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HP opens S'pore research center for low-end servers

The IT giant will pump in US$12 million over the next two years, and expects to market its first Integrity system by end-2006.

SINGAPORE--Hewlett-Packard has established its first center outside of the United States to drive the research and development of entry-level Integrity servers for the global market.

Located in Singapore, the Asia-Pacific Integrity server research and development center will serve as an extension of HP's entry level server lab in Roseville, Calif.

HP will invest US$12 million in the new center here over two years, to focus on design and development of Intel Itanium 2-based HP Integrity servers costing under US$10,000, said Peter Hall, vice president and general manager of business critical servers, HP Asia-Pacific.

Paul Chan, the company's senior vice president and managing director for Asia-Pacific and Japan, added that it is targeting to roll out its maiden product by end-2006.

Quoting research firm IDC, HP said that volume servers--which has an average selling value of less than US$25,000--will be the fastest growing segment in the region's Itanium server market. IDC estimates that unit shipments will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 69 percent between 2004 and 2009, while revenues will grow at 57.5 percent.

With this new focus, HP hopes to gain leadership of the global US$20 billion RISC (reduced instruction set computing) server market.

The company chose to locate the center in Singapore for the country's close proximity with manufacturers and design contractors, and to leverage on HP's supply chain and marketing expertise here, company officials said.

Chan said HP is targeting both growth markets such as China, India and Indonesia as well as big companies in more mature markets.

"By customers I don't just mean small, medium business customers," he explained. "Even our largest corporate customers will have a need for low-end, entry-level servers as they scale out and scale up."