India is Xilinx’s most active region for design activity!

August 7, 2008

Xilinx has been a global leader in programmable logic solutions with over 51 percent market share during 2007, according to iSuppli. PLDs represent an exciting growth potential in the chip market thanks to their flexible nature and ability to change functionality even after being manufactured.

I caught up with Vincent Ratford, Senior Vice President, Solutions Development Group, Xilinx, to find out more about the company’s role in India. Firstly, Xilinx clearly sees India and Asia/Pac as a high growth area for its business.

Ratford said: “India itself has a lot of design activity with many of our customers working with design services and IP companies there. For that reason, we have invested in a large engineering team (125 people and grew last year at 60 percent) working on IP, software, system applications and IC design. These teams augment global development teams around the world with some teams having product responsibility.”

As a company, Xilinx tracks design activity and production, and India is its most active region for design activity. It is also investing a lot in university programs.

He added: “We have significant market share in India vs. the other FPGA vendors. We expect this to continue. We are investing heavily in our Xilinx University Program providing tool, board, training for professors and setting up FPGA, embedded and DSP curriculums. We have a strong technical team supporting customers locally either directly or alongside of our distribution partners.”

So how does Xilinx view the strength of the Indian embedded design segment? Ratford referred to EETimes, which conducts a survey annually on embedded processing. The most recent data showed only about 1/3 of the embedded users using FPGAs, but over 50 percent of them were considering.

He said: “I think we have just scratched the surface on our embedded opportunity. We have over 10k licensed embedded users worldwide, with the smallest percentage in Asia/Pac, but it’s growing rapidly.

“We think there is a lot of unlicensed, and therefore, untracked useage. Going forward, we will be able to track adoption more closely. We are now starting to track useage with our WebTalk tool and have found that about half of the designs using our latest 10.1 release have processors on them. Finally, when we conduct seminars and workshops worldwide, our embedded sessions are the most heavily attended.”

On the role that Xilinx would be playing in India, he said: “Today, we have a strong offering in soft and hard processors for our Virtex and Spartan series FPGAs. We are investing in training and providing development kits to expand the number of embedded developers who can support our platforms.

“We have been developing embedded peripherals, device drivers and are now starting to develop embedded tools there. We expect to expand this. So it’s market development, product development and enabling our ecosystem partners to build on top of our platforms. We are investing in India faster than any other region and plan to leverage our development team there.”

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