New technologies, same old rivalries at Computex 2002

Intel and AMD battle for marketing supremacy at Taiwan's Computex 2002, admid avalanche of new product debut

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By  Mark Sutton Published  June 4, 2002

Computex 2002, Asia's largest IT exhibition opened yesterday in Taipei, Taiwan. The exhibition, the largest Computex to date, has attracted over 1,100 exhibitors from around the globe, representing all areas of the IT industry.

All of the major components vendors are present at Computex, with a particularly strong presence from arch rivals Intel and AMD. As ever, the two chip companies have gone out of their way to try and out do each other in the amount of places they can get their branding. Following last year's show, where AMD acccused Intel of attempting to remove balloons bearing the AMD logo from stands, the company has gone for the immovable object approach—a twenty foot high inflatable hammer, to publicise AMD's new 'hammer' line of processors graces the roof of one of the exhibition halls; AMD is also advertising through its own range of free drinks, and on buses.

Intel has struck back though, by sponsoring the bus stops, and by putting the Intel logo on to anything that stays still for more than five minutes. In a stroke of marketing genius, Intel has also employed some of the tallest women in Taiwan as its 'booth babes', the ladies that hand out promotional material on the Intel stand.

On the product side, the show provides a few hints as to coming trends in technology. Small form factor PCs are very popular this year, with many different companies getting involved in the segment. While the smallest PCs at the show are either Atoz's EZGO or the Cappuccino and Espresso from Saint Song (they were both designed by the same man) the most form factor, which seems to be emerging as the defacto standard, is that used by Shuttle's XPC, among others.

PDA's are also on the increase, with a number of companies more often associated with motherboards taking the plunge in this growing sector. Asustek has debuted a new PDA, along with a line of high end consumer notebooks, and FIC is also showing a new range of PDAs, primarily aimed at the OEM market.

Wireless connectivity is another area of technology that is making an impact at the show, with USB 2.0 and Bluetooth beginning to appear in more and more devices. LCD has finally pushed out CRT as the technology of choice for virtually all monitor manufacturers.

New cooling technologies are also getting a run out. Via has debuted its first fanless PC, which makes use of VIA's 'cool' technology to do away with the fan, cutting down on the size of the PC casing. A water cooled CPU has made a splash at the show too.

From the Middle East, along with a number of buyers looking to make deals and build relationships with suppliers are two companies hoping to launch their brands on an international stage.

Quality Gulf is showing its Touchmate range of computer products for the first time at the show. Prakash Meghnani, import/export manager told CRN that the company hopes to be able to build the brand in other territories, such as the US and Europe, as well as Asia Pacific.

Microtop is also here, promoting its 'Orange' range of graphics cards, modems and hubs to the Taiwanese market.

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