It is a win-win decision to establish design center for TI in Shanghai.
On one hand, TI could sell more chips to the most market China in globle and get big profit by closing to the demand market.
On the other hand, more Chinese engineer have chance to enter into TI to learn knowledge and accumulate experience.
Check out Scott Roller's Linkedin profile - that explains his smile and the demise of TI's management proficiency. I just spoke to a friend at TI about how they were doing and he mentioned that China was eating their lunch in analog products. Seems China hired several contractors from the US a while ago (unemployed no doubt), paid them handsomely, and they solved their analog process problems within ~3 weeks. Now China is dialed in. No more field advantage for the US.
Like we found with Russian nuclear engineers, unemployed US semiconductor engineers can be a loose cannon for hire.
India's design talent used to have an edge over China's but I am afraid the margin has shrunk. Access to fab for post-Silicon characterization and design iterations give a huge advantage (while India is busy putting out press releases on its fab plans about once every six months!).
Junko, to your point, TI has invested in India starting in the late 80's when many similar businesses were running as far away from it. The initial years for TI in India were loss leaders but TI believed that the market there took longer than in other countries. Overall, investing in India has paid off to TI.
I have a hard time believing the design cycles move much faster in China for MCU's. It can certainly be replicated here in the US and in other places like India.
In tune with, as a]close as possible to, the Chinese customers? You can't be serious? TI, like everyone else has a ton of offshore deferred-taxes cash it does not want to return to the US to get taxed. They could care less about where it's designed or for what reason or even about IP protection...a microcontroller is a microcontroller that an APPS TEAM is in tune with he customer on requirements with. The IP protections are a non issue for execs who only care about keeping that offshored cash from coming back and paying for our jobs, roads, schools, retirement, and wars.
How 'IP is in danger' for a digital IP of a MCU? Unless an employee leak out all the rtl and custom block designs, it's really hard for any company to produce a compatible IP product in a short time. And the market won't wait for anyone to do so. That's why the Chinese won't simply copy a complex MCU or SoC product. Analog IPs, on the other hand, needs more protection.
I'm glad you're aware that your IP is in danger. I'm curious how you calculate that the risk of not having a design center in China is higher than the risk of losing your IP portfolio. TI has a fantastic legal department, but that has very little impact in China.