TOKYO--Intel Corp. today announced a new center in Tsukuba, Japan, which will work with Japanese cellular phone makers to develop wireless Internet access technology.
The move is part of Intel's efforts to increase its business with Japanese cellular phone makers as third-generation products make their way to the marketplace with multimedia and Internet capabilities (see Feb. 24 story). The center is Intel's second Wireless Competence Center outside the U.S. Tsukuba is the home of Texas Instruments Inc.'s R&D center in Japan, which is focused on broad-band CDMA cell phone applications.
Japan has become a major battleground for semiconductor companies pursuing digital signal processing and other ICs for 3G applications. The world's first 3G phones are scheduled to be introduced in Japan during the spring of 2001.
"The Internet will be an indispensable part of both business and personal life, regardless if it is wired or wireless," said Nobuyuki Denda, president of Intel Japan, who is also vice president of the Sales and Marketing Group.
Intel hopes to leverage its existing business relations with Japanese cell phone makers, which are using the company's flash memories, chip sets, and software in today's products, said Ron Smith, vice president and general manager of Intel's Wireless Communications and Computing Group in Santa Clara, Calif. "As Japan will be the first adopter of third-generation cellular technology, we look forward to working with leading Japanese cell phone manufacturers to speed the development of wireless Internet content and services," he said.
Last November, Intel established its first Wireless Competence Center in Stockholm to increase its presence in Scandinavia's "Wireless Valley" corridor.