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Qualcomm acquires Spike Tech; flags off India R&D centre

Our Bureau

Hyderabad , Oct.1

QUALCOMM Inc, a pioneer in CDMA digital wireless technology, has announced the commissioning of its research and development centre in Hyderabad and the acquisition of Spike Technologies, a chip design company, having its design house in Bangalore.

Addressing a press conference on Friday, the President of Qualcomm CDMA Technologies, Dr Sanjay K. Jha, and senior members of the Qualcomm team here, said that while the Hyderabad R&D centre based at Mindspace will support CDMA software and services in the chipset development activities and ongoing efforts to advance wireless technology in the region, the Spike acquisition would complement work on the wireless 3G CDMA devices worldwide.

An agreement was made with Spike Technologies Inc, a semiconductor design services company headquartered in California with a design centre in Bangalore, to acquire it for $19 million in cash.

"This brings on board 130 engineers based in India and about 40 in the Bay Area. Even though this acquisition came through much later after we decided to locate India R&D centre in Hyderabad, we expect these centres to compliment one another with distinct areas of operations," he said.

While refusing to make comments on the company investments in the R&D centre, Dr Jha said, "The R&D centre currently hosts about 40 experts and is expected to add about 60 more. Hyderabad was chosen after considerable debate with the other options being Pune and Bangalore. We decided in favour of Hyderabad as it scored over several parameters out of 17 we had listed."

Dr Jha said India has emerged as a unique market. Through the rapid growth of wireless subscribers and increasing level of consumer sophistication, the Indian market has emerged as a real force among worldwide wireless markets and is poised for explosive growth in wireless application.

The subscriber base is set to cross 150 million by 2007, which is as much as China's now. The CDMA technology has played a key role in the country's wireless adoption. In the quarter ended June this year, the CDMA mobile subscriber base grew by almost 12 per cent or 1.4 million.

Referring to the CDMA market, Dr. Jha said, "Qualcomm believes that the CDMA market stands on the verge of a major expansion in India, which will make Indian a centre for wireless innovation."

On Qualcomm moves regarding Reliance Infocomm stake, Dr Jha said, "There have been no new developments."

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