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.
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.