Via set to fight Intel in microprocessor arena


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Several years ago, a tiny Taiwanese chipmaker created a family of microprocessors that could run Windows software using less electricity than it takes to light a compact fluorescent bulb.

Now, Via Technologies of Taipei must defend its beachhead against Intel Corp., which is about to release its own energy-efficient processor, called Atom.

In the United States, Via processors are being used to extend the battery life of ultra-small laptop PCs like the Hewlett-Packard Mini. Overseas, Via chips run no-name PCs that can be powered by car batteries and serve as the "mainframe computer" for a poor village.

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