February 9, 2007 – Taiwan chipset supplier Via Technologies Inc. has been contracted by the Chinese Academy of Science to supply south-bridge chipsets for a low-priced computer built with the institute’s “Godson” microprocessor, but Via hopes the deal will help it upsell other microprocessors for the project, and possibly take business away from STMicroelectronics, according to the Taiwan Economic News.
Last year the CAS rolled out a ~$200 computer built using the “Godson 2” microprocessor, which the institute claims is comparable to Intel’s Pentium 3-4 in terms of performance. The stripped-down computer runs on the Linux OS and is geared to basic Internet access.
The paper cited “people familiar” with the Via-CAS agreement that the company views the deal as an inroad to hopefully sell more value-added products such as microprocessors, which it has accumulated over the past few years from National Semiconductor/Cyrix and Integrated Device Technology. Godson’s major core technologies come from ST, but with this new Godson business Via now “sees light at the end of the tunnel,” the paper said.