Intel Goes Cheap too

BANGALORE, India (AFP) - The world’s largest chipmaker Intel has designed a low-cost community personal computer for India’s vast rural market to be launched by December, a top company official said.

Though Intel has yet to announce the price of the computer, it was expected to cost less than 10,000 rupees (220 dollars) and was aimed at the farming community, Intel vice president Patrick Gelsinger said at a conference in the southern IT showcase city of Bangalore.

The computer was being tested at 10 sites across the country as part of a pilot project in the run-up to its commercial launch, he said.

“We will provide the design to assemblers for building the computer with a better performance,” Gelsinger said.

“Besides the regular features, the computer will also have a wireless Internet access in rural and remote areas,” he said.

To overcome the problem of erratic power supply in rural India, the computer has been designed to run using car batteries as well.

“Unlike the standard PCs which operate on 240 volts, the community PC has been designed to run on 80 volt power source. Its platform has been built to work on alternating and direct current lines,” Gelsinger said.

“We have enhanced the performance of some of the chips to enable such PCs to work even on low power sources like batteries and yet access the Internet through the wireless,” he said.

Other special features include a dust proof computer frame that is also insect resistant and built to withstand India’s hot climate, he added.

India’s computer penetration rate is low — with around nine in every 1,000 Indians owning one — mainly because they are still too expensive for the majority of the population.

But in the last several years many hardware manufacturers have unveiled computer models around the 220 dollar price range.

source: Yahoo news

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