Frank Lin, chairman of Trident Microsystems Inc., said the company first focused on the Chinese market in the early '90s via a deal with a Shanghai chip maker. In 1998, Trident invested $6 million to set up its Shanghai-based design unit. The company designs ICs for consumer electronics and multimedia chips for PCs, and it offers a VLSI design service here.

Raman, an ardent open sourcerer, wrote the system to work over a Linux platform running on any low-end PC. Indeed, Linux is an excellent, if largely untapped, format for the disabled, particularly the blind, he said.

Paul Otellini, executive vice president, was given sole management of the Intel Architecture Group. According to the company, Otellini will work with Splinter to make Intel Architecture products successful across all areas of design, technology, and manufacturing.