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Intel fortifies Shanghai connections

New Asia-Pacific research center is set to try out new products for China. Meanwhile, company invests in a couple of its U.S. fabs.

Chipmaker Intel on Thursday said it has opened a new research and development arm for the Asia-Pacific region in Shanghai, China.

Dubbed Asia-Pacific R&D, the new center intends to scout for fresh research and manufacturing talent in China. The chipmaker did not disclose the amount of money it will spend on the new facility, located in Shanghai's Zizhu Science Park. The center is expected to employ 1,000 people by the end of 2006.

Intel had earlier made clear its plans to set up new design centers in four major cities in developing parts of the world: Bangalore, India; Cairo, Egypt; Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Shanghai. These centers are expected to design PCs, components and software suiting local needs in different parts of the world.

Separately Thursday, Intel announced its plans to invest a total of $345 million in its existing manufacturing units in Colorado Springs, Colo., and Hudson, Mass.

The funds will be used to augment the capacity of Intel's wafer fabrication facilities there. Fab 17 in Hudson and Fab 23 in Colorado Springs--in which $155 million and $190 million is respectively invested--produce primarily chipsets, communications and flash memory components for diverse Intel platforms.

The additional investment in the Colorado facility will go toward a microprocessor-finishing room that may create several hundred new jobs over the next three years, Intel said.

Money allocated to the Massachusetts facility will be used to enhance its overall capacity to manufacture chipsets for Intel's initiatives in the mobile, desktop and server markets. The investment is expected to result in 300 additional manufacturing jobs.

The chipmaker has also identified a location in Fort Collins, Colo., to accommodate a portion of the company's Itanium design team.