China to make UMPC using AMD technology

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China to make UMPC using AMD technology

Finished product expected in one year.

A Chinese company is to design and build an Ultra Mobile PC around CPU technology licensed from AMD, according to local media reports. 

PKUnity has demonstrated an early prototype of a UMPC motherboard running Windows XP. A finished product is expected to be ready in about one year. 

"We will be able to make contributions to narrow the digital divide in China and even in other developing countries," Cheng Xu, a microelectronics professor at Peking University, told the China Daily

PKUnity is a spin off from the government-funded Peking University, and was established to commercialise the university's Unity-863 system on a chip CPU design. 

AMD licensed the low-power x86 Geode microprocessor design technology to the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology and Peking University in October 2005.

Under the agreement, AMD receives licensing fees from commercial use of the technology, and has the right to use enhancements or modifications to its CPU designs. AMD also has the option to invest in local firms that use the technology.

Although it is relatively slow compared to current cutting edge CPUs, at the time of the deal the Geode was one of the highest-performing processors that US Department of Commerce technology export requirements allowed to be shared without a licence.

While some of the current generation of UMPCs are made in Chinese factories, they are designed by Taiwanese, Japanese or other foreign firms, with Chinese companies having little input.
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