The History of VIA
Founded in 1987 in the heart of Silicon Valley, VIA achieved a leadership position in the PC core logic chipset market through its ability to consistently deliver leading-edge technology at reasonable prices to top tier PE OEMs and motherboard manufacturers. In 1992, the headquarters was moved from the Fremont, California facility to Taipei in order to establish closer partnerships with the substantial and growing IT manufacturing base in Taiwan and neighbouring China.
As a direct result of its focus on state-of-the-art Research and Development, VIA was successful in 1999 with first-to-market chipset implementation of the PC133 SDRAM memory standard for both Intel® Pentium® III and AMD Athlon™ processors, helping to drive the format as the memory standard for the industry, and, in 2001, VIA consolidated this success by leading the introduction of DDR SDRAM support across all major processor platforms.
Building on its leadership position in the PC core logic chipset market, the Company has expanded its product lines and R&D through a combination of acquisition, in-house development and strategic alliances.
The 1999 purchase of the Cyrix and Centaur processor divisions from National Semiconductor and IDT respectively saw VIA gain immediate entry to the microprocessor market, and the power efficient VIA C3® processor, the first original design for VIA, has formed the basis of the complete platform approach pioneered by VIA, having been successfully implemented in desktop and mobile PC systems, high density servers, and a whole range of Personal Electronics devices worldwide. The subsequent launch of the VIA C7® processor family in 2005 further consolidated this market position and opened up whole new markets that leveraged the power efficiency and compact size of the silicon, such as green desktop PCs and ultra mobile computing.
And in 2002, VIA acquired the CDMA2000 design team from LSI Logic to form the affiliate VIA Telecom Inc., and expanding the silicon platform into telecommunications. VIA Telecom is based in San Diego, California and is focused on developing advanced baseband processors for the CDMA2000 standard, driving the growth of 3G telecommunications that is ushering in enhanced video and audio and extending the functionality and connectivity of mobile phones.
With demand for communications and connectivity burgeoning as a result of the explosive growth of the Internet in the latter part of the last decade, VIA has also developed expertise in a range of communications and networking technologies, and has been shipping silicon such as networking controllers from as early as 1997. As with graphics, in addition to offering these products as discrete solutions, VIA works to integrate the technologies into core logic chipsets where appropriate to enable customers to cost-effectively enhance the functionality of PCs and Personal Electronics devices.
In October 2001, VIA announced the formation of the VIA Platform Solutions Division (VPSD), an autonomous business unit within VIA charged with the mission of designing and bringing to market a complete range of platform solutions, including a new line of branded VIA Mainboards. In 2004, this division was renamed the VIA Embedded Platform Division (VEPD) to reflect the change in focus and the enlarged portfolio, which now encompasses the marketing of complete processor platforms based around VIA's power-efficient microprocessors, including the ultra compact VIA EPIA range of Mini-ITX, Nano-ITX and Pico-ITX mainboards.
In 2002, VIA launched Project Canaan, a corporate realignment initiative whereby VIA's major operations were divided into key product business units. Project Canaan delineated the transition from a focus on chipsets to the next level of corporate activity, allowing VIA to focus on all core businesses to build a stronger, broader based company, able to serve both core and emerging marketing segments. The establishment of VIA Optical Solution, Inc. and VIA Networking Technologies, Inc. in 2003, from the optical storage controller and networking divisions of VIA respectively, was a direct result of this diversification strategy.
VIA's proven product strategy of offering the widest range of silicon to the PC and other x86 markets, combined with a technology design strategy emphasizing power efficiency, rich feature integration and form factor reduction, has enabled VIA's processor platforms to gain increasing acceptance across a broad spectrum of traditional and non-traditional sectors. As a result, in 2007, VIA realigned its business units to focus resources on developing innovative platforms for VIA's own range of processors, to ensure a strong, focused approach to product innovation.
The 2008 launch of the power efficient VIA Nano processors, based on the 64-bit, superscalar VIA Isaiah Architecture, marks the next major milestone in VIA's development as a complete processor platform company, with a broad portfolio set to drive new system innovation in the desktop, embedded, mobile and ultra mobile markets, as well as revitalizing traditional PC market segments.