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New Year Special Features '99

  • Rise's mP6 CPU for Notebook PCs Gets Support from Acer Labs
  • January 13, 1999 (TAIPEI) -- The newly launched mP6 low-power CPU from U.S.-based Rise Technology is getting core logic chipset support from Acer Laboratories Inc., bringing sub-US$1,000 notebook PCs a step closer to reality.
    Rise's mP6 microprocessor, which is designed for low-power PCs, combines with Acer's Aladdin V mobile chipset (with the M1533 southbridge), to offer a cost-effective platform for basic notebook PCs.

    Rise, based in Santa Clara, Calif., announced in October 1998 the mP6 CPU family targeted at the market for low-priced PCs.

    The device is designed to keep power consumption to a minimum level while providing enough computing power to run multimedia and other high-performance applications, including video-enhanced email, video conferencing and DVD use. The architecture of the mP6 enables it to fit within the power requirements for portable computing.

    "The Aladdin V mobile is the first notebook socket 7 chipset featuring a 100MHz CPU bus and AGP support, and the M1533 southbridge is designed to provide even greater power management and design flexibility for portable PCs," said Chin Wu, president of Acer Laboratories.

    He noted that the core logic support through Aladdin V enhances the unique designs of the power management circuit in the mP6 for notebook computers.

    "Once the power problem solved, the prospect of sub-US$1,000 notebook Basic PCs is on the horizon," said David T. Lin, Rise Technology's chairman and CEO.

    Lin said he expects to see sub-US$1,000 notebook PCs on the market in mid-1999. He said that annual global demand for basic PCs is around 50 million units, of the 140 million units of Windows-based PCs sold every year.

    It is not possible for the small number of existing CPU makers to create optimal products to fit every segment, and Rise aspires to be a leader in the portable segment, Lin noted.

    Lin said that system vendors will launch products featuring the mP6 at chain stores or as DIY modules in the first quarter of 1999. Meanwhile, Rise is negotiating with high-profile notebook PC makers to include the mP6 and Aladdin V as the foundation of their products.

    The Rise/Acer collaboration is only one example of the expanding Taiwan-Silicon Valley union. As Taiwan emerges as a new hub in the PC-making infrastructure, many Taiwan-based companies are forging alliances with partners in the Silicon Valley.

    Rise is owned mainly by its employees. Also, two of Taiwan's leading semiconductor makers, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) and United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) have invested in Rise, and together they own less than 20 percent of its shares. Other Taiwan-based PC makers and chipset producers have some stakes in Rise.

    The mP6 microchips are produced by United Semiconductor Corp. (USC), a member of the UMC Group.

    (Charlene Huang, Asia BizTech Correspondent)

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    Updated: Tue Jan 12 17:27:09 1999 PDT