US chip firm makes Cork the logical choice

5 Aug 2004

Some 60 new technology jobs are to be created in Cork by programmable logic chip pioneer Altera, which is establishing its European shared services centre at Cork Airport Business Park.

Altera is establishing the Centre to centralise a number of key functions at one location, which will achieve greater efficiencies. Functions located in the Cork operation will include management of the complex network of independent European distributors; product pricing; contract negotiations; and financial shared services. Europe accounts for about 25pc of Altera’s worldwide sales.

Altera invented the first reprogrammable logic device over twenty years ago. Altera’s programmable logic devices (PLDs) are integrated circuits that allow electronic system manufacturers to customise a semiconductor based on their application needs.

Founded in 1983, Altera combines programmable logic technology with software tools, intellectual property, and technical services. With revenues in 2003 of US$827m, Altera employs approximately 2,000 people worldwide and provides high-value programmable solutions to approximately 14,000 customers worldwide.

Altera’s product portfolio ranges from low-density, low cost PLDs for use in high volume cost sensitive applications such as DVD players, digital TVs and video recorders, to high density PLDs that allow an entire system to be implemented on one single chip that previously required a full printed circuit board, such as those in routers, mobile base stations and computer servers. PLDs help manufacturers to cut development costs and shorten delivery time of their products to market.

Tim Colleran, vice president of European business operations for Altera Corporation, commented: “We decided to locate our European business operations in Ireland because of the country’s track-record in supporting international services centres and its unique and long established relationships with the semiconductor industry. The support being provided by IDA continues to be a critical factor in successfully starting the operations of the Centre.”

By John Kennedy