COMPUTEX - Via to offer 'computer on a chip'

Taiwan's Via will produce a 'computer on a chip' later this year, the company's chief executive said.

Via Technologies will introduce a chip later this year that combines most of a computer's components in a single package, according to the company's chief executive.

The upcoming chip - called John - combined Via's C7 processor, chipset, and a graphics processor in a single package, Via's president and CEO, Wenchi Chen, said.

He held up a sample of John during his keynote presentation at the Via Technology Forum, which was being held alongside the Computex exhibition in Taipei.

John would be produced in volume later this year, he said.

Chen has long championed a push towards smaller computers that consume less power. While Intel executives touted the power-hungry Pentium 4 with its massive cooling systems, Chen instead pushed smaller PCs built around Via's Mini-ITX motherboard and fanless processors. Now, the focus on smaller, more energy-efficient computers has become an industry-wide trend.

The introduction of John took the notion that small is beautiful one step further, Chen said.

"This is the direction where we're going to push going forward," he said.

To underscore his point, Chen pulled a small motherboard from his pocket. The board, which easily fit into his hand, included a John chip and the DRAM required for a computer.

The board was designed to be used in handheld computing applications, he said.

Computex runs through June 10.

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