Fri, Jul 09, 2004 - Page 10 News List

IBM to build development center

SERVER SECTOR The Nankang Software Park facility will be the company's second xSeries site and its first batch of products should be shipped by year's end

By Amber Chung  /  STAFF REPORTER

IBM Corp, the world's No. 1 server vendor, yesterday announced that it would establish a server development center here -- its first outside the US.

"Taiwan's R&D [research and development] and manufacturing capability makes it an excellent choice for the opening of IBM's second xSeries Development center," Rodney Adkins, vice president of development at IBM's systems group, said in the press conference yesterday.

The country's complete supply chain, IBM's partnership with local manufacturers and government support made Taiwan stand out from other possible contenders for the new center, IBM Taiwan's general manager Jason Hsu (許朱勝) said.

The new center is located in the Nankang Software Park (南港工業園區). The first xSeries center is located in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The Nankang center has 70 employees, including 20 expatriates from IBM's headquarters in the US. Hsu said the number of employees is expected to rise to 100.

The new center will focus on high volume Intel-based servers and the first batch of products developed by the center is expected to be shipped by the end of this year, Adkins said.

According to research house International Data Corp (IDC), IBM held onto its No. 1 spot in the worldwide server systems market with a 29.7 percent market share in factory revenue in the first quarter of this year, followed by Hewlett-Packard Co and Sun Microsystems.

IBM's new center could help sharpen its competitiveness through closer ties with its contract makers, which would help shorten R&D time, expedite time to market and reduce costs by about 20 percent, said Dixon Cheng (鄭定遠), president of Wistron Corp (緯創).

Cheng attended the press conference along with representatives from other contract makers for IBM, including Asustek Computer Co (華碩) and Micro-Star International Corp (微星).

The global server market is expected to grow by 5 percent this year to US$53 billion -- driven by a resurgent corporate demands from late last year -- and maintain a compound annual growth rate of 3.8 percent to US$60.8 billion in 2008, according to IDC.

IDC also predicts that this country's server market will grow by 9.4 percent to US$327 million in 2008 from US$211 million this year.

The Nankang center could help IBM tap the sizeable server market of small and medium businesses, which account for 98 percent of the nation's industry, Adkins said.

In other industry developments, Dell Taiwan yesterday launched two new models of corporate desktop computers.

Since about 30 percent of the installed computers worldwide are at least three years old, research house Gartner Inc estimates that replacement demand will reach 100 million computers this year and 120 million units next year.

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