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PC Solutions Briefs: Acer, Via Technologies, NVidia

PC Solutions Briefs: Acer, Via Technologies, NVidia

Acer aspires to stylish consumer PCs - againAcer is considering a revival of its Aspire line of consumer PCs, according to Jim Wong, vice president of new business development at the company's Acer brand operation division.

"We are looking at a re-launch of Aspire as a consumer PC," Wong said in an interview.

The charcoal-grey and emerald PCs turned heads in 1995 and were considered among the first desktop PCs that catered to a customer's sense of style. While Aspire eventually fell by the wayside, the market for stylish computers grew and has since become dominated by Apple's iMac desktops.

Acer is now mulling over a possible comeback. The company is in the midst of studying lessons gleaned from its first Aspire experience, and is crafting a business plan for Aspire's return, Wong said. Once complete, Acer officials will discuss whether or not to resurrect Aspire, he said, adding that if the company does decide to go ahead with the project, the Aspire brand would return sometime next year.

Via debuts P4 chipset

Via Technologies may not have a licence for the 400MHz system bus used with Intel's Pentium 4 processor, but that didn't stop the company from demonstrating its first Pentium 4 chipset, the P4X266, at the Computex exhibition in Taiwan.

While the P4X266 is not currently available, Via expects the chipset to ship "in the near future". Intel and Via have long been rivals in the chipset market and lawyers for the companies have locked horns over chipsets in the past. Via officials are confident that legal issues will not stop the company from bringing the P4X266 to market.

"The legal team has advised me that we don't have any legal problems," said Wenchi Chen, chief executive officer and president of Via. "There is no guarantee Intel won't sue, they always do. But hopefully they will have learned their lesson from the past."

NVidia unwraps chipset

NVidia demonstrated an integrated graphics chipset that includes audio technology originally developed for Microsoft's Xbox game console at Computex last week.

Called nForce, the chipset, which supports AMD's Athlon and Duron microprocessors, includes an integrated graphics processor (IGP) and a media and communication processor (MCP).

The nForce chipset replaces the Northbridge-Southbridge chipsets used in current Athlon-based and Duron-based motherboards, and offers performance comparable to add-in graphics cards, said Tony Tamasi, senior director of product management at graphics chipset maker NVidia. The chipset is expected to ship by November.


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