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Archive for June, 2010

Analog and MCUs stand out: Dr. Bobby Mitra, TI


Dr. Biswadip (Bobby) Mitra, president & MD, TI India.

Dr. Biswadip (Bobby) Mitra, president & MD, TI India.

It is always a pleasure to listen to Dr. Biswadip (Bobby) Mitra, president and managing director, Texas Instruments India. Therefore, when Texas Instruments India invited me to a media roundtable today, it was an event to look forward too. However, the famous Bangalore traffic jam held me up so long that I missed out on most of Dr Mitra’s keynote! Nevertheless, I did catch some bits of it toward the end.

Dr. Mitra noted that LEDs and lighting applications are becoming a key area for growth in India. He added that the industrial segment is just right in terms of applications in electronics growth.

In telecom, analog and MCUs stand out. “Every single customer has to use analog as part of its system design. Our no. 1 position in analog gives us a unique position,” he added.

MCUs play a very important role in a huge number of areas — from consumer appliances, energy meters, lighting products etc. There is a huge customer base in India where very large application specific innovation has been happening.

In India, TI has set up a strong sales network across 14 locations, giving it a pan-India presence. Dr. Mitra added: “We want to tap the India market with sales support and applications support. You need to work hand in hand with the OEMs. We also need to get closer to our customers.” TI India supports both Indian and MNC OEMs.

“The amount of system designs being done by the MNC OEMs in India is pretty high. The third area — design houses — these OEMs are their customers. The fourth area belongs to the EMS players,” he said.

Today was virtually a walk into TI India’s ‘kitchen.’  The roundtable participants were shown demos of some really cool products and applications, especially the handheld pico projector, which also played 3D cinema!

The sessions were largely focused on analog, low power and energy efficiency, metering, solar PV/solar inverters, LEDs, medical electronics, etc. — all key areas of focus for the Indian electronics and semiconductor industries.

I will add bits from the other speakers at this event later. Stay tuned folks!

Upgrade to WiMAX 2 uncertain as TD-LTE gains in momentum!

June 30, 2010 Comments off

Here’s the concluding part of the Maravedis seminar on Mobile WiMAX Deployment and Migration/Upgrade Strategies.

Robert Syputa of Maravedis focused on the evolving technology and market landscape. He said, the landscape features skyrocketing wireless broadband demand, such as the iPhone. That’s also translating into fixed broadband networks. ‘Hot’web devices would drive the industry growth. Also, the WiMAX IC vendors were the first to market with LTE.

Some other features of this landscape include multiple-mode WiMAX/LTE: extend or transition? Also, the WiMAX operators have been indicating a shift to LTE. Finally, the upgrade to WiMAX 2 was uncertain as TD-LTE was gaining in momentum. It is still early to tell what the commitments to WiMAX 2.0 would be.

Definitely, the early 4G adoption trend is exceeding many operator’s expectations due to broadband traffic demand.

Commenting on the deployment considerations, he said the fit of wireless technologies would be according to the market needs. This would take into consideration factors such as degree of mobility and roaming, build or migration to flat IP, and response to competition with 3G/LTE.

Some points to consider for device and network upgrades and migration include: how to migrate devices from WiMAX to LTE, changes in core networks, and impact of SONs, femtocell. The degree selected market is driven by mobile web devices. Maravedis also listed various candidate bands identified for IMT. Read more…

Mobile WiMAX deployment and migration/upgrade strategies


This week, I had the pleasure of attending a Maravedis seminar on Mobile WiMAX Deployment and Migration/Upgrade Strategies, sponsored by Aviat Networks. Thanks a lot to Maravedis for providing me this opportunity.

Adlane Fellah of Maravedis provided a general overview of the mobile WiMax scenario, while Robert Syputa of Maravedis touched upon the evolving technology and market landscape. Later, Jonathan Jaeger, WiMAX Solutions Marketing, at Aviat Networks discussed the mobile WiMAX deployment and migration/upgrade strategies.

Giving a general overview, Adlane Fellah said that the global WiMAX industry in 2009 was as follows: the total WiMAX market size $1.36 billion. About 5 million WiMAX chipsets were shipped — +332 percent growth Y-o-Y. Also, 3.5 million new WiMAX CPEs were deployed. The WiMAX base station sectors –10.9 percent. However, the end-users want broadband wireless now, while the operators are confused by future evolution.

Key trends in LTE and WiMAX
Looking at the LTE and WiMAX key trends from 4Ggear report, specifically, for WiMAX chipsets, vendors have been offering differentiated chipsets to address the emerged markets. Also, there has been aggressive chipset pricing: higher volume and optimized platforms.

As for LTE chipsets, the leading chipset vendors include Qualcomm, ST-Ericsson and Nokia. The early solutions support LTE only. However, it is believed that the early suppliers may not be the long term winners.

Coming to WiMAX devices, we have seen diversified deployments of low cost CPEs, dual-mode USB dongles, and smartphones, etc. As for LTE devices, demonstrators = single-mode followed by dual-mode USB dongles. With regard to 4G equipment, WiMAX has clearly established a beachhead for technological progress, and LTE will surely benefit from it.

Students, show off your technical talent @ Mentor’s University Design Contest 2010!


I really envy the students of today! They live in such lucky times!! There are so many opportunities for them to learn, grow and flourish, and so many avenues to venture!!!

Here’s one more opportunity for those brilliant students from various engineering colleges across India.  Friends, you can participate and show off your techical talent by participating in Mentor Graphics’ University Design Contest 2010!

Veeresh Shetty, Mentor Graphics.

Mentor's Veeresh Shetty.

I was elated when Veeresh Shetty of Mentor Graphics informed me today about this great contest!  Thanks a lot, Veeresh, and Mentor Graphics India, especially, my friend Raghu Panicker, for taking time to think about spotting talent among students.

Time to participate and win, dear students!
First, what do the students get out of this contest? Well, there’s prize money involved! The top three winners will earn a Certificate of Recognition. There will be one Winner team followed by two runner-up teams. The winning team will be awarded a cash prize of $3,000, 1st Runner-up – $2,000 and 2nd Runner-up – $1,000, respectively.

So, what’s the purpose behind this contest? Well, this is the inaugural Mentor Graphics University Design contest 2010 in India.

The objective/focus of this contest is to provide an opportunity for engineering students to showcase their technical talent and competency using Mentor Graphics tools. The company expects to grow this contest with increased representation and participation, and draw maximum number of contestants. Read more…

Xilinx intros 7 Series FPGAs

June 23, 2010 Comments off

Xilinx's Victor Peng and Neeraj Varma.

Xilinx's Victor Peng and Neeraj Varma.

Xilinx has introduced its 7 Series FPGAs that claim to slash power consumption by 50 percent. These also reach 2 million logic cells on the industry’s first scalable architecture.

The company has introduced the Virtex-7, Kintex-7, and Artix-7 FPGA families, which promise:
– 2X more usable performance.
– 2X better price-performance with new class of FPGA.
– 2X better system-performance with Ultra High End FPGA.
– Innovative Virtex-based high volume offering.

Power is said to be the key limiting factor. At Xilinx, it is the top priority at 28nm. The Xilinx 7 Series pushes the boundaries for FPGAs. The three new families are based on a unified architecture.

The Artix 7, when compared to Spartan-6, gives 30 percent more performance, 35 percent lower cost, 50 percent less power and 50 percent smaller footprint. The Kintex 7, when compared to Virtex-6, gives comparable performance, 50 percent lower cost and 50 percent less power. Likewise, the Virtex 7, when compared to Virtex-6 is 2.5x larger, and provides up to 2M logic cells, 1.9Tbps serial bandwidth, up to 28Gbps line rate, and EasyPathcost reduction.

Users can easily scale applications with Series 7 unified architecture and design portability. Enhanced productivity is possible with Targeted Design Platforms.  The foundation for Xilinx’s next generation Targeted Design Platforms are:
* Optimized ISE Design Suite.
* Expanded eco-system enabled by Plug and Play AXI based IP.
* Targeted reference designs accelerate development.
* Scalable boards using FMC Base.

Victor Peng, senior vice president, Programmable Platforms Development, Xilinx, also touched upon Programmable Foundation for Extensible Processing Platforms (EPP). It has unrivaled levels of system performance and integration, and ARM based software centric design environment.

This 7 Series will drive the next wave of FPGA adoption, thanks to:
* Increasing market demand for bandwidth coupled with flexibility.
* 2x improvement in power/performance/ capacity/price.
* Major productivity boost with Targeted Design Platforms.
* Fewer ASSPs to choose from/ASICs too risky.

Categories: FPGA, FPGA market, FPGAs, Xilinx

Synopsys’ Dr. Aart de Geus at SNUG 2010 India!

June 23, 2010 Comments off

Dr. Aart de Geus - CEO & Chairman of the Board, Synopsys Inc. at SNUG 2010 India.

Dr. Aart de Geus - CEO & Chairman of the Board, Synopsys Inc. at SNUG 2010 India.

“Moore’s Law is absolutely alive and well,” stated Dr. Aart de Geus – CEO & Chairman of the Board, Synopsys Inc., while delivering the keynote ’20/20 Vision for 2010′ at the Synopsys Users Group (SNUG) 2010 event in Bangalore today. He added that systemic collaboration is getting more and more important. “We need to have a joint vision of where our field is going.”

To make the ‘machine’ called SoC work, one needs to look simultaneously at economics and technology, and hence the word, techonomic.

Commenting on the global economy, he said, the industry had just come out of a very severe recession. Last year, Dr. Geus had introduced the recession compiler.

Today, there’s a clear sense of turn, and a huge shift in the global economy during the recession. According to him, China will pass Japan and become the second largest economy. China has continued to evolve quite a bit, and so has India. Dr. Geus also introduced the recovery compiler six months ago.

He added that people on one side are looking at how to minimize costs and risks. How does this impact semicon? Most semicon companies are now reporting good results. Today, there has been about 5.8-6 percent of growth, indicating a steady state. Semicon is in the center to drive growth.

In the foundry world, there has been some consolidation, and you now find some really large ones. So far, semicon has rebounded somewhat much faster. The memory folks are also feeling pretty good. It must be noted that during the last three years, they invested really nothing in capex, and some players also disappeared.

If one were to look at cool killer applications today, there’s certainly a theme around video more and more on mobile apps, HD, 3D, etc. All of this is leading to the fact that bandwidth and storgae will grow even more. Smart grids are also clearly becoming more important In future. The word ‘smart’ will be critical. “Eveything around us will commmunicate in some form or another, in future,” Dr. Geus added. Read more…

Growing Indian power electronics market provides host of opportunities


In case you are an enterprenuer, or an aspiring one, in electronics and wish to invest or manufacture in the sector, but don’t know where to go, here’s a welcome relief — in form of a report on the power electronics sector in India.

The India Power Electronics Market Report – 2010
has been developed by Dhaval Dalal and Ram Kumar, on behalf of Innovatech Switching Power India Pvt Ltd in Bangalore, India. I was delighted on being contacted by Ram Kumar, MD, who was kind enough to share some bits of this report.

The unprecedented growth in the Indian electronics demand (estimated at $50 billion for 2009), has spawned a corresponding spurt in the domestic power electronics industry. While this growth has been acknowledged in industry circles, no specific data exist to understand this phenomenon – this report aims to fulfill this gap.

The report highlights the peculiarities of Indian industry by identifying unique areas of growth which require special attention from industry participants. It also highlights the gap between the domestic demand and supply which is currently fulfilled by imports. Conversely, areas where the Indian industry contributes to the global demand by exporting products/services are also highlighted.

Coming from technology/strategic marketing background and with an unmatched access to the decision makers and trendsetters in Indian electronics industry, the authors are able to provide a highly credible and comprehensive account of the market that goes well beyond the surface data and helps identify actionable agenda for the reader.

So, here’s an opportunity for folks to enter the Indian power electronics segment, which offers a host of opportunities.

Some excerpts from the report are reproduced here. Read more…

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