Friday, May 30, 2008


ASUSTeK Computer Incorporated (Asus) (TSE: 2357) (traditional Chinese: 華碩電腦股份有限公司) is a Taiwan-based company that produces motherboards, graphics cards, optical drives, PDAs, notebook computers, servers, networking products, mobile phones, computer cases, computer components and computer cooling systems. Commonly called by its brand name Asus (pronounced ah-soo-ss or [a'sus] in IPA), it is listed on both the London Stock Exchange and the Taiwan Stock Exchange.
Asus was founded in 1989 in Taipei, Taiwan by TH Tung, Ted Hsu, Wayne Hsieh and MT Liao - all four were computer engineers from Acer. The name Asus originated from Pegasus, the winged horse of Greek mythology.[2] The first three letters of the word were dropped to give the resulting name a high position in alphabetical listings.
In 2005, shipments from Asus, ECS, Gigabyte, and MSI totaled 104.86 million units. Asus led with 52 million units, followed by ECS with 20 million, MSI with 18 million, and Gigabyte with 16.6 million.
Asus also produces components for other corporations, including Sony (PlayStation 2)[citation needed], Apple Inc. (iPod, iPod Shuffle, MacBook), Alienware, Falcon Northwest, Palm, Inc., HP and Compaq.
Relationship with Intel
In the early 1990s, Taiwan based motherboard manufacturers had not yet established their leading positions in the computer hardware business. Any new Intel processors would have been supplied to better established companies like IBM first, and the Taiwanese companies would be forced to wait for approximately six months after IBM received their engineering prototypes. [3]
When the Intel 486 was released as engineering samples, Asus decided to design its own 486 motherboard without having a 486 processor engineering sample on site, using only the technical details published by Intel and the experience they gained while making the 386 compatible motherboards. When Asus finalized its 486 motherboard prototype, they took it to Intel's base in Taiwan for testing. Unsurprisingly, they were not formally greeted when they arrived. It turned out that Intel's own 486 motherboard prototype had encountered design flaws, and Intel's engineers were rectifying it. The Asus founders exercised their experience with the 486 and had a look at Intel's malfunctioning motherboard. Their solution worked, to the Intel engineers' surprise. Intel then tested the Asus prototype, which functioned perfectly. This marked the beginning of an informal relationship between the two companies – Asus now receives Intel engineering samples ahead of its competitors.[4]
Asus is one of the main supporters of Intel's Common Building Block initiatives.
Corporate restructuring
As of 3 January 2008, Asus has been in the process of restructuring its operations. The company will be split into three distinct operational units: ASUS, Pegatron, and Unihan. The Asus brand will be used solely for first party branded computers. Pegatron will handle motherboard and component OEM manufacturing. Unihan will focus on non-PC manufacturing such as cases and molding. In the process of restructuring, the highly criticized pension plan restructuring effectively zeroed out the current pension balances. Previous employee contributions were returned.[5]
* September/October 2003: debuts in the cellphone market with the J100 model.[6]
* September 2005: releases their first PhysX accelerator card[7]
* December 2005: enters the LCD TV market with the TLW32001 model, initially only available on the Taiwan market.[8]
* March 9, 2006: Asus is announced to be one of the producers of the first Microsoft Origami models, together with Samsung and Founder. Samsung and Asus devices expected by April 2006.[9]
* August 8, 2006: announced joint venture with Gigabyte Technology[10]
* June 5, 2007: Asus announced the Eee PC at COMPUTEX Taipei 2007
* September 9, 2007 Asus started to support Blu-ray by announcing the release of BD-ROM/DVD writer PC drive, BC-1205PT.[11] It has been followed by the release of several Blu-ray based notebooks.
* October 31, 2007: launched their PDA/smartphone range to the UK market
* January 3, 2008: Asus formally splits into three companies: ASUStek, Pegatron and Unihan[12]
Manufacturing facilities
As of January 2006, Asus has manufacturing facilities in Taiwan (Taipei, Lujhu, Nankan, Kweishan) and in mainland China (Suzhou), Juarez, Mexico and Czech Republic with a monthly production capacity of two million motherboards and 150,000 notebook computers.[13]
Asus original features
Asus has introduced a number of original features and tools that complemented its products, especially motherboards. The table below lists them, together with some third-party technologies, rebranded under Asus-specific names (note: the acronym AI, which prefixes many of the feature names, stands for Asus Intelligence).

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