VIA and God
President & CEO Wen Chi Chen's presentation was interesting and even humorous with a couple light-hearted jabs at Intel. There were also a number of biblical references peppered throughout the presentation and Q&A.
First off, let's take a look at what VIA is doing. The purchase of Cyrix and Centaur gave VIA CPU technology, and the agreement with S3 brought in the graphics. VIA already has the chipset (northbridge/southbridge) and networking technology. VIA has everything it needs to make a nice integrated package, with everything in a two-chip solution or a single chip in "extreme cases."
The "Value PC" is only a small step away from the "Internet Appliance," and VIA is intent on taking that step. Matthew, the first integration product, should be available in the first half of next year. Following products will also feature biblical names Mark, Luke, etc…
Throughout the presentation, Wen Chi Chen emphasized that VIA has God on its side. Hey, whatever motivates the troops, right? Take VIA's explanation for the Cyrix III's codename: Joshua. In the Old Testament, Joshua led the Israelites into the holy land over the Jordan River. At one point, God tells Joshua " Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." Wen Chi Chen brought up that line when he was asked how VIA was dealing with the Intel situation.
VIA vs. Intel
In another interesting comment, Wen Chi Chen stated that VIA still considers Intel a partner even though "Intel may not think this way." VIA is working for open industry architectures, because having open architectures give customers a choice -which, according to VIA, is good for the industry. Also, industry standards need to be determined by several partners. Wen Chi Chen stated "I don't think one company is so smart that it can make decisions for a whole industry." The industry needs to have everyone working together.
VIA still made its fair share of Intel jabs. When the presentation moved towards DDR memory, Wen Chi jokingly added, "Some people might call it 'Don't Do certain products…" Also, the original codename for the Joshua was "Gobi" for the desert. Wen Chi pointed out that Intel used rivers for its codenames, and you know what happens to rivers in the desert (okay, that was a bad one).