Chipmakers target rural market

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After the semiconductor industry faced a huge revenue decline in 2009 totalling US$ 226 billion, down 11.4 per cent from 2008, companies such as Microsemi, AMD, New Swan Autocomp, Texas Instruments (TI) and NXP Semiconductor have started tapping emerging markets like India and China. For example, Freescale engineers helped Hexmoto to launch an upgraded version of its inverter in Mysore, which is 50 per cent smaller in size and costs Rs 20,000 compared to the earlier price of Rs 26,000. Freescale engineers, in collaboration with Hexmoto, also came up with a solar energy driven motor that irrigates the fields during the day and lights up the village streets at night.

Similarly, engineers at NXP Semiconductor have developed a contactless smart card solution, which will act as a villager’s virtual bank, since most financial institutions often don’t have a branch deep in the hinterland.

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