US microchip maker Texas Instruments Inc is planning to open a new development facility in the southern Indian city of Chennai, according to a senior vice president at the firm.
Gilles Delfassy, who heads up Texas Instruments’ wireless handset business unit, told reporters that the company is opening up the new facility to cater for phenomenal mobile phone growth in India.
The wireless industry waits for India’s next move because of the impact it will have on the future of mobile phones, Delfassy said.
He said that India’s wireless market is growing at a rate of more than 4m users per month.
Industry research shows that India has around 104m wireless users, which for a country with a billion-plus population is a big market opportunity for Texas Instruments.
There’s a huge opportunity to connect the unconnected as the majority of India’s population does not have access to communications services, Delfassy said.
He also said two open technologies that are promising to meet the mobile demand in India are GSM and DVB-H. According to researcher iSuppli, GSM is the predominant technology in India. This year, the GSM growth rate in India is outpacing all other competing technologies. And with a natural 3G migration path to GPRS/EDGE/UMTS, GSM offers an inherent advantage in driving this growth.
GSM has proven to be a great fit for India because it offers choice in terms of products and services available. GSM not only offers entry-level phones for those who have never owned a mobile phone, it also provides mid- range feature phones and smartphones for the growing middle class, said Delfassy.
Texas Instruments makes chips that are used in flat-panel TV sets, calculators and mobile phones. It is estimated that the company’s chips power three out of every five handsets in the world.
Chennai, formerly known as Madras, is emerging as a new technology hub in India as its traditional tech capitals of Bangalore and Hyderabad becomes saturated.
Dallas-based Texas Instruments already maintains a research center in Bangalore, which it set up 20 years ago.
The Chennai facility is also conveniently located near to handset manufacturers like Nokia and Flextronics. The prestigious Institute of Technology is also in the city providing a ready-made pool of engineering talent.