|INDIA IS A PIECE OF CAKE: Intel CEO Craig R Barrett cuts his birthday cake in New Delhi on Thursday. Union minister Pramod Mahajan looks on|
However, Mr Barrett, addressing a media conference later in the evening organised by Intel India, was cautious about making the commitment and said that Intel would make investments to the tune of $100-200 million depending on the upswing in the overall global market conditions.
The India center will initially have a 30-to-40 engineer team to work on high-end 32-bit intel architecture platform from enterpise applications. The team will be expanded gradually in future, he said.
Mr Barrett said that the India center was second facility outside the US where high end design work will be done. Intel currently designs its microprocessors only in the US and Israel so far.
Mr Barrett also met prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the afternoon. Although he declined to spell out specifics from his meeting with the prime minister, he said the government should bring the tariffs on IT products down to zero, to make India an IT nation.
He said that India should now start thinking beyond sub-contracting business in the IT sector and work towards developing products in software as well as designing and manufacturing hardware products.
Mr Barrett said India needed to work on improving infrastructure facilities like just-in-time clearances, quality of air transfer, water and electric facilities to attract global IT manufacturing companies. He said that China offered much better infrastructure for setting up manufacturing base.
Intel has also entered into a memorandum of understanding with the department of IT to co-operate in spreading computer awareness in schools as well as in e-governance research projects. Intel has also evinced interest to invest in Media Lab Asia, Mr Mahajan said. However, Intel director for South Asia Avtar Saini denied any investment commitment towards the Media Lab Asia project.