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AMD moves deeper into China

Advanced Micro Devices looks outside the PC to foster more growth in China's burgeoning technology market.

Advanced Micro Devices is looking outside the PC to foster more growth in the technology market in China.

The chipmaker on Wednesday made public plans to establish a product development lab in China that will seek to create new kinds of home electronic devices for the Chinese consumer market. AMD plans to partner with Founder Group, a Chinese technology conglomerate, and to locate the new Platform Development Lab in Beijing.

Many technology companies see China as a major potential market. AMD has forged several partnerships to sell its chips inside China, for markets ranging from supercomputers to schools.

AMD, which has also been selling its PC processors in China, plans to establish the lab as part of an effort to help its customers develop and launch new products based on its AMD Alchemy and AMD Geode processors. While based on two different processor architectures, MIPS and x86, respectively, the two chips could be used in a range of handhelds, set-top boxes and other electronic devices.

"Through this Lab, AMD and Founder will be able to address the growing demand for technology that is designed around human-centric interaction and innovation. The Lab plans to develop solutions based on what consumers value in their computing experience involving relevance, accessibility and usability," AMD said in a statement.

Founder will contribute technical expertise and engineering staff to the lab, while AMD will add its chips and other resources, such as development tools and engineering support, AMD said.

AMD, which acquired the Geode when it purchased National Semiconductors' Internet appliance chip business in August, has been working on a number of fronts to expand the presence of the chip in areas such as the information appliance market, which includes home electronics devices such as set-top boxes.

AMD has also been looking at a new class of inexpensive processors. Hector Ruiz, the company's CEO, said this summer that AMD has been exploring a new line of chips that would be similar to the Geode but sell for less, allowing them to be used in low-price PCs and electronics devices, possibly in emerging markets.