STMicro To Ramp Up Chip Design Unit

New Delhi: | Updated: Jul 31 2003, 05:30am hrs
Europes largest chipmaker, STMicroelectronics plans a 36 per cent increase in staff at its Indian R&D unit to enable its design team to contribute more to the firms global operations, an official said on Wednesday.

STMicro, also the worlds fourth largest chipmaker, set up a chip design centre in India in 1990, to tap the nations large pool of skilled engineers willing to work at wages that are a fraction of their overseas counterparts.

Employee strength will cross 1,500 people towards the end of 2003 or by the first quarter, said Vivek Sharma, director at STMicros Indian chip research and development unit.

The centre, situated on the outskirts of New Delhi, currently has 1,100 engineers on its rolls who work on chip designs, embedded software and also provide software services back-up for STMicros global clients. The Franco-Italian firms products are found in a wide range of consumer goods including mobile phones, DVD players, set-top boxes, disk drives and automobiles.

Apart from STMicro, global technology firms such as Intel Corp, Texas Instruments Inc and Motorola Inc have chip design units in India where the fast-growing software sector provides low cost outsourcing services.

Mr Sharma said STMicro had invested more than $120 million in India and its expenses on this centre were expected to touch $30 million this year. He said the centres emphasis would be on honing its expertise in designing solutions to spur new applications for the global telecom companies, multi-media and digital consumer markets.

The telecom team was being ramped up because top customers such as handset makers Nokia and Alcatel were increasingly looking at buying total solutions from STMicro, he said.