By Michelle Sturman
VIA Technologies is pushing itself into the AMD- and Intel-dominated fray, talking of the potential for a significant market share gain in the region.
VIA Technologies thinks it has the answer to imperiled margins in the assembly channel, and is pushing that message to systems builders in the Middle East. On a whistlestop tour through the region, VIA executives, makers of the Cyrix III chip, said that recent advances, independent benchmarks, and the coming of an upgraded processor technology will all make a compelling argument at the ‘value end’ of the assembly market. Value, as VIA describes it, is that range of technology where systems cost less than US$500 and processors less than $50.“What we are trying to do is launch the VIA Cyrix III in the Middle East, and kind of upgrade the platform as well. We have moved onto a 667 MHz chip now, from an initial speed of 500 MHz.As for processors, we are really focusing now on the [upcoming] Samuel II,” said Stephen Parsons, marketing specialist for VIA Technologies.“The VIA Cyrix III is aimed at the sub-$50 value market and particularly at the education and government sectors. This is what we are really trying to focus on now. At the same time we have recently launched a box set for retail end use,” he said.The difficulty VIA sees is the reluctance of margin-strapped assemblers to try anything new—coupled with the fact that many of them got stung by poor performance of the processor which previously bore the Cyrix name.