VIA pc-1 Initiative

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The VIA pc-1 Initiative is a project of VIA Technologies, established in January 2005, to help bridge the digital divide by developing information and communication technology (ICT) systems to benefit those who currently do not have computers or Internet access.


The initiative sought to enable the next billion computer users with three goals:

  • Expand individual personal computer (PC) ownership via creating affordable, reliable, and energy efficient systems, with smaller sizes that can fit into the dense living environments often found in households.
  • Increase PC and Internet access opportunities for those who cannot afford to buy PCs, via community access deployments in schools, offices, libraries, Internet cafes, village kiosks, and telecenters.
  • Enable PC and Internet access in remote regions via developing specialized power, heat, and dust (PHD) systems designed for extreme environmental conditions.[1]

In January 2006 a development center was opened in Mumbai.[1]

Design concepts[edit]

At the heart of the system platform architecture includes processors built by IBM using a 90-nanometer silicon on insulator (SOI) process with a VIA digital media chipset. Systems offer:

  • Energy efficiency: Low power consumption reduces the burden on the electricity generation infrastructure and operate without air-conditioning. Devices can run on car batteries and solar panels in remote locations.
  • Software compatibility: The x86 instruction set is compatible with Microsoft Windows and Linux operating systems and programs.
  • Connectivity: Interfaces such as Fast Ethernet and Universal Serial Bus (USB) can connect to fixed and wireless networks, as well as peripherals such as digital cameras, digital video cameras. Optional television output couples with TVs with standard cathode ray tube (CRT) and liquid crystal display (LCD) computer monitors.
  • Durability and scalability: Durable and scalable options accommodate uses ranging from Internet cafes and village kiosks to households, schools, government departments, and businesses.


VIA provides reference designs, but vendors use different brand names. Examples include iDot pc-1 systems in Taiwan, Longmeng pc-1 systems in China, Geniac pc-1 systems in Nigeria, Sico pc-1 systems in Egypt, and Alaska pc-1 systems in Mexico.

The pc1000 and pc1500 platforms were described in 2006, using the VIA C3 processors.[2][3] The pc3500 was introduced in August 2007 using the VIC C7.[4]

VIA platform VIA chipset VIA processor frequency
pc1000 CLE266 C3 800 MHz
pc1500 CLE266 C3 1 GHz
pc1500E CLE266 Eden 1 GHz
pc2500 CN700 C7-D 1.5 GHz
pc2500 Mobile CN700 C7-M 1.5 GHz
pc3500 CN896 C7-D 1.5–1.8 GHz


As a part of the pc-1 Initiative, VIA became involved in digital inclusion projects. These include working alongside the Geekcorps in Mali to design a computer for hot dusty conditions, as well as donating low-powered computers for use in Mali desert radio stations.[citation needed]

VIA worked with the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Digital Opportunity Center (ADOC) to bridge the digital divide in emerging markets within Pacific Rim countries. One project includes donating 20 systems for use in the VIA pc-1 ICT Center at the Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry (TUAF) in the Northern Mountainous Area (NMA) of Vietnam. VIA worked with ADOC and the Institute for Information Industry (Taiwan) on an affordable computing advocacy project.

VIA works with the Samoan Ministry of ICT to establish Samoa's first solar powered information center, arranging for solar cells and computers to be provided.

In South Africa, VIA worked with Ikamvayouth in several projects - most recently[when?] providing computers and thin clients for a tuXlab IT center at the Nazeema Isaacs Library in Khayelitsha.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "New VIA Technology Innovation Center in Mumbai to Develop Power Saving PHD Computing & Connectivity Appliances for Global Markets". News release. VIA Technologies. January 23, 2006. Retrieved October 16, 2011. 
  2. ^ "VIA pc-1 System Platform Architecture: Making Intrepid Computing a Reality" (PDF). White paper. VIA Technologies. March 29, 2006. Retrieved October 16, 2011. 
  3. ^ Kristopher Kubicki (June 16, 2006). "VIA's pc-1: Move Over AMD 50x15: Insiders reveal new CPUs, new platforms, new VIA". Daily Tech. Retrieved October 16, 2011. 
  4. ^ Marco Chiappetta (August 21, 2007). "VIA Introduces New pc3500 Mainboard". Hot Hardware. Retrieved October 16, 2011. 

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