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Intel Inside" will soon spell "designed in India". Having just beaten Israel to emerge as Intel's largest design centre outside the US , India centre is now learnt to be working on designing a microprocessor completely in India.

The high-end microprocessor , its first to be designed in India, is expected to hit the global markets in three to four years.

A cutting-edge microprocessor with roots in India is being seen as a vote of confidence for India's tech capabilities , till now known more as software and BPO outsourcing destination.

Though Intel is keeping these plans under wraps, India is already perceived as a threat in countries like Israel where reports of Intel dumping Jerusalem in favour of Bangalore are doing the rounds.

While Intel confirmed that India has indeed emerged as its largest non-manufacturing design centre outside the US, it refused to comment on the processor being completely designed in India.

"Intel does not comment on products which have not been launched and we do not disclose processor design plans,'' says Intel's spokesperson.

With a headcount of over 2,000, Intel's India development centre has now overtaken Israel which has about 1,700 people.

Significantly, the Indian R&D centre, started in 1999, is actually among the youngest on Intel's map. In comparison, the Israel centre has been around for 25 years and Malaysia for over a decade.

"Intel's India development centre has already designed chipsets for digital home technology and has a mobile computing team and is also developing standards for Ultra Wide Band (UWB) radio,'' says Intel India president Ketan Sampat.

The new Xeon processor, planned to be designed in India, is believed to be prominent on Intel's roadmap. The chip is believed to be codenamed Whitefield after the township neighbouring Bangalore, though there is no confirmation of this from Intel.

Precise details about the chip are not available, but it is learnt to be Intel's Xeon processor intended for multi-processor servers or workstations, which is likely to incorporate a new micro-architecture.

Intel's India development centre comprises Intel Communications Group, Desktop Products Group, Microprocessor Products Group, Technology and Manufacturing Group, Finance and Enterprise Services, Corporate Technology Group and Intel Capital.

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