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<p>India develops as hotbed for semiconductors</p>

In this issue, we describe hosted speech recognition services that are available from some call center outsourcers, as well as from other types of companies. In our next issue, we'll describe how call centers can use hosted services not only to deploy speech recognition, but also to gain access to a wide range of tools &#8211 like those for routing, scheduling and evaluating agents' communication with customers &#8211 that they wouldn't be able to implement as easily in-house.

For more information, contact Ernest Godsey at MEN Micro, PO Box 4160, Lago Vista, Texas 78645-4160. Phone: (512) 267-8883. Fax: (512) 267-8803. E-mail: sales@menmicro.com, or ernest.godsey@menmicro.com

MEN Micro , 512-267-8883, www.menmicro.com

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LONDON — Electronic manufacturing services provider Flextronics Corp. has agreed to take a minority stake in a $3 billion Indian wafer fab being planned by a group of expatriate Indian semiconductor executives under the banner of SemIndia Inc. (Palo Alto, Calif.), according to online reports that quoted the companies and India’s IT minister Dayanidhi Maran as sources.

The two companies are forming a strategic partnership under which Flextronics will take chips from the Indian wafer fab and manufacture electronics products for SemIndia, a Reuters report said Tuesday (April 4). Flextronics’ manufacturing would cover the PC, set-top-box and mobile phone product sectors, the report added.

Flextronics (Singapore) said it would set up a second plant of its own in India, initially investing $30 million to $50 million with additional investments of $300 million to $500 million over the next 10 to 15 years, in September 2005. The company signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Tamil Nadu, India to build an industrial park in Chennai in October 2005.

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The size of the stake that Flextronics plans to take in the SemIndia wafer fab was not disclosed in the reports. SemIndia has already signed up Advanced Micro Devices Inc. to take part in the project.

Intel has reportedly agreed to invest in a similar, but smaller fab plan being proposed by South Korean company Intellect Inc. Construction has already begun on NanoTech Silicon India Pvt Ltd (NTSI) at a place called Shamsabad near Hyderabad, southern India.

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SAN FRANCISCO — Only 17 percent of embedded systems designers are currently using embedded Linux, and 66 percent say they are either not interested in using it or do not expect to be using it anytime soon, according to the results of a survey released here Monday (April 3) at the Embedded Systems Conference Silicon Valley.

The 2006 Embedded Systems Design State of Embedded Survey,” conducted by EE Times and sister publication Embedded Systems Design, found that 34 percent of respondents were not interested in using Linux. Thirty-two percent of respondents indicated that they were interested in Linux but not likely to likely to use it soon and 17 percent said they were likely to use it soon.

René Penning de Vries, teknisk chef för Philips Semiconductors var en av inledningstalarna vid Date-konferensen. Han ser återanvändning av konstruktionsblock som den enskilt största frågan.

– Konstruktörerna har svårt att öka produktiviteten i samma takt som teknologin förbättras. Det gör att vi måste öka användningen av IP-block, men det gör också att standardiseringen måste förbättras.

de Vries, och många med honom, ser Spirit-samarbetet som det bästa initiativet för att effektivisera IP-användningen. Men han tycker att EDA-företagen borde ha en större roll.

– Idag är det komponent- och IP-tillverkarna som driver Spirit. EDA-företagen borde gå in betydligt kraftigare.På samma sätt borde EDA-tillverkarna göra mer när det gäller integration av verktyg.

– Idag sköter och underhåller de flesta komponenttillverkare sin egen verktygsintegration. EDA-tillverkarna måste bli bättre på att ansluta sig till standarder och förenkla integration av olika verktyg i ett flöde.

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Convergys is another provider that offers a sort of hybrid service. They host the telephony side, but the application is on the client's servers. Convergys general manager Bill Andrews says it's for their customers who didn't really feel they had all the experience to do a prem-based application on their own, but still wanted to have some control over the application layers of it.” Security, Andrews says, is the biggest reason to keep the application on-premise. This kind of combination of premise-based information and hosted service is becoming common.

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