NUREMBERG, Germany – Dreamchip Electronics Pte Ltd. (Visakhaptnam,
India), a fabless semiconductor company founded in 2012, has announced
plans to provide a family of processor SoCs for tablet computers in
The company has said it is planning to produce three
variants based on a proprietary multicore 32-bit RISC-plus-DSP processor
architecture. The three variants of the architecture – named Siddhi,
Vani and Sandesh – are each being optimized for a different form of
Siddhi is designed to power a student's e-reader tablet
and is optimized for low-cost, large volume applications. Siddhi-powered
tablets are expected to replace printed text books. Vani is targeted at
a multimedia tablet for students. Sandesh is the high-end SoC optimized
for use in citizen-centric e-governance and e-commerce tablets.
which also provides SoC design services, is working with Sankhya
Technologies Pvt. Ltd. (Chennai, India) to create design flows for SoC
design and verification using Sankhya's Teraptor software as a
high-level starting point for system modeling and synthesis.
SoCs are designed to help Indian electronics manufacturers address the
needs of both rural and urban users and the chips will be produced with
reference tablet designs and embedded software supporting to different
"Following the encouraging response from
prospective customers Dreamchip Electronics is initially targeting the
large and fast-growing Indian market. Dreamchip plans to offer the SoCs
globally at a later stage," said Gopi Kumar Bulusu, founder director at
Dreamchip, in a statement.
Prototyping platforms for all three
variants will be available by 3Q13 on the Teraptor and selected
customers are expected to be offered FPGA kits in 1Q14 and test chip
SoCs in 3Q14, the company said.
I'm not sure that I'd be thinking in terms of design "wins". It seems more likely one should be talking about design "gifts", driven by the government or a monopoly pseudo-customer. "Wins" suggests competition and it's very, very unclear that they'll ever get to that point. This is pretty clearly a closed-market play for the forseeable future.
Good luck to the engineers at this startup. I hope they know what they are doing and can get to final silicon in a couple of iterations. BUT start working on design wins NOW if you have a semi-functional prototype!
Today, the top ten fabless companies comprise 80% of the market. All great companies, they are all targeting the mobile market, of which tablets and e-readers are a subset. Presumably, this start-up is confident it can succeed with not one, but three, new chips, for a new class of India-designed-and-produced products that will be protected from international competition by the government. To think that a start-up (not an acquisition) can be competitive in this segment (by 2014) and that a government developed electronics ecosystem can produce practical and worthwhile tablets and ebooks for Indian society is nothing short of delusional (perhaps criminal). It would be humorous if it wasn't so so tragic.
"Following the encouraging response from prospective customers" ....
Customers often give you encouraging responses when you first introduce a new technology to them. There is a big difference between encouraging response and committed order.
An E-reader is (or was at least) a closed system, so that is possible. However, when you get into tablets, you are now talking open systems. The processor is the least of your worries. The infrastructure to support development as well as requisite applications is what is going to drive sales.
As someone mentioned, Arm is already relatively inexpensive perhaps not viewed at the processor level alone, but when viewed as a percentage of the overall tablet, the cost is minimal. Also the core is just one piece .... peripherals, graphics core, etc. all still needed.
One thing that people forget about ARM too is that ARM did not become the dominant architecture over night ... it has been a 25+ year journey to this point.
I am not saying that no one should try to develop a new architecture, and I wish them success, but unless there is a whole lot more than what is written here, it does not sound like the start of a success story.
This seems to be targetted at the local market in India. Note that most smart-phones and tablets are out of reach for the majority of that population. If they can come up with a cheap solution then that might work.
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