PC Solutions Briefs: Acer, Nvidia, 3Com, Via

Acer MD moves on

Two key members of Acer's Australian management team have been rewarded with promotions for the company's strong local performance. The Taiwan-based vendor has appointed former sales and marketing director Charles Chung as Australian managing director to replace Patrick Lin.

The announcement follows the promotion of Lin - who founded the company's Australian operations four years ago - to president of Acer America.

Chung said he would continue working towards the company's goal of gaining the number three computer vendor spot before 2003. Market share this year has increased by 19 per cent, according to the company.

Acer now has more than 200 employees Australia-wide and recently brought its Uniload assembly plant at Homebush in Sydney's west online to facilitate build-to-order PC operations in the channel.

The company will also launch its e-commerce Web site for resellers later this year.

Nvidia files patent infringement suit against chip rival 3dfx

Nvidia, one of the leading suppliers of graphics chips used in PCs, has announced it has filed a patent infringement suit against rival graphics chip supplier 3dfx Interactive.

Filed in a US District Court, the lawsuit covers five patents that 3dfx allegedly infringed and seeks an injunction restraining 3dfx from manufacturing, selling or importing infringing graphics chips and cards, as well as monetary damages, Nvidia said in a statement.

Among the 3dfx products that Nvidia alleges infringe upon the patents are the Voodoo3, Voodoo4 and Voodoo5 chips as well as the VSA-100 family of products.

3Com, Via in networking chip alliance

3Com and Via Technologies have announced an alliance in which the companies will assist in developing technology to provide PC OEMs with the means to build network-ready PCs for the commercial, desktop and mobile markets.

Under the agreement, 3Com's 10/100Mbps Ethernet media access controller will be integrated with Via's Apollo chipset South Bridge. The integration will make the chipset network ready.

PC OEMs will choose whether to enable the controller. The actual sales of the chipset will be through Via. 3Com has long offered network interface cards and local area network (LAN) access from a motherboard and will continue in those markets, a company spokesman said.

The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the alliance.