Based in Taipei, Taiwan, TwinHan designs, produces and markets a wide variety of digital television solutions. The company has an extensive product line that includes digital TV reception cards, TV tuner cards, set-top boxes and personal computers. It also offers a number of services that aid in visual data processing, compression, encoding and decoding, IC and RF design, digital terrestrial video broadcasting, hardware design and system integration. TwinHan has an estimated 160 employees, more than half of them highly skilled in research and development, as well as facilities in Mainland China, Europe and the United States.
First established in 1996, TwinHan has been highly successful in its endeavors. The company achieved ISO 9001 certification in 1999 and helped to spark the FTA (Free-to-Air) revolution in 2001 with the launch of Taiwan’s first digital satellite TV card. In 2003, it released the popular TwinHan DVB-T series that allowed users to view DVB-T programming on their displays, record them to hard disk and burn them onto DVD media. The early DVB-T line included the DTV Mini Ter card and DTV Alpha memory stick, each of which offered excellent video quality at high resolution and support for HDTV reception. The TwinHan DVB-T series became more impressive in 2005 with USB and analog TV solutions among other products to enhance the digital viewing experience for PC users. That same year, the company received numerous industry honors including the Best Buy logo from CHIP Germany and the Editors Choice Award by Notebook Organizer & Handy, two of the most prestigious computer magazines in Germany.
TwinHan plans to further cement itself as a leader in the digital TV industry by expanding its portfolio to suit other markets. It appears as if the company is making good on those intentions as many of the products in its DVB-T line now offer support for both Macintosh and Linux platforms.
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Based in Fremont, California, S3 Graphics is a top provider of graphics visualization technologies for desktop and notebook PC sectors. One of the major suppliers to the OEM and retail markets, S3’s products offer cutting edge efficiency to home, corporate and multimedia platforms to provide the end-user with enhanced visual features. While not as dominant as it once was, the company remains stable in the market with its S3 brand of graphics accelerators. This series rivals competitors, such as ATI Radeon and GeForce product lines.
S3 Graphics was founded and incorporated in 1989 as S3 Incorporated, going public on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange in 1993. Though successful as an independent startup company, it struggled with the transition to the integrated 3D card segment. Remodeling itself as a consumer electronics company, S3 sold off its major graphics division in a merger with VIA Technologies. The new company was very profitable and even made a successful investment in UMC, a semiconductor foundry based in Taiwan. In 2000, S3 became SONICBlue, changing the name and NASDAQ stock symbol as well. SONIC set its focus on the consumer electronics market, enjoying tremendous success with brands such as ReplayTV, GoVideo and the Rio line of portable multimedia players. It also produced graphics accelerators for the home-based PC market under brand names such as Deltachrome, Gammachrome and Chrome.
Although SONICBlue filed for bankruptcy in 2003 and folded shortly thereafter, the company’s graphics divisions were previously sold to VIA Technologies as S3 Graphics. The technology behind this world famous brand has helped to set many of the trends seen on the market, including the world’s first single chip GUI (Graphical User Interface) accelerator in 1989. Today, S3 Graphics cards are among an impressive lineup of integrated processors and embedded technologies that deliver world-class performance to the home and business markets.
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Headquartered in the Silicon Valley of Taiwan, Realtek Semiconductor Corp. is a leading provider of computer components, network devices and multimedia products. The company designs, manufactures and sells a wide range of products that are mainly categorized in two divisions: Communications Network ICs and Computer Peripheral and Multimedia ICs. Some of the products in its line of network solutions include network interface controllers, traditional Ethernet controllers, network switch controllers and gateway controllers, among others. Realtek currently has approximately 900 employees, more than 700 of them well versed in the research and development field.
Realtek was founded in 1987 and listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange in 1998. One of its early successes was the RTL8139 series of Ethernet controllers released in the late 1990s, a line that dominated the market for many years. These products fell into the peripheral and multimedia category, consisting of traditional audio codecs, high definition codecs, clock generators, card reader controllers and LCD controllers. The most notable Realtek controllers were the 10/100M Ethernet line, having a global market share of 70% in 2003. Its AC97 audio codecs also claimed 50% of the market. Today, its ALC850 and RTL8139 are favorites on the OEM market, offering standard features and low prices. In Asia, the RTL8139 Realtek NIC is often referred to as a crab card, alluding to the crab-like appearance of the company logo.
Realtek has announced on numerous occasions that it would dedicate its R&D resources and expertise to other areas in the future. Some of the markets the company is considering include digital television, along with more advanced wireless technologies such as UWB (Ultra Wide Band) and the proposed 802.11n standard. It appears as if Realtek is gearing up for the highly anticipated myriad of concepts and applications that have been proposed to advance existing and newly emerging technologies.
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Headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan, Tyan Computer Corporation is a world renowned manufacture of motherboards. The company plays an integral role in powering the network environment as many of its models are designed for AMD and Intel processors. Specializing in high-end desktop and server platforms, its products are sold worldwide to OEMs, system integrators and resellers for a wealth of applications. Tyan’s high-performance products are powered by the more than 12,400 employee strong global workforce of MiTAC, the company it was acquired by in March of 2007.
Tyan got its start back in 1989, which appeared to be just the right time. Its founder saw tremendous opportunity in the SMP server market and established the company to fill a much needed void. Tyan began developing, producing and supplying Intel Pentium series motherboards along with several other single-processors targeted at server applications. Since that time, the company has manufactured a number of single, multi and multi-core chips using technologies from companies such as AMD, Broadcom, Intel and NVDIA among others. The impressive design of Tyan motherboards has gained the company numerous honors over the years, including two Maximum PC Kick-Ass Awards for its contributions in the Dream Machine project. Its cutting edge innovations have also helped several partners and customers earn recognition in their respective industries.
If the success of Tyan motherboards wasn’t enough, the brand name became even stronger once it merged with MiTAC, a Taiwanese company that manufactures a wide range of computer products. The MiTAC portfolio includes servers and network products, notebook PCs and outsourced manufacturing services. With the merger, its corporate headquarters in Fremont, California became the North American headquarters. Tyan is currently the company’s leading brand, acting as the engineering and marketing core for the delivery of server and workstation products designed for MiTAC’s worldwide partners and OEM customers.
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VIA Technologies is a fabless semiconductor company headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan. The company supplies the highly efficient x86 processor platforms that power the personal computer, client, embedded and ultra mobile markets. Its main product line consists of motherboard chipsets, memory and CPUs, energy-saving solutions that provide enhanced connectivity for an array of computing, networking, communications and multimedia platforms. Best known for its awarding line of VIA chipsets, the company also produces audio and network controllers, low-power processors and chipsets for CD/DVD writers. Over the years, VIA has achieved international reach with state of the art production facilities throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Its client base includes global leading OEMs, system integrators and consumers around the world.
VIA was officially established in 1987 from the Symphony Company, a computer company based in the Silicon Valley of Taiwan. The founder, Wen Chi Chen, was an Intel employee before joining Symphony, where he still presides as CEO. In the late 1990s, the manufacturer focused on diversifying its core logic solutions and has since acquired a number of subsidiaries. Some of its most notable acquisitions include a CPU division, a sound division and a graphics division acquired from S3 Graphics. With Taiwan’s manufacturing sector constantly increasing the level of integration and functionality in chipset products, these divisions have helped VIA remain afloat in the competitive core logic market.
Coupled with the S3 Graphics merger, the company has been able to hold onto a respectable share of the PC graphics market due to the efficiency of their VIA graphics cards. In 2008, the company announced the launch of official 2D accelerated drivers for Linux chipsets with 3D accelerated drivers in the works. Just releasing the VX855 Media System Processor, a fully integrated all-on-one chip designed for mobile PC systems, VIA looks to take its innovative ways into another decade of success.
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