Based on AMD technology, the PIC has been developed as part of AMD's global "50x15" initiative of providing Internet and computing capabilities to 50 percent of the world's population by the year 2015.
AMD has created a global ecosystem of participating companies to develop technologies and make them easily accessible for people in global, high-growth markets to enhance communications and education opportunities. The device is based on Microsoft Windows and AMD see it as able to to help fulfill the communication, education and entertainment needs of people in high-growth markets.
The device provides managed Internet connectivity and basic computing and Internet capabilities such as a browser, e-mail, productivity tools (word processing and spreadsheet), and the ability to view images, multimedia files and standard format documents. Other companies playing an integral role in the development and manufacturing of the PIC include Solectron, Seagate, Samsung and Macromedia.
The company says the PIC is designed to be a high-quality, easy-to-use, robust consumer device that meets users' needs while being able to withstand the potentially harsh environmental demands of high-growth markets, which can include inconsistent power voltage, dust and dirt. The PIC is a sealed device, operates without a fan and can only be upgraded by the service provider, thus reducing the risk of human errors such as the accidental deletion of critical system files.
The PIC is branded, marketed and sold by local service providers such as telecommunications companies and government-sponsored communications programs. Pricing to the consumer is determined by the service provider, which may offer variety of subscription, microfinancing options and bundling packages at different price points.
Microfinancing in the form of payment plans helps consumers avoid large, up-front cash deployments at the point of sale. Suggested system price point is US$185.00 with a keyboard, mouse, and preinstalled software; or US$249.00 which also includes a monitor.
The price includes a PC based on AMD Geode GX500 366MHz, 128MB SDRAM DDR, 3.5" 10GB HDD, 4xUSB, 56kbps modem, audio. The PIC runs on a version of the Microsoft Windows CE operating system customized by AMD with Platform Builder tools, via the Microsoft Shared Source Initiative. Software includes Internet Explorer, Messenger, spreadsheet.
Rather then merely building PIC systems, AMD is taking what they called a geo-sensitive approach by proactively working with local manufacturing, distribution and financial partners. Developing an in-country value chain is an essential part of ensuring that the technology gets into the hands of those who need it most, and that the business ecosystem develops and spreads within the markets the products ultimately serve.
In conjunction with the introduction of the PIC, AMD announced customers in various countries around the world, including the TATA Group in India, CRC in Mexico, and Cable and Wireless in the Caribbean. TATA is the first company to embrace and distribute the PIC in its respective region. TATA will market the PIC and offer it initially to consumers in five cities in India. CRC will work with local distributors in Mexico to offer the PIC along with a suite of educational software. Cable and Wireless is deploying the PIC in support of disaster relief efforts throughout the Caribbean. AMD is working with other customers in several regions to make the PIC available to consumers in high growth markets throughout the world.
AMD quotes studies that report the current global Internet penetration rate at approximately 10 percent, and the global population estimated to reach 7.2 billion people by 2015.