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October 18, 1999
National Semiconductor eyes set-top box market in IndiaNational Semiconductor Corporation has offered its Geode brand of information appliance to three Indian companies that will indigenise it to suit local market conditions, reveals Martin Kidgell, company vice-president and managing director for the Asia-Pacific region.
The California based company recently integrated the semiconductor content for an information appliance on to a single chip to deliver an optimal Internet experience for the interactive set-top box market, providing full Web browsing functionality together with digital video.
''The reference platform is almost ready. The time to market these STBs will be very short,'' says Sanjay Keskar, country manager, India.
However, both executives declined to name the Indian companies that will use National Semiconductor's reference platform.
Nor did they reveal the price at which the interactive STBs would be available here.
Talking to reporters on the company's plans for India, Kidgell said a combination of aggressive marketing and launch of new products in India will propel the company to a 100 per cent growth trajectory for the next two to three years.
Currently, the Indian arm of National Semiconductor, established in 1995, has less than 5 per cent share of $5 million of the total $2 billion turnover.
Kidgell said ''The company intends to target banks, stock exchanges, school computerisation programmes, hotels and finally individual consumers for our STBs.''
The chip company is bullish about the big potential of Internet in India with over 50 million installed TVs and 20 million cabled homes.
Moreover, less than 10 per cent of the one million banks and branches are computerised.
The company said it would continue to meet the entire business demand in thin clients market like banks and stock exchange through its distributors in India - Arrow Electronics and Future Electronics.
''A high possibility exists that the strength of silicon designers in our Bangalore unit will be doubled to 50 within six months," Kidgell added.
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