Chip firms open wallets for Haiti

* UPDATE: Nvidia said it’s at $2,500 in donations from the community. If readers want to get involved in fundraising they can find out how to do so, here. Nvidia is matching up to $50,000 of employee donations, and their donations were more than $50,000 over the weekend.

Evil monkeys changing graphics cards are all well and good, but nothing is as good for PR as a good old fashioned bleeding heart campaign, and Haiti seems to have provided tech firms with just the ticket.

First to publicly step up to the plate was graphics firm Nvidia, with a blog post proclaiming the firm would attempt to raise up to $120,000 for Haiti earthquake relief by matching employee donations to the Red Cross up to $50,000 – although the firm said it would “consider additional matches if donations go over that amount.”

Nvidia said it would “also match up to $10,000 of new donations from our U.S. blog readers.” But at time of writing, Nvidia had not updated TechEye as to the progress of its campaign.

Meanwhile, AMD’s Phil Hughes told TechEye the firm had an employee giving programme in place which would be used to support Haitian earthquake relief efforts.     

“AMD will match 50 cents to the dollar of employee cash contributions of at least $25 to eligible nonprofits and schools,” said Hughes, although unlike Nvidia, he did not specify a limit.

Apparently, AMD’s employee giving programme also spans the firm’s employee volunteer service, meaning AMD will provide a contribution equal to $15 for each hour an employee volunteers with an eligible organisation.     

Meanwhile, Intel, which by all accounts has the most moolah to throw around, says it has pledged a direct grant of $250,000 in support of rebuilding efforts in Haiti.

“That amount is in addition to a matching grant from Intel on a donation from any Intel employee or retiree,” Intel’s Christine Dott’s told us.

In addition to throwing cash at Haiti, Intel says it has also put together a team “with a range of technical expertise” to consult with the US Department of State and a number of aid agencies (such as CHF International and NetHope) “to determine the most effective avenue for non-monetary support, eg IT infrastructure, telecommunications, information security.”

Head honcho for Intel communications, Bill Kircos, told TechEye his firm was also “looking at deploying tech teams there.”

“We did that for New Orleans, 04 Tsunami, et al – flying in with a bunch of computers and setting up a number of Wi-Fi and WIMAX networks,” he said.

“Frankly, the best ‘scheme’ I’ve seen is the simple cell-phone text process,” he said, adding “that is so easy to do!”