Intel has opened four platform definition centers around the world to define locally relevant computing solutions based on Intel technology. These definition centers will identify environmental considerations and marketplace requirements specific to each geographic region, such as inclement weather, intermittent power supply, or specialized content needs for consumers and small businesses.
Intel platform definition centers are being established in four key markets: Bangalore, India; Cairo, Egypt; Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Shanghai, China. The centers will primarily serve the South Asian, Middle-East, African, Latin American, and East Asian regions respectively. Platforms defined in these centers may also be applied across other regions, including certain market segments in developed countries.
Each center is staffed with local ethnographers, designers, solution engineers and systems architects who will conduct in-depth research and analysis to drive platform development. In addition to delivering leading microprocessor technology, Intel is also taking a comprehensive platform approach by integrating hardware and software components that are tested and validated for interoperability. This will help make it easier for channel customers to build and bring platforms to market more rapidly, enhancing their competitiveness.
"Setting up the platform definition centers demonstrates Intel's drive towards digital inclusion for the emerging markets," said Bill Siu, vice president 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 centers, as well as our integrated platform approach allow us to pinpoint these specific considerations and develop localized solutions that meet the distinctive needs of each individual market. We believe that by recognizing these factors and designing for and around them, we will stimulate PC adoption for the next one billion users."
Shanghai Becomes Worldwide Headquarters for Channel Platforms Group
Siu also announced that the worldwide headquarters of the Channel Platforms Group will be located in Shanghai, China. "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 centers 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."
Channel Platforms Respond to Local Market Needs
The new centers are working on a number of local technology and platform initiatives throughout several countries. A "learning PC" launched earlier this year with a local OEM in China was designed to specifically address Chinese parents' concerns around using a PC to improve their children's education. To that end, this PC incorporates such features as a physical key that allows parents to lock the PC into learning mode, plus a tablet monitor equipped with pen-based input for children to practice writing Chinese characters.
Another example of an integrated hardware and software solution from Intel is one recently developed to meet the growing IT needs of Internet cafe owners in countries including China and Brazil. This platform combines Intel motherboards with manageability software to allow for centralized monitoring and repair. Though initially designed for Internet cafes, this solution has broader benefits that can also scale to mature markets with minimal modification.
Intel is also working on robust computing solutions for rural areas and farming communities. In rural villages in India, for example, PC adoption 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 and provide better operating conditions as compared to conventional PCs.