SHANGHAI, China AMD is opening an R&D center here to be closer to its notebook PC clients, most of which are in the region surrounding the city.
The $16 million center's main duties will be development, validation and testing of mobile platforms. It will initially employ about 100 engineers, but the company plans to ramp that up to about 400 engineers within a few yearsmaking it the largest systems design hub outside of the U.S.
AMD also has a R&D facility in Beijing, as well as a $50 million packaging plant in Suzhou, about an hour from Shanghai. Locating the center in the Shanghai-Suzhou region is significant because more than two-thirds of the world's notebooks are made here, mostly by Taiwanese contract manufactures.
The move to locate here is also a minor blow to Taiwanese efforts to attract more R&D centers to the island. But with more production moving to China, many companies believe traveling to Taiwan is an inconvenience, especially since it takes several hours from Shanghai because of no direct air links between the political and military enemies.
As in other markets, AMD is trying to aggressively build up market share in China, courting OEMs such as Lenovo Group Ltd. and Beijing Tongfang. Putting a design and support center here will likely help them rack up more design wins as well as benefit from lower cost engineers.