it.

As an aside, aptly-named CJ Hothaus, Via's director of CPU systems engineering showed of a neat Eden chip running at 500MHz and pulling around 1Watt. It may have no heatsink at all, but CJ showed that placing his finger on the chip immediately cooled it quite significantly. No, not useful, but a nice touch (cough!) all the same. µ

* UPDATE Turns out it's real grass. Some sort of wiry stadium variety and it seems to be standing up to the pounding well enough.



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