Global Dispatches

An International IT News Digest

Flextronics to Add 2,000 to Its Indian Workforce

SINGAPORE -- Flextronics Corp., which makes printed circuit boards and other high-tech products on a contract basis, plans to hire about 2,000 more workers in India by the time it starts production at a planned facility in the city of Chennai next June.

The Singapore-based company intends to invest $70 million to $100 million in the Chennai location over the next three to five years, according to Peter Tan, president and managing director of Flextronics' Asian operations. The facility will support the manufacturing needs of local as well as global customers, Tan said last week.

On Oct. 6, Flextronics announced that it had signed an agreement with the state government of Tamil Nadu in southern India to set up an industrial park in Chennai, the state capital.

The Flextronics facility will offer services such as plastic injection molding, circuit-board assembly, distribution, logistics and repair. The company said the park will also include facilities for some of its component suppliers.

Flextronics currently employs 5,000 people in India at manufacturing facilities in Bangalore and Pondicherry and at software development and hardware design centers in Bangalore, Chennai and Gurgaon.

John Ribeiro, IDG News Service

Australian Conference Woos IT Execs to IPv6

CANBERRA, Australia -- Aconference on Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) being held here in two weeks is aimed at convincing IT managers that the next-generation technology is ripe for enterprise use and isn't just for service providers and research organizations.

Paul Davis, CEO of the GrangeNet consortium, which built Australia's first IPv6 network, said the inaugural Australian IPv6 Summit is "absolutely relevant" to corporate IT. The native security features and large-numbering scheme in IPv6 make it "a new way of doing things" for IT operations, said Davis, who is scheduled to speak at the conference.

He added that Australian companies need to start using the technology. "Everywhere else in the Asia-Pacific region, there is extensive IPv6 deployment, and we [risk being] left behind," Davis said.

Other scheduled speakers at the conference include Latif Ladid, chairman of the European Commission IPv6 Task Force; Mark Evans, from the U.S. Navy's IPv6 transition project office; and Chris Gunderson, executive director of the World Wide Consortium for the Grid in Reston, Va.

The two-day summit, which starts Oct. 31, is being sponsored by the Internet Society of Australia and the Smart Internet Technology Cooperative Research Centre in Eveleigh, Australia.

Rodney Gedda, Computerworld Today

Intel to Refocus, Expand German Research Lab

BRAUNSCHWEIG, Germany -- Intel Corp. last week said it plans to change the focus of work done at its semiconductor research lab here while expanding the number of researchers at the facility by 50%.

Intel's plan calls for the lab's engineering team, which currently designs chips for optical networks, to shift its primary focus over the next few weeks to developing chips with hundreds of processing cores, said Mike Cato, a spokesman at the company's German headquarters in Feldkirchen. At the same time, the research staff will increase from 100 to 150 people, according to Cato.

"We aren't planning to discontinue our optical networking development work in Braunschweig entirely," Cato said. "But the key focus will be development of many-core chips."

The facility will be called the German Microprocessor Lab and used solely for pure research, not actual product development, Cato said. He added that the lab could expand its research focus over the next few years. "Give us six months to a year, and we'll know more by then," he said.

John Blau, IDG News Service

Lufthansa Teams Up on Biometric ID System

MUNICH -- At the interairport trade show here last week, German airline Deutsche Lufthansa AG demonstrated a biometric system for confirming the identities of passengers during the boarding process.

The SecBoard system was jointly developed by Frankfurt-based Lufthansa Systems Group GmbH, the airline's IT services arm, and Bundesdruckerei GmbH, a maker of security products and systems in Berlin.

The system includes a registration component, where the fingerprints, photos and personal information of passengers can be recorded, digitized and stored on a smart card along with a serial number. Fingerprint checks can then be done at a boarding station located between check-in counters and airport gates, the companies said.

John Blau, IDG News Service

Symantec Corp. CEO John Thompson
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Symantec Corp. CEO John Thompson
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Symantec Says It's Not Suing Microsoft

Symantec Corp. CEO John Thompson last week downplayed reports that the security software vendor had taken steps toward initiating a possible antitrust investigation into Microsoft Corp.'s business practices by the European Commission.

The Dow Jones Newswire had reported that Cupertino, Calif.-based Symantec filed an informal complaint against Microsoft with the EC.

In an interview after he gave a speech at The Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco, Thompson confirmed that Symantec had provided documents to the EC, but he dismissed the talk of a complaint being filed. "We're not involved in any investigation," he said. "We partner with Microsoft. We're not trying to go to court with Microsoft by any stretch of the imagination."

During his speech, Thompson described the relationship between the two companies as one of "mutual dependency." He said that although Microsoft's full-fledged entry into the security software market is inevitable, it isn't "a preordained success."

Robert McMillan, IDG News Service

Briefly Noted

  • Capgemini, a Paris-based IT consulting firm, has fired its chief operating officer for thinking about taking another job. COO Pierre Danon had applied for -- but failed to get -- a job as the head of hotel chain Accor SA, also based in Paris. Capgemini said it has no plans to replace him in the coming months.

    Peter Sayer, IDG News Service

  • Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., the largest outsourcing firm in India, reported large year-over-year gains in its results for the second quarter, which ended Sept. 30. Revenue was 29.5 billion rupees ($670 million U.S.), up 21.4% from 24.3 billion rupees ($543 million) in the same quarter last year. The Mumbai-based company's profits grew by 15.5% to 6.7 billion rupees ($150 million), up from 5.8 billion rupees ($130 million).

    John Ribeiro, IDG News Service
  • Infosys Technologies Ltd., India's second-largest outsourcing vendor, also reported robust growth in revenue and profits for the three months that ended Sept. 30. The Bangalore-based company's second-quarter revenue was 23.5 billion rupees ($524 million), up 38.3% from the year-earlier level of 17 billion rupees ($379 million). Net profit rose 44.2% to 6.2 billion rupees ($138 million), from 4.3 billion rupees ($97 million).

    John Ribeiro, IDG News Service
  • Ford of Europe, Ford Motor Co.'s European arm, has rolled out a browser-based electronics parts catalog called FordEcat that was developed internally and is based on software from Burlington, Mass.-based Enigma Inc. Ford, which previously used outside contractors to create its electronic catalog, said it expects the new version to cut the time needed to distribute auto parts and materials to its dealers in Europe and the Middle East. The FordEcat system supports 17 languages and can be accessed via the Web or on a CD-DVD.

    Linda Rosencrance

Global Fact

165.4 billion: Total euros spent on IT services in Europe, the Middle East and Africa last year.

Source: Gartner Inc.

Compiled by Mike Bucken.

Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.

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