No plans for fab in India, says Intel chief

World’s largest chip maker Intel today on Wednesday said India is a great place for microprocessor design but remained non-committal on setting up a manufacturing base in the country. “We have a chip design centre in Bengaluru. Our server microprocessors are designed here and India is an important design centre and we hope to expand here over time. But we do not need any capacity addition. There are no current plans for any factory. But there are better prospects for software and and chip design,” Intel chief executive and president Paul Otellini said.

His comments come nearly two years after the company bypassed India for setting up a semiconductor manufacturing unit. In 2007, former Intel chairman Craig Barrett had said that the decision to overlook India was on account of the government’s delay in announcing a policy for the sector. Intel, which is betting big on WiMax broadband rollout in the country, also said India is not far behind others and the delay is conducting auction for WiMax spectrum would not cause any disruption.

“I do not think the delay in spectrum auction would cause much disruption. WiMax deployment worldwide is taking place for the past 12 months and at the worst India would be six months behind. Auction is going to take place in January and the rates (WiMax auction reserve price) seems reasonable. It is a tipping point. I think it is just right in terms of time,” Otellini said. Anticipating that corporate spending on personal computers could surge in 2010, he said, “There is a very good chance corporate spending on PCs will improve significantly in 2010 and PC sales will also grow next year. Emerging markets will grow faster than mature markets.”

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Reconnect with dead pals on Facebook

Netizens are upset with Facebook’s new feature that tells users they can communicate with their dead friends. The social networking site’s latest revamp saw an installation of an automatically-generated box which suggests the users to reconnect with people they have been out of touch for a long time.

However, fans are in dismay and think the feature is insensitive. Within a short span of time, dozens of users reported feeling distressed after the feature hinted they could get in touch with their close ones who had deceased. Now, more than 900,000 are campaigning against it by joining a group that demands the site to go “back to normal”.

One of the users of the site, Emma, revealed that the image of her deceased friend was on the page when she logged into the site. “Like many of his friends, I have not deleted his profile as that would feel wierd. I am sure thousands of Facebook users are in the same position,” Sky News quoted her as saying.

“When someone dies there does not seem to be much you can do about their profile. It would be nice to keep it as a memorial, but there is no way of acknowledging what has happened to that person,” Emma added.

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