SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Russia manicured its image as a high-tech investment zone, seeking a date with investors on a recent tour of Boston in Silicon Valley. The old gal has some miles on her, but she's looking pretty good.
Top government and industry muckety-mucks positioned Russia as ready for growth. As many as 60 Russian startups showcased a wide range of apps and gizmos in areas ranging from biotech to consumer electronics.
Livemap representative Dmitry Sizonov demoed a prototype of a $2,000 motorcycle helmet it aims to make next year with built-in GPS, stereo headphones, HD camera, and heads-up display (above). It uses a version of Android and off-the-shelf chips.
Nearby Eltechs showed its emulation software running a variety of x86-based games, antivirus, and other apps on a quad-core ARM-based Samsung Exynos chip (below). It currently delivers 50 percent of the performance of a native ARM processor, attracting interest from a wide variety of companies working on ARM-based server products.
Another startup showed a stereo 3D version of a tabletop computer similar to the Microsoft Surface (below). It currently only supports a single user, but a version handling three simultaneous users is in the works.
A panel discussion of semiconductor veterans said Russia has the talent and, increasingly, the business chops for new ventures in electronics, especially in chip verification and design. They were quick to point out the country will produce only about $1.5 billion in electronics exports, (and only if it has a really good year), a tiny fraction of the $300+ billion world market.
For more on the panel discussion, see the next page.