Infineon expands R&D in Singapore

update Chip giant will invest S$400 million (US$264.3 million) in new research and development areas such as home networking and mobile TV technologies.

update SINGAPORE--Infineon Technologies announced Wednesday plans to increase its research and development (R&D) capabilities in the island-state.


Infineon's customer development kit for second generation ultra-low cost mobile systems - Click for larger image

The German chip giant will invest about S$400 million (US$264.3 million) over the next three years, which will include the addition of 150 people to the current R&D team, said Wolfgang Ziebart, president and CEO of Infineon, during a press conference.

This will bring the R&D staff strength to about 550, of which 400 engineers will be involved in chip design.

"The [investment of] S$400 million is [spread] over a period of three years and goes mainly into the people, of course, and training, material cost and related expenses," Ziebart explained.

The expansion will also see the R&D team put more focus in areas such as next-generation home networking technologies, customer premises equipment, Internet access services, ultra-low cost mobile phone platforms, Digital Video Broadcasting for mobile TV, as well as process technologies for wafer fabrication and packaging.

"The focus areas here for Singapore will mainly be the wireline business [and] the mobile phone business, but will also [include] other areas, like automotive, microcontrollers and security," said Ziebart.

"We have other R&D centers, in India and China too, but Singapore is the biggest one and it's the oldest and [as such], the most experienced one that we have," he said, adding that the center here is the company's biggest research center in Asia.

Established in 1991, Infineon's Singapore research facility provides IC (integrated chip) and system development applications in the areas of communication, automotive and industry, as well as security systems in the region.

According to Ziebart, the Asia-Pacific region accounts for approximately a third of Infineon's revenue worldwide. Asia, he said, has "the most dynamic" electronics sector in the world and this will help Infineon's growth in Asia exceed the company's worldwide average growth. "Asia will continue to be a major destination for our investments going forward," he added.

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