AMD to open India R&D centre next week

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) will begin moving staff into its new research and development centre in the Indian city of Bangalore next week, the centre’s general manager said Thursday.

The U.S. chip-maker announced plans earlier this year for the centre, which is slated to become AMD’s fourth microprocessor R&D centre worldwide and the first outside of the U.S. It will occupy 3,500 square meters in Bangalore’s central business district and AMD’s total investment in the centre will total US$5 million over three years, AMD said in April.

“The facility is just about complete and we will begin moving in next week,” said Gopal Krishna, general manager of AMD India Engineering Centre Pvt. Ltd. The centre’s initial staff of about 15 people will be complemented by a team of between 30 and 40 engineers by the end of the year, he said.

“We are in the recruiting phase now,” Krishna said. Once the engineers have been recruited, most of the rest of this year will be spent on training, he said.

“It is quite challenging at the moment (to find engineers) because our skill set is not something that is very prevalent. That’s why the training is involved. There’s a lot of VLSI (very large scale integration) knowledge in Bangalore but we need to train them to our methods and things that are unique to our design,” Krishna said.

According to Krishna, AMD aims to begin product design work during the first quarter of next year. The centre will be working alongside AMD’s existing microprocessor design teams in three locations in the U.S.: Austin, Texas; Sunnyvale, California and Boston, he said. Each team will work independently, though the design for different generations of processors will be handled by all four teams rather than have each team work on a different processor.

The Bangalore R&D centre should reach parity with the other three centres and become a full part of the R&D network by the middle of 2006, Krishna said.

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