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India manufacturing gets boost from NXP

Posted: 11 Mar 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:India manufacturing? wireless handset? mobile TV?

NXP Semiconductors targets to boost the Indian manufacturing ecosystem for wireless handsets and is looking into alternative markets for its semiconductors, including NFC, mobile TVs, POS terminals, GPS navigation systems, mobile payment and fixed-wireless terminals.

"We hope to support the Indian manufacturing environment with ready-to-sell products, and are already supporting a couple of emerging Indian OEMs with partners in the Asia-Pacific," said Rajeev Mehtani, managing director, NXP Semiconductors India Pvt. Ltd. "We are also trying to do this by capitalizing on the movement of Indian design-services firms higher up the value chain."

NXP does not have a funding arm, but is willing to consider, on a case-by-case basis, investments in companies that will set up electronics manufacturing units in India that also happen to be potential customers for its semiconductors, Mehtani said.

NXP sees the Indian market as large and very under-penetrated by wireless handsets, DVD players, STBs, TVs, PCs, music systems and automobiles, said Ashok Chandak, director, global sales, NXP India. "Though quite a few companiesincluding the likes of Nokia, LG and some EMS firmsmake wireless handsets in India now, about 90 percent of the components in these handsets are imported. The design decisions about these handsets are not being made in the country either," he said.

Mobile focus
One example of NXP trying to boost the weak Indian manufacturing ecosystem, he said, is by working with the Indian Banks Association and other interested agencies to develop mobile-payment systems.

"To grow the manufacturing ecosystem in India for various products, we are driving the formation of focus groups, generating momentum for adaptation, developing proof-of-concepts, driving pilot deployments, and developing the necessary features and add-ons in our R&D center or through our network of partners," Chandak said.

Specifically in wireless handsets, NXP is focusing on the entry-level market, in which handsets are priced between $60 and $149. It is the largest market segment, accounting for 40 percent of the demand. Making handsets for this segment is a promising area for local manufacturing, and NXP is working with global OEMs, local Indian design centers and Indian wireless-services operators.

"We hope to support global handset OEMs with India-specific differentiators, such as in user interfaces, software features and function integration," explained Chandak.

NXP is in talks with some ODMs from Taiwan to bring them to India, and it's feeding them with Indian market information and helping them in field trials and validation in the country.

- K.C. Krishnadas
EE Times

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