March 20, 2006

On March 10 at the Avan Villa Hotel in Yerevan Intel’s “One Thousand and One Day of Centrino” program was officially launched, which aims at presenting to students the newest model of notebook based on Intel® Centrino® Duo technology and to be produced by Unicomp CJSC. The event was widely covered by Armenian mass media including the Hayastani Hanrapetotiun daily (March 14 issue), the Iravunk semi-weekly (March 14 issue), the Golos Armenii (Russian language) semi-weekly (March 16 issue), Delovoy Express business weekly (March 17 issue) and the Bazis magazine (March-April 2006 issue). We believe an article published in the March 20 issue of the Noyan Tapan Highlights, the oldest in Armenia English language weekly which you might find herebelow sums up the aforementioned stories in the best way.



Unicomp's Newest Intel® Centrino® Duo Notebook Presented in Yerevan

By Gourgen Khazhakian

A program called "One Thousand and One Day of Centrino" was officially launched in Yerevan on March 10. The program which started simultaneously in Tbilisi and Baku as well, aims at presenting the mobile personal computer - the notebook based on the newest Intel® Centrino® Duo platform.


Alexey Kamaev - Armen Baldryan

Alexey Kamaev(left), Armen Baldryan(right)

The platform is, in turn, based on dual core technology, and this program is targeted first of all on students, also businesses and other frequent travelers.The notebook is to be produced by an Armenian company, Unicomp.
Alexey Kamaev, Intel Technologies, Inc Manager for Kazakhstan and Central Asia/Southern Caucasus countries arrived in Armenia for a one-day visit solely to participate in the program opening ceremony. In his words, exactly one thousand days before the ceremony, in 2003, Intel had introduced its first platform called Intel® Centrino™ Mobile Technology (CMT), whose enormous success was predetermined by a radical shift from designing and manufacturing single processor chips to production of entire platforms which entailed upgrading notebook capabilities, especially regarding provision of wireless access to the Internet.

According to Kamaev, mass production of such dual-core technology based notebook is a milestone on the road to the era of dual-core platforms domination, and, consequently, a milestone in the history of Intel itself. Such are results of internal restructuring started a year ago. It has led to radical changes not only of technology strategy of the Corporation, but has transformed marketing and branding as well, Kamaev stated. He informed us that the most up-to-date model of notebook embodies advances on all four vectors of mobile PC development:

1. It is faster-more than 70 percent advantage over leading industry benchmarks;
2. More wi-fi (local -edit.) connectivity (to the Internet -edit.) features;
3. 28 percent less power consumption on Intel components which means
longer battery life;
4. Thinner and lighter design - 30 percent reduction on Intel components
vis-a-vis original CMT.

According to the Intel Corporation sources, Intel® Centrino® Duo also provides for "great entertainment experiences," such as "immersive visual experience, vibrant graphics, media boost, amazing surround sound", etc.

As Mr Kamaev told reporters, the presentation program will last for a month, in which period of time the students of the leading Universities of Armenia will have a chance to familiarize with the newest notebook based on the Intel® Centrino® Duo platform and produced by Unicomp. Unicomp is one of the leaders of the IT industry in Armenia. As early as 1999 it became the first company in the Southern Caucasus (and in CIS countries-second after Russian companies) to be granted the status of Intel® Premier Provider, which is the top accolade any integrator company might receive from Intel.

When Mr Kamaev was asked by the Highlights correspondent about the current level of the Intel-Unicomp partnership vis-a-vis Intel partners in the neighbouring countries, he expressed full confidence and respect Intel has in Unicomp, which is "one of the oldest and most reliable partners".
"I think the fact that I, as the Intel Regional Manager, am presenting the program here in Armenia, is an answer to your question", Mr Kamaev said. His words are confirmed by the fact that Unicomp CEO A.Baldryan is one of the nine members of the Intel Solutions Advisory Council. All these facts are ample evidence of keen interest in Armenia, displayed by Intel. Alexey Kamaev stressed that Intel invests great hopes in Unicomp, especially regarding development of mobile computing technologies and enhancement of support aimed at the improvement of Armenian students' grasp of IT specialities.

Unicomp was the driving force of organization of "Intel Computer Knowledge Days" in various Armenian universities in 2004-2005. Those "Days" saw triumphant introduction of the most up-to-date products of the Intel-Unicomp partnership, namely the PC featuring Intel® Pentium 4 processor based on the Dual Intel® Xeon processor, and Intel® Centrino™ Mobile Technology-based notebook.

Returning to the "One Thousand and One Day of Centrino" , which is tailor-made for students, it is important to pay attention to Armen Baldryan's announcement of the recently signed agreement between Unicomp and the Converse Bank, within the framework of which students can buy a new Intel® Centrino® Duo technology notebook using a low-interest credit.They have to pay down only 20 percent of the price as the first instalment, later having to pay about USD 30 per month for the next 30 months. And the total price of the notebook is 30 to 40 percent lower than the price of similar units abroad). Mr Baldryan explained the surprisingly low price by a combination of such factors as the careful selection of components and implementation of the state-of-the-art technology.

And this deal is a logical continuation of a previous contract between the two - Converse Bank used to credit purchases of the earlier Unicomp/Intel notebook. Mr Baldryan also announced Unicomp is ready to start batch production of the new model.

What makes their approach unique is the combination of hardware with the Linux operational system also on offer, together with a very attractively priced office applications in Armenian (OpenOffice.Org). Students are eligible for special discounts.

Journalists crowding the presentation hailed questions at the presenters.

Armen Baldryan thanked the Intel Corp for its support to Armenia, and to Unicomp in particular. He stressed the prime goal of the Corporation is not to maximize short-term profits, but rather to invest in IT education, market development and providing assistance to the developing countries.
"I am confident that many more joint programs with Intel are in the pipeline", said Baldryan.
Secretary of the Information Technology Development Support Council of Armenia (ITDSC, chaired by the Prime Minister of Armenia) Armen Grigorian said they are very happy about such IT giants as Intel, Microsoft, Sun, and others making their presence felt in Armenia. Such developments play an important part in shaping the image of Armenia as a country attractive for inves™ents. He stressed that it is not by chance that Unicomp is # 1 Intel partner in Armenia, as the company leads the way in bringing innovative technologies (like Wi-Max) into the country, and that brought about the agreement to implement a pilot program aimed at covering the entire country by the Intel Wi-Max network. Referring to the increasing competition caused by appearance of ever more leading IT companies on the market, Mr Kamaev said that "competition is beneficial for the end user, as it drives the prices down".

"Yes, we do have ambitious plans to export our products in the nearest future", Armen Baldryan answered a reporter’ question.

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