PC Devices For The World's Poor - InformationWeek

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Hardware & Infrastructure
06:45 PM
Darrell Dunn
Darrell Dunn

PC Devices For The World's Poor

Born in Mexico City and raised on the Rio Grande border town of Piedras Negras, chairman, president, and chief executive Hector Ruiz believes he has a special affinity for the emerging markets that Advanced Micro Devices Inc. has targeted with its long-range 50x15 program.

Ruiz launched the program, whose goal is to ensure that half the world's population has Internet access by 2015, up from current estimates of about 15% global penetration.

"The perspective I have from having lived there for some time gives me an appreciation for the difference those [emerging] markets present," Ruiz says. "I believe there is a huge business opportunity that no one is addressing."

AMD has targeted Brazil, China, India, and Russia for specific efforts that usually include teaming with other technology providers, indigenous service providers, and financial institutions.

One of the first efforts was creating a rugged computing device called the Personal Internet Communicator that sells for about $187. The device uses an AMD Geode GX processor and has a hard drive, keyboard, mouse, and AC/DC adapter. Telecom company Telefonica S.A. has been selling it for two months in Sao Paulo, Brazil. AMD and Telefonica have worked with local financial institutions to establish lending programs that require no up-front cost and can be paid back over a number of years.

Return to main story, AMD's High-Stakes Wager

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