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Taiwan postcards: A reporter's photojournal

Posted: 25 Jul 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:ODM? OEM?

Good luck for carriers
We had a formal interview at Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan's main telecom carrier where senior vice president Chi-Mau Sheih moderated an extensive press Q&A.

It was clear Chunghwa is making a big commitment to cloud computing, setting up one or more large data centers and rolling out as many as eight cloud apps this year. It has no plans for WiMax, and it is struggling to find ways to refresh a mobile business in Taiwan where the number of subscribers and their spending on mobile data seems to have peaked.

Chi-Mau Sheih

Chi-Mau Shieh in the formal interview with Chunghwa Telecom.

Luck button

Luck button

The formal conference room we used looked like something out of the United Nations. Each of us had a console with a mic, display and this strange Luck button (right). Of course, I forgot to press it before leaving.

Driving up market
One recurring theme in Taiwan was the need to drive up market. Taiwan occupies an interesting position between the big global brand names of Europe and the U.S. and up-and-coming low cost manufacturers in China.

Good Will Instrument Co. Ltd., a test and measurement company outside Taipei, provided a good example of that middle space. It now competes with the big boys like Agilent and Tek with its own middle-market brand name oscilloscopes, spectrum analyzers and other gear, but it has a growing list of about a dozen T&M companies in China now on its heels with lower cost products.

The 700-person company made $55 million last year. Its big product for this year is a 3 GHz spectrum analyzer with a relatively large color display, shown here by sales manager Helena Wang.

Helena Wang

Andes Technology is in some ways a similar story. Co-founders Charlie Su (left) and Frankwell Lin are trying to carve out a space in the processor core IP business between established giants like ARM, MIPS and Tensilica and ahead of an emerging crop of IC designers in China.

So far, they have as many as 30 customers, two of which have products in production. The goals for 2011�get half its customers into full production of chips that use the Andes cores.

Charlie Su and Frankwell Lin

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