Via chip powers education PC for South Africa

South African computer maker Mustek Ltd. has chosen a processor from Taiwan’s Via Technologies Inc. to power its new education PC.

The Mecer Education PC is powered by Via’s 1.5GHz C7-D processor and CN700 chipset with integrated graphics.

Mustek and Via didn’t disclose pricing for the Mecer Education PC, but the desktop computer should be relatively inexpensive.

A similar Mustek PC, the Mecer Premium PC2500, runs on a 1.5GHz C7 processor, has 256M bytes of RAM and an 80G-byte hard-disk, and can be bought for 2,396 Rand (US$343) without a monitor.

The Mecer Education PC, which comes with a choice of operating systems, including Windows XP Starter Edition, will be sold through retail stores in South Africa, Via said.

In recent years, computer makers have paid more attention to the education market in developing countries, which hope bringing low-cost computers into schools will help close the gap with wealthier nations.

Via and other chip makers, notable Intel Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc., have helped spur the development of these systems with chips and reference designs aimed at these markets.

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