Intel president non-committal on manufacturing base in India

Written by fe Bureaus | New Delhi | Updated: Oct 28 2009, 05:55am hrs
Chip maker Intel on Tuesday said India is a great place for microprocessor design but remained non-committal on setting up a manufacturing base in the country.

We have a chip design centre in Bangalore. Our server microprocessors are designed here... India is an important design centre (and) we hope to expand here over time... But we do not need any capacity addition, said Paul Otellini, president and CEO, Intel Corporation. There are no current plans for any factory. But (there are) better prospects for software and chip design (for India centre)," he said. The company had committed $1 billion of investment to the country, which was till 2010. Otellini said currently there is no need to put in more investment. His comments come nearly two years after the company bypassed India for setting up a semiconductor manufacturing unit. In 2007, former Intel chairman Craig Barrett had said that the decision to overlook India was on account of the government's delay in announcing a policy for the sector.

During his whistle stop one-day visit to the country, which was marked by two public engagements, Paul Otellini met PM.

Expressing satisfaction at the R&D output from the country, Otellini said he is confident that the country would continue to see growth in high value jobs. Intels education initiative, in which they have trained over a million teachers in IT, also came up during the meeting. However, the company is betting big on the WiMax broadband rollout in the country. Intel also announced a tie-up with home-grown PC manufacturer HCL Infosystems and state-owned telecom service provider BSNL to launch low-cost computing devices offering broadband wireless connectivity.

"HCL will work with Intel and BSNL to make WiMax-enabled nettop computers, designed by the two companies, for India's rural regions," said Ajai Chowdhry, chairman and CEO, HCL Infosystems.