Good luck to ICube.
I reckon its success chiefly depends on how they can sell the architecture to some big Chinese telecom OEM's, like Huawei and ZTE. If they can make it as a "State will", it definitely will succeed. Remember TD-CDMA and TD-LTE? All the major telecom OEM's are licking their ass.
It may not be necessary to even use the byte code -- parse the source then design hardware that evaluates the if clauses and does the appropriate assignments. I have done it for C statements. Also, using the byte code pretty much is done by a JIT compiler at run time so why can't they write a new JIT for their architecture and use existing compilers?
I don't think marketing is such a serious issue here.
The primary issue is the competency of the team behind this project and the supporting infrastructure available to them in China.
I said earlier however that economic and political issues were part of the equation. In that respect it might be worthwhile reviewing Andy Grove's take on the subject: http://www.citizenstrade.org/ctc/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/20100701_howtomakeanamericanjob_bloombergopinion.pdf
Not only that, but because existing architectures are indeed well established they need to show a compelling benefit to dislodge them. A few tens of percentage points will not suffice. Grove's Law would postulate they'd need around 10-fold improvement to disrupt the incumbents.
"ICube claims ... power-efficiency and cost-efficiency advantages over the established architectures". This is easy to claim but requires data to substantiate. I will, as the saying goes, believe it when I see it. (And I don't just mean the PowerPoint!)
As we unveil EE Times’ 2015 Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. Panelists Dan Armbrust (investment firm Silicon Catalyst), Andrew Kau (venture capital firm Walden International), and Stan Boland (successful serial entrepreneur, former CEO of Neul, Icera) join in the live debate.