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Computex 2006: Annual Revel of IT Technologies at Formoza


June 27, 2006


  1. Flight to Taipei, Computex'2006: Foxconn (A.Vorobiev)
  2. Computex'2006: ASUSTeK (A.Vorobiev)
  3. Computex'2006: Chaintech (A.Vorobiev)
  4. Computex'2006: ECS (A.Vorobiev)
  5. Computex'2006: ATI (A.Vorobiev)
  6. Computex'2006: NVIDIA, Leadtek (A.Vorobiev)

June 6-10, 2006: Flight to Taipei, Computex'2006: Foxconn

Taipei had been crying for the second month, pouring tons of water from the sky onto people, buildings, sidewalks, lakes, and parks. I don't know whose idea it was to hold the largest international IT exposition during a wet season in these parts. Yep, a wet season officially ends by the beginning of June (according to statistics). But this time it lingered and we hardly had a day without rain. It poured cats and dogs at least 3-4 times a day (sometimes it rained for a whole day).

This expo was postponed only once - to September because of SARS, so lots of visitors and participants sighed in relief: sunny, not so hot, and less humid. It seems strange to me why the expo hosts are so stubborn and haven't adjourned it till September for good. Another advantage - six months between Cebit and Computex. There are actually only two such big expositions in the world. So it will be reasonable to space them apart in time. In this case some innovations will be shown at Cebit, and some - at the Taiwanese Forum. As for now, there are just 2.5 months between Cebit and Computex. There will hardly appear anything new during this period, so Computex has to exhibit what was already shown in Hanover, but for rare exceptions.

I can think of only one reason for the stubbornness of the organizers: Computex was initially intended "to check your watch" and to share experience, to demonstrate your force, capacities, and new products, etc for the Asian market and even inside Taiwan or China on the whole. They scheduled it for the most convenient time according to their laws, regulations, etc. Later on this exposition grew into an international forum. But the traditions remained: it's planned long before June (traditional time for Computex) and timed for this date. The Chinese value inviolable traditions. They are observed even if they have become unreasonable. However, the Russians do the same :)

Taiwanese History. As this island is close to Japan, it used be a Japanese colony. Then there were some wars and China's victory - Taiwan was captured by China. The island was also called Formoza (sort of Heaven for Chinese), hence the speculative use of this name by Russian and other trade companies. (Running a few steps forward, I can tell you that on the way back to Taipei airport, I bought some souvenirs in Formoza store in a cognominal bag. So having seen a bag "Formoza, gifts and souvenirs", several of my friends were very surprised and asked me whether Formoza was now into souvenirs as well. - Stereotypes are very strong :) ).

So, Taiwan became Chinese territory. After a revolution in Grand China and the communist party's accession to power in Beijing, the remnants of the old formation headed by Gomildan migrated to Taiwan, which remained capitalistic. They planned on accumulating power to overthrow the communists in Beijing, but they were evidently too weak. Instead, practically independent Taiwan was formed. Moreover, before the communist China was accepted (People's Republic of China), Taiwan presided in UN and other organizations. Then the fortune and the world community turned away (forced by China) from Taiwan and the first president Chiang Kai-Shek. However, the island still grew, built plants, raised its industry, etc. In acknowledgement of Taiwan's fidelity to the old order (communists are still not allowed into the island) Chiang Kai-Shek was honoured with a pompous memorial with guards of honour. It should be said that multiple religions(which is only natural without communist dictatorship) ruled out building any mausoleums, so all memorials in Taiwan are just museums and monuments. No burial places. People, no matter how outstanding they were, are buried with the others according to religious customs.

That's why Chiang Kai-Shek's memorial is just a resting place, where people come to do sports or dance. Silence reigns and guards stand only under the roof of the memorial building (on the photo in the beginning of the article), where the monument to the first president is erected.

Winding up the part about Taiwan's history, the island has a democratic government with elective authorities. The president and the parliament are elected by people. The situation on the island resembles Abkhazia - these people consider themselves independent, while Georgia is of the other opinion. The same here: Grand China thinks than Taiwan is its province, while Taiwan proudly calls itself Taiwan R.O.C. (Republic Of China), an independent state. But few countries accept it. Russia does not accept Taiwan either (because of our alliance with China), so our relations with Taiwan are purely business-like.

There are tensions between Beijing and Taipei, China constantly organizes war games near the island, rattling the saber. But Taiwan is ready to die fighting. However, this situation may last for many decades. We don't know how transferring manufacturing facilities to Grand China will affect the economy of this island. But local people have already faced unemployment. Some experts forecast rough days in Taiwan. The others are of the opinion that the situation is exaggerated and that Taiwan will find a way to increase workplaces and organize new enterprises. Time will show. As for now, this island is the main manufacturer of all semiconductor devices in the world, so it's in the focus of world economy and business.

Let's return to our topic. We flew in Taiwan from Hong-Kong (photos about the trip will be published for our friends) on June 5th. The skies were dull, though it was not raining.

The expo was to start on the next day. We'll traditionally start our coverage with a general view.

Big and small Taipei 101. Yep, I fell in love with this skyscraper last year. I don't know why, but I'm always lured into taking its pictures, shooting it on video, and climbing up on its observation platforms. It's currently the tallest building in the world, 540 meters high (508 meters - the observation platform on the 89th floor). Some countries plan on beating the 101 height, but these are only plans so far. They promise to build a 640-meter tower in Moscow, called Russia. But these are just declarations.

Taipei 101 neighbours the expo ground, so you cannot miss it. ASUS has also erected its model from old motherboards and other hardware - I'm standing near it on the photo above. When this skyscraper was built (I mean the real one), the builders dug a foundation pit approximately half the height of the building. That is this building is 1.5 as high, just 1/3 of it is buried. To make the building endure earthquakes, the foundation must be attached right to the rocky basement of the island (volcanic origins of Taiwan made the island almost a monolithic rock, covered by a thick layer of earth; that's why earthquakes are felt throughout the entire island, wherever they occur).

You understand that ads will be all over the expo center even as you approach it.

The cube from Canada was flaunting near the 101. And boys acting as transistors from AMD processors were crowding near the memory co... sorry, their curator.

In memory of its American origin, Californian NVIDIA occupied the Statue of Liberty near the New York pavilion, having obtrusively loaded her hand with its bag. Canadian ATI placed its flags in the most unpredictable places.

There were summer-houses everywhere, where companies intended to hold marketing events and hand free... everything (from souvenirs to umbrellas and food). Even Buddhists honoured the expo with carrying something in brand bags away into their monasteries.

But most ads fell to cars' lot. You could see cars everywhere, from Limousines to tiny Smarts with brand logos. That's not just ads. These cars were rented by corresponding companies to ferry in guests.

Any means of conveyance are good for ads! ATI fans sauntered on bicycles brandishing inflatable sticks, Foxconn girls roamed in self-propelled vehicles.

But what I liked the most is when NVIDIA was giving out freebies, ATI girls appeared right in front of their stronghold and started dancing.
We met this band several times, even in the streets between pavilions.

One of the above mentioned streets was occupied by Foxconn, you could see there NVIDIA agitators

as well as large hatched eggs with Chinese chickens giving out some little somethings to passers-by. :)

So, let's proceed to the main topic of this part. Hall 2 attracted most people even last year, as it housed the large IT brands. This time it was the first hall we visited.

Foxconn's stand was so huge, that visitors plunged into a vast range of products from this manufacturer right at the entrance.

We met the Russian representative of this company - Constantine Scherbakov, who showed us the stand, lamenting the solution of local designers to cover motherboards with watered grass. Indeed, this solution is strange. We managed to take some photos, when the water was not running. At least you can make out something behind those droplets.
The other time it looked like this. I wonder who would have stared into the water. That was known only to the stand designers.

The first thing that attracted our attention was a huge range of cooling systems. There were old popular products as well as new items. Note that CPU designations on coolers are a thing of the past now. Everything is simple now: for processors UP TO GIVEN power. Irregardless of a series. So an owner of a new processor should know how much power is dissipated by the product, if he/she wants to buy a cooler.

Besides, a lot of modern products from copper alloys with heat pipes (these heat pipes resemble feet).

Then, Foxconn PC cases. There are a great number of them, the choice is large.

Designers even created some atmosphere with wine beakers to stress the style. Looks nice...

Of course, Foxconn would not be itself without offering ready solutions - powerful system units.

The company certainly didn't forget about its beginnings: various components for ΞΕΜ partners: from notebook cases to connectors, latches, etc.

Large companies, including Foxconn, couldn't ignore the world football championship that was held these days. The company produced PC cases, keyboards, and other periphery with the corresponding symbols.

As I have already mentioned, we cannot provide much information about motherboards, as they were all behind watered glass. That was why we managed to make something out, but it was impossible to take photos. I can just note that Foxconn traditionally keeps tabs on new trends. For example, it offered an entire series of products based on the new NVIDIA nForce 570/590 chipset.

Speaking of this chipset. Foxconn was chosen the first NVIDIA partner to manufacture nForce 5xx motherboards. So this company and NVIDIA organized a press conference dedicated to this event.

Yours truly already visited NVIDIA's event in Santa Clara dedicated to the launch of nForce 5xx, so there is no point in describing all reports in detail. Dramatis personae were also the same. All details about the new product from NVIDIA can be read on our web site.

We'll tell you about the ASUS stand in the next part of the article. And now we publish several expo photos.

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