Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), supplier of chips and integrated circuits, is exploring alliances to set up a chip-manufacturing plant in India.
Company representatives, however, did not reveal specific details regarding the manufacturing plans, since it has already signed a technology-transfer agreement in 2005 with SemIndia, which is setting up a fab plant near Hyderabad.
"We have found that it (SemIndia project) is slower than we anticipated. We will continue the relationship to learn more about how the system works in this country," said AMD Chairman & CEO Hector Ruiz.
To a question whether AMD would have equity participation in the SemIndia project, he said, "At present, we are only technology partners for the project. AMD is closely integrated with the manufacturers across the world and has joint development programme with other semiconductor giants. We are not directly in control of manufacturing."
SemIndia, a consortium of NRIs, plans to set up a chip-manufacturing plant near Hyderabad. It has applied for concessions under the new Semiconductor Policy.
AMD also sees India as a growth centre for its R&D initiatives. It opened a new silicon design and platform R&D facility in Bangalore.
This is the third R&D centre of AMD in India with the other two located in Bangalore and Hyderabad. The third R&D centre (52,000 sq ft space) can accommodate up to 350 engineers.
"As India's role and importance in AMD's global R&D network increases, the number of employees in Bangalore continues to grow. This new centre will also provide room for future growth," Ruiz said.
The Indian operations play a critical role in AMD's design network, he added. The R&D teams are playing the lead role on 'Shanghai' AMD's first 45 nanometre quad core microprocessor.
They are currently involved in design testing and optimisation of the new chip. The teams were also responsible for delivering key intellectual property (IP) for the first AMD quad core Opteron microprocessor, previously code named 'Barcelona'.
"The Indian R&D teams are vital to help us design and deliver solutions, specifically tailored to the needs of customers in India, and for our customers worldwide," Ruiz added. He said the company would tap the Indian market for growth to drive more business.
AMD India MD Alok Ohrie contended that the company had grown its market share in India significantly in the last six years.
"The Indian operations have made considerable contributions to global R&D efforts. The expansion demonstrates the confidence our corporation has in the delivery capabilities of the Indian R&D teams," he said.