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Analysts weigh in on Intel's French strategy

Posted: 02 Oct 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Intel France? wireless? wafer fab? design center?

Intel Corp. has made several moves to position itself in the French market this year, including an investment in a laboratory specialized in high-performance computing near Paris and the opening of a new design center in wireless technologies in Sophia Antipolis. Recently, speculations have emerged that Intel plans to purchase Freescale Semiconductor's wireless operations in Toulouse. Is this pure coincidence or full of sense?

Historically, Intel France has two offices. The sales and marketing office in Meudon, in the outskirts of Paris, is the headquarters for the western European region, which includes Benelux, France and Iberia. This office, numbering 100 employees, is part of Intel's EMEA sales and marketing organization.

Intel settled in Sophia Antipolis Science Park in 1999 after it acquired Shiva Corp. Now, the office is home to 20 employees from the Intel Worldwide Telecom Certification and Engineering teams.

The Telecom Certification Team provides telecom certification services for Intel products related to the public telecommunications network. This group is developing best-in-class Internet Edge products by integrating latest technologies into easily deployable solutions. The engineering design team develops hardware and software profiles for countries worldwide, also performing pre-tests for design validation.

In March, Craig Barrett, president and CEO of Intel, announced that Intel has signed a five-year agreement and invested in a university research center specialized in high-performance computing in Jouy-en-Josas, near Paris, France.

When the project was officially launched, Barrett declared: "Research is an essential vector for a country's economic health and long-lasting competitiveness. Through this investment in innovation, and in particular in research, we commit ourselves to accelerate ICT penetration and the materialization of their assets in France and in other European regions."

In April, as Texas Instruments was indeed disengaging from some of its mobile phone activities, Intel announced the opening of a new design center in wireless technologies, reporting into its Ultra Mobility Group which is developing very low-consumption components for mobile PCs. The unit aims to design RF subsystems for communicating mobile objects.

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