Intel Launches China Fund, Gets ‘Mobile Aware’

Intel said it established a $200 million venture capital fund to invest in Chinese technology companies developing hardware, software and services.

The Intel Capital China Technology Fund will invest in companies that complement Intel’s own technology initiatives and to further build out the Internet infrastructure in China. The focus will include cellular communications, broadband applications for consumers and semiconductor design.

The chipmaker made the announcement at the same time it said it is working with IBM and Synopsis on advances in computer-aided design technology for laptops that only intermittently connect to enterprise systems.

The project aims to free design engineers from their corporate workstations, allowing them to use electronic design automation (EDA) tools. The companies showed off the products at the Design Automation Conference in Anaheim on Monday.

IBM showcased its Integrated Electronic Design Environment Methodology Guide and Virtual Desktop on ThinkPad notebooks, the computer line it recently sold to Lenovo. The ThinkPads use Intel Centrino mobile technology.

Synopsys demonstrated its Discovery AMS software running on the ThinkPad. Synopsys provides specialized software for semiconductor design and verification, as well as integrated circuit manufacturing, enabling the development and production of complex systems-on-chips

As part of the initiative, Synopsys will engage in technology and market assessment of “mobile-aware” design applications with selected customers. Following this assessment phase, Synopsys plans to market the EDA tools, optimized for the Intel Centrino platform.

Guru Bhatia, Intel’s IT engineering computing director, said Intel developers already use Centrino laptops for engineering and product development; an internal study showed a greater than 10 percent productivity increase for those engineers when in connected mode.

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