RealTime IT News

AMD, Lenovo Power Chinese Education

One of China's most ambitious long-distance education projects is set to get under way now that it has been awarded to three high-tech companies.

AMD , PC-maker Lenovo and server manufacturer Dawning got the nod this week from the Hebei Education Bureau for 26,000 PCs and servers to be installed in elementary and middle schools in rural areas.

The program is Part of China's "informatilization" initiative and is designed to help bridge the gap between Eastern and Western China, officials said. Originally announced in October 2004, the pilot program is launching in the cities of Zhangjiakou, Chengde and Baoding. It is expected to benefit at least 200,000 students.

"The remote education project is a very important project for both the Hebei province and the whole country, as the central government chooses Hebei to be the demo site for nationwide remote education," said Yan Chunlai, assistant supervisor of the Hebei Education Bureau.

Under the contract, every computerized classroom will get one AMD Opteron processor-based Dawning Tiankuo A Series i200-A server and about 30 AMD Sempron processor-based Lenovo Qitian M 6200M PCs.

"[This] will help hundreds of thousands of students improve their education by using our products to enhance their learning experience," Karen Guo, corporate vice president of AMD and president of AMD Greater China said in a statement. "This win is a testament to our commitment to develop the China market, and highlights our vision of succeeding with local partners."

With one of the world's hottest semiconductor markets, an abundant labor force for skilled manufacturing and world-class engineering talent, China is a chance for the three companies to shine.

AMD entered the China market in 1993 and has expanded quickly. The company used the country as one of its introductory launching pads for 64-bit computing. In March 2004, AMD China also received approval to establish a test, mark and package (TMP) facility in Suzhou, China, focusing on CPU production. It was AMD's second investment in the Suzhou Industrial Park, following the establishment of a Flash memory TMP facility in 1995, now known as FASL.

Currently, AMD's business partners in China include local companies such as Lenovo, Founder, Thunis, Amoi, Dawning, Digital China and BLX.

Lenovo has made a name for itself internationally, with its purchase of IBM's PC division. The deal also establishes a five-year brand licensing agreement that names IBM as the preferred services and customer financing provider to Lenovo. In turn, Lenovo said it would supply IBM all the desktop and laptop PCs it needs when selling computers to its small and medium business clients.

Executives with Lenovo are already expressing plans to expand to the North American and European markets.

New York-based Dawning has some experience in China courtesy of its partner Easidata in the Guangdong Province, most recently with that region's Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine.