Marvell Technology Group, the main chip supplier for TD-SCDMA handsets on China Mobile's 3G network, is expanding aggressively its mainland operations to enter more wireless consumer electronics market segments. The US-based semiconductor firm has invested about US$400 million over two years to develop in Shanghai the PXA920 chipset, which was launched yesterday, for a new range of affordable and feature-packed TD-SCDMA smartphones, according to Marvell chairman and chief executive Sehat Sutardja. There are plans to increase the number of Marvell staff at its mainland research and development campus next year to about 1,000 from nearly 700, supporting efforts to put the highly integrated processor inside mobile broadband-ready laptop computers, e-book readers, digital photo frames, video set-top boxes and televisions. 'We're just starting out in this [wireless chip] sector, but we expect to capture about 25 per cent of the [global] market within three to five years,' Sutardja (right) said. Marvell has stiff competition, including Qualcomm, ST-Ericsson, Texas Instruments, Broadcom and Taiwan-based MediaTek. But Sutardja, who co-founded Marvell in 1995 with Shanghai-born wife Dai Weili and his brother Pantas, is betting the company's strong expertise in developing high-performance, single-chip solutions that power mobile telephones, like Research In Motion's BlackBerry, and networking equipment, such as those from Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp, will keep it ahead of rivals. Marvell, which had US$3 billion in revenue in its last financial year, has also been sharpening its focus on the mainland for more than a decade, initially building close ties with Shenzhen-based Huawei and ZTE. About 24 months ago, 'China Mobile faced a headache in being the only operator in the world to deploy an unproven TD-SCDMA, particularly in the lack of compelling handsets', said Duncan Clark, the chairman at telecommunications advisory firm BDA China. Dai said it was Marvell which swiftly delivered on its commitment to develop a TD-SCDMA chipset for smartphones running the Google-developed Android operating system for China Mobile. The world's largest mobile network operator introduced the first batch of its OPhones last week. 'We believe the PXA920 solution will help us realise China Mobile's vision of sub-1,000 yuan TD-SCDMA OPhones,' said Bill Huang, the general manager at China Mobile Research Institute.