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CPU wars move to internet cafes

Intel takes on AMD in China

Intel has teamed up with a Taiwanese motherboard vendor to tap China's burgeoning internet cafe market, on the heels of a similar announcement earlier this year by rival AMD.

Intel China and ECS (Elitegroup Computer Systems) are taking the battle to system administrators at Chinese internet cafes, offering the latest version of Intel's network management software designed for net cafes, as well as motherboards with the latest Intel Core 2 Duo chips on board.

The chip maker's Intel Platform Administrator software, IPAT 3.0 with support for Core 2 Duo, was designed to create a more secure, stable network at internet cafes, with extras such as game management. The software is the first product developed by researchers at an Intel lab in China, designed for Chinese users, the company said in a statement.

ECS will provide the motherboards.

The announcement follows a deal between AMD China and China's third-largest computer vendor Tsinghua Tongfang earlier this year. In April, the two companies shook hands on a pact to sell PCs based on AMD chips to internet cafes throughout China.

There are more than 120,000 internet cafes in China, requiring around six million PCs, according to ECS. Although the market may not seem huge, nearly a third of China's 123 million internet users log on via net cafes at least part of the time, according to the official statistician, the China Internet Network Information Centre.

Intel and ECS will host a series of meetings in cities throughout China to demonstrate and sell the new products, starting with Wuhan, on 15 September, they said. They also plan to work with net cafe owners to help them find ways to use the products to cut costs and improve their business.

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