Intel to invest over $1 billion in India

Intel Corp. announced Monday that it will invest over US$1 billion in India. The money includes $250 million it will invest in a venture capital fund, to help stimulate technological innovation in the country and drive the growth of the country’s IT industry. The company is also investing $800 million over the next five years to expand its business in India, including its research and development center in Bangalore, marketing, education and community programs.

The announcement was made in Delhi, India, by Intel Chairman Craig Barrett.

Barrett’s visit comes less than a week after a visit by Hector Ruiz, chairman, president and chief executive officer of rival chip manufacturer Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD). Ruiz was in India to announce that AMD will license its process technology and support in other ways the country’s first large fab.

On Sunday, Barrett made an unprecedented visit to the residence of the country’s IT and communications minister, Dayanidhi Maran, in Chennai in south India.

India has been very keen on having semiconductor facilities in the country, and Maran met Barrett earlier this year at the company’s headquarters in Santa Clara, California, to persuade Intel to set up a semiconductor test and assembly facility in India. Intel has however not announced any plans for chip fabrication in India.

The venture capital fund will be used to invest in companies that can benefit from the rapid growth in the domestic IT market segment in India, and provide local businesses with capital to help nurture important technologies and products developed for local use, the company said. Intel Capital will also use the fund to selectively invest in technology-oriented service companies that target overseas market segments using India’s highly talented resource base, it added.

Intel Capital, the company’s venture capital arm, made its first investment India in 1998 and since then has invested in more than 40 Indian companies across seven cities. Several of these companies have since gone public or have been acquired. Intel Capital focuses on making equity investments and acquisitions to grow the Internet economy in support of Intel’s strategic interests.

Intel has a development center in Bangalore which employs about 2,800 staff. The company has invested $700 million in India over the last 10 years in the country.

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