Intel unveils 'juggernaut' computer for rural India
Heat and dust proof?
Intel this week unveiled its entry into the low-cost developing-world computer stakes, and it's a whopper. Designed for India, the tower-on-its-side system is dubbed 'Jaagruti - which means 'awakening' in the local lingo - though 'juggernaut' might be a better choice given its size.
Intel is pitching the machine as a system that rural commuities can share, so it's more Communal Computer than Personal Computer. The beast's size comes, presumably, from its "rugged" chassis, designed to "withstand dusty conditions, varying temperatures and high humidity", and to keep the mobo cool at room temperatures of 45°C and humidities of 70-85.
It also contains a power supply unit with an integrated uninterruptible power supply capable of mainting "continuous load power in the event of a power outage".
The system is all about getting more people using the internet, which, Intel hopes, will in turn create new constituencies of consumers. It's an empowerment thing, the chip giant said. The company has set up several"pilot schemes to get Jaagrutis up and running to show how the concept works and to encourage existing service providers and start-ups to plan their own community computer installations.
Earlier this month, Intel VP and head of the chip giant's Channel Platforms Group, Bill Siu, criticised other attempts to create computers for developing nations. He said they all fail to provide the flexibility that a full-scale PC offers. That's largely because they're developed around ultra low-cost platforms the better to get them into the hands of individuals. Intel's approach can at least adopt more expensive components because the cost will be amortized across a large number of individuals - if, at least, its suggested business model is adopted. ®
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