DELHI, India--Silicon Valley startup Cradle Technologies Inc. today (March 30) launched a software initiative in India to build development support for its Universal Micro System (UMS) platform and plant the seeds for a new crop of "chipless chip" companies that could redefine the microprocessor business.
Three-year-old Cradle of Fremont, Calif., hopes to establish world-class IC development operations in the country by joining forces with academic leaders in India to attract software programmers for the UMS platform. According to Cradle, new application-specific ICs can be created for networking and digital media systems using 100% software development instead of traditional chip design.
Cradle believes its ASIC approach and new initiative will open doors for India's vast pool of software developers.
"Before and during the dot-com explosion, Indian engineers gained renown as world-class 'programmers for hire.' But as the recent dot-com implosion has shown, there is a big difference between picking the tea and owning the plantation," said Satish Gupta, president and CEO of Cradle.
"For the first time, there is an opportunity for this talented community to focus upon becoming the world's center of competence in a unique area -- that of 'chipless' chip design," Gupta stated.
To do this, Cradle is trying to attract developers for its UMS microprocessor platform, which the company says creates products with "100% software design." To establish a new center of development for the platform, Cradle is teaming up with five Indian professors--U.B Desai, Surendra Prasad, S.K. Bose, H.S. Jamadagni, and G. Raghurama--who have agreed to serve as technical advisers. The new center is called Cradle Laboratories for Application Specific Soft Integrated Circuits, or "Classic."
Gupta said complex, custom microprocessors in today's electronics products require development by dedicated teams of engineers, who produce ICs for production in multi-billion dollar wafers fabs. The dedicated chip designs and huge investment requirements for fabs have kept most development activities in a few locations in the world--mostly the U.S--according Gupta.
But Cradle's "Universal" Micro System is being promoted as a unique, new off-the-shelf processor platform that allows complete, custom microsystem implementations to be implemented entirely in software. This will enable software developers to create new processors rather than solid-state chip designers, according to Gupta.
Consequentially, the 100% software implemented processors will open the door for new business models in India's software industry. Gupta suggested that India could potentially dominate next-generation processor designs by taking the software-development approach.
"India has the opportunity to become the world's next great source of single-chip system designs, by simply doing what its engineers do best -- writing great code," Gupta asserted.