IBM Shows off Taiwan Design Center

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IBM on Tuesday announced plans to expand a hardware design center in Taiwan due to the strong engineering work being done at the fledgling operation.

The company's Taiwan Systems and Technology Laboratory (TSTL) has grown from a small lab in 2004 to become a major Asia-Pacific design center for IBM, now responsible for several major server products, IBM executives said at a news conference Thursday.

Next year, IBM will start hiring more engineers for the lab to handle an increasing work load, said Jan Janick, vice president of modular server and storage development at IBM. The company plans to expand the lab to 400 workers, up from just over 200 now.

TSTL has developed over 30 new products in the past two years, including BladeCenter servers, DataPower products, single socket tower/rack systems, retail store kiosks and digital cash registers as well as other hardware.

The lab has also been taking a central role in developing servers aimed at emerging markets. TSTL created the X3100 tower and X3610 rack servers, low-cost servers for businesses in developing countries.

The lab has won two patents so far, including one for a Method and Apparatus for fastening heat exchanger.

Most of IBM's design and development work is still done in the U.S., an executive said, but transferring some of the work overseas both shortens development time and ensures there are IBM engineers able to work with customers anywhere in the world.

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