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NXP eyes India acquisitions

Posted: 22 May 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:low-cost handsets? R&D center? India acquisitions?

NXP Semiconductors president and CEO Frans van Houten disclosed that the company is looking for acquisitions in India.

"When we look for acquisitions we look for strengthening the technology base as well as strengthening the market potential. But at this point of time, we cannot disclose any plans," he said.

Exciting market
During a visit to Bangalore where he inaugurated a new facility, van Houten reconfirmed India's role as a site for global product and technology development as well as being an exciting market for key products such as chips in low-cost phones.

The company's new facility houses the R&D operations as well as the local market sales activities. "After reviewing our Indian operations we have realized that India has become a strong R&D center as well a potential market and having both these operations in one campus would help us get closer to our local customers," said van Houten.

NXP has been in India since 1990, both as a semiconductor supplier and, more recently, as a key player in the nation's burgeoning R&D landscape. The R&D center currently works on activities in IC design including libraries, flows and IP clocks. It also houses software activities for NXP's focus on digital television, cellular, multimedia for cellular, connectivity, and RFID technologies.

The headcount at NXP's Indian operations grew from 760 in late 2006, to 815 today, with plans to increase this to 900 by the end of 2007, according to Rajeev Mehtani, VP and managing director of NXP India.

Earlier this year, NXP acquired Silicon Labs cellular unit, which provided it with a single chip capability that can bring the total cost of the phone to affordable levels and is of particular interest to the Indian market.

NXP's first
Van Houten also displayed a light compact cellphone with neat straight lines, the first time that NXP has come up with a product reference design that could be validated for its customers. "The PNX4901 single-chip GSM/GPRS has a very high degree of integration and low power consumption, allowing handset manufacturers to deliver sub-$20 color GSM/GPRS cellphones to the rapidly growing markets found in emerging countries," he said.

The company is partnering with Reliance Communications, a telecom service provider in Mumbai, for the chip to be embedded in its low-cost handsets and is also in talks with other handset manufacturers who might use the chip.

- Sufia Tippu
EE Times Europe




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