Rivalries to the fore at Computex 2006 event

Taiwan’s Computex 2006 trade show saw a record number of visitors flood through the doors of the Taipei World Trade Centre and Taipei International Convention Centre during the four-day event this month.

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By  Dylan Bowman Published  June 18, 2006

Taiwan’s Computex 2006 trade show saw a record number of visitors flood through the doors of the Taipei World Trade Centre and Taipei International Convention Centre during the four-day event this month. Organisers said around 133,000 visitors attended what is the world’s second largest PC exhibition after Germany’s CeBIT — up from just under 130,000 the previous year. Attendees packed into the show’s four halls to get a glimpse of the tens of thousands of products on offer from around 1,300 vendors. The leading Taiwan-based manufacturers — who use the annual event to showcase their latest technologies in the run-up to the holiday season — were of course prominent at the show but the rivalry between chip giants AMD and Intel also featured strongly. The two vendors were both keen to convince local manufacturers of the benefits of using their respective upcoming chipsets and platforms. AMD officially launched its Live! entertainment platform and Turion Two line of dual core chips at the event and, not to be outdone, Intel officially launched its first ‘Broadwater’ chipset, P965 Express. Taiwanese PC giants Acer and Asustek were also going head-to-head with their product lines, notably with their recently announced luxury sports car branded notebooks and choice of microprocessor — Acer is backing AMD while Asustek is going with Intel. In another showdown, vendors were assessing the two technologies competing to become the standard for the high capacity DVD market — Sony’s Blu-ray and Toshiba’s HD-DVD. High capacity DVDs can store six times more than conventional DVDs, up to 30Gbytes of data, allowing viewers to watch films in high definition. Both Acer and Asustek were only showcasing notebook models with HD-DVD drives at Computex, but said they would support both standards. Lenovo and HP have also stated they will be supporting both Blu-ray and HD-DVD, while Dell, the largest PC maker in the world, has committed itself to the Blu-ray standard. Acer looked to be reversing the trend for smaller and lighter notebooks at Computex by displaying a 20-inch Aspire 9800 laptop — the manufacturer’s biggest ever. Dell and Samsung have also announced they are to product ‘mega-laptops’, which are designed to function less as a portable device and more for use within the home as a entertainment unit. Also on show at the event were a number of devices that use biometrics such as fingerprint scanning to identify a person or imaging coupled with broadband to be used for surveillance. The security sector has become one of technology’s biggest users and vendors were showcasing a range of products for the home and business, such as security systems made up of cameras and sensors that can be viewed from a person’s mobile. Another fast growing line of products showcased at the event was WiFi mobile phones, which can provide telephony service over the internet for free using voice over internet protocol (VoIP).

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