AMD has teamed up with partners in India, Mexico and the Caribbean in an ambitious bid to equip half of the world's population with internet connectivity and computing capabilities by 2015.
A key element of the strategy, dubbed 50 x 15, comes in the form of AMD's newly launched Personal Internet Communicator (PIC), a Microsoft Windows-based consumer device designed to provide affordable, managed internet connectivity.
It features capabilities such as a browser, email, word processing and spreadsheets, and the ability to view images, multimedia files and standard format documents.
The low-cost appliance has been designed to help fulfil the communication, education and entertainment needs of people in the world's 'high-growth' markets which are currently largely untouched by modern communication tools.
In conjunction with the introduction of PIC, AMD is working with the TATA Group in India, CRC in Mexico and Cable & Wireless in the Caribbean. TATA is the first company to distribute PIC devices in its region, where it will offer them to consumers in five Indian cities.
CRC will work with local distributors in Mexico to offer PIC along with a suite of educational software, while Cable & Wireless is deploying PIC in support of disaster relief efforts throughout the Caribbean.
AMD added that it is "diligently working" with other customers in several regions to make the PIC available in other areas.
"Technology is only as powerful as it is accessible," said Hector Ruiz, chairman, president and chief executive officer of AMD.
"With 50 x 15, we are creating a global ecosystem of partners to bring the benefits of technology and connectivity to parts of the world ignored by traditional technology solutions."
"Technologies developed for mature markets cannot be dropped into new markets and then be expected to succeed," said Shane Rau, program manager at IDC.
"Despite the virtues of such low-cost and standardised technologies, they must still be arranged to solve a problem for the customers in that new market. In a regional or country market, having local relationships, such as with manufacturers, distributors, and service providers, is key."
Other companies playing a role in the development and manufacturing of the PIC include Solectron, Seagate, Samsung and Macromedia.
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