Intel goes local

Intel has now officially opened four platform definition centres (PDC) around the world to create IT solutions and PC form factors that are uniquely suited to the needs of specific markets. The global PDC network includes one facility in Cairo, Egypt, to develop solutions relevant to the needs of the Middle East and Africa region.

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  August 1, 2005

Intel has now officially opened four platform definition centres (PDC) around the world to create IT solutions and PC form factors that are uniquely suited to the needs of specific markets. The global PDC network includes one facility in Cairo, Egypt, to develop solutions relevant to the needs of the Middle East and Africa region based on Intel technology. “Setting up the platform definition centres demonstrates Intel's drive towards digital inclusion for the emerging markets,” said Bill Siu, VP and general manager of the recently formed Channel Platforms Group. “Each local market faces unique challenges, such as accessibility to technology, low literacy levels, lack of infrastructure or harsh environmental conditions.” “Our local definition centres, as well as our integrated platform approach allow us to pinpoint these specific considerations and develop localised solutions that meet the distinctive needs of each individual market. We believe that by recognising these factors and designing for and around them, we will stimulate PC adoption for the next one billion users,” he added. In addition to its PDC in Egypt, Intel has also set up facilities in Bangalore, India; Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Shanghai, China. The worldwide headquarters of Intel’s Channel Platforms Group — the unit responsible for the PDCs — will be located in Shanghai. “Emerging markets are a growth engine for Intel, and China represents our largest opportunity for PC expansion,” said Siu. “Shanghai in particular, is increasingly becoming a major hub for the IT industry. The establishment of platform definition centres around the world and the selection of Shanghai for our group’s headquarters underscore our commitment to increasing PC literacy across the emerging markets, as well as driving IT growth worldwide.” Each PDC is staffed with local ethnographers, designers, solution engineers and systems architects who will conduct in-depth research and analysis to drive platform development. The PDCs will also aim to identify environmental considerations and marketplace requirements specific to each geographic region such as inclement weather, intermittent power supply or specialised content needs for consumers and small businesses. Work by Intel in China has already led to the development of the iCafé concept PC. This unit is specifically tailored to the needs of internet café owners, providing manageability software that allows owners to centrally monitor and repair PCs. This concept has been extended to Brazil and Intel is also looking at the potential for a wider rollout of the iCafé PCs in Turkey and Egypt. Intel is also working on robust solutions for rural areas and farming communities. The company claims that PC adoption in rural India has been hindered by environmental conditions such as heat, dust and unreliable power sources. Plans for this platform solution will focus on addressing these problems.

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