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eInfochips plans Japanese subsidiary

Posted: 22 Feb 2006     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:eInfochips  Japan  subsidiary  design services  IC design 

An IP leveraged design services company eInfochips Ltd, with specification to silicon to system capabilities is gearing up to launch a subsidiary in Japan in the next four months. Having started testing the Japanese markets six months ago, the company has bagged its first contract to design a chip for an automotive infotainment system from a Japanese company. "We are currently working with sales partners there, but will place our applications engineers in the market since ours is a support-intensive space," said Tapan Joshi, vice president - Marketing.

"As Japanese electronics majors who have traditionally been doing the entire process of conceptualising, designing and manufacturing their products find their margins coming under pressure, they are looking towards India for chip and systems designing services and we intend to tap this window of opportunity," noted Joshi. "The resurgence of, and the relatively untapped potential of the Japan market, offers exciting growth opportunities for eInfochips. We believe that Asia including India and Japan will become a major component of our total revenues in the coming decade. The real growth in Japanese revenues will come five to six years from now when business from the US markets will have begun tapering off, and work will start pouring in from Japan."

"There are exciting service opportunities that the Japan market is offering. For instance, one of the projects involved internationalization/localization of the GUI (Graphical User Interface) for a video surveillance system. The project required customizing the GUI of video surveillance system into local Japanese language," he added.

Areas of opportunity
The worldwide market potential for outsourced engineering services is estimated to lie between Rs. 31,570 and 54,120 crores ($7 billion and $12 billion). The value of work currently undertaken by India-based vendors in this space is estimated at Rs. 1,804 and 2255 crores ($400-$500 million), highlighting significant untapped potential.

The US Fabless Semiconductor Association predicts that the market shares of fabless companies will jump from just over 10 per cent today to 50 per cent by 2010. The United States will continue to be a major market for eInfochips. However, several US chip companies have established design centres in India, and hence some of the business will migrate from the US to the Indian design centres of those companies.

eInfochips is engaged with several Japanese chip companies to provide chip verification IP and services. "We estimate that Japan will account for a growing percentage of our worldwide revenue in the next two-three years," Joshi forecasts.

One area where eInfochips has differentiated itself is the ASIC/SoC verification space, and this is where the company sees a tremendous specialized service opportunity for the company in Japan. "As the complexity of chips increases, so does the challenge of verification, which can easily consume 50 per cent of the total design cycle time," said Joshi.

When high-level verification languages such as Specman and Vera started gaining in popularity a few years ago, eInfochips had a number of employees trained in the methodology. eInfochips also invested heavily in developing verification IP, which it now has for PCI, PCI Express, Gigabit Ethernet, SPI-4, SATA and others. Verisity/Cadence actually sells PCI Express verification IP originally developed by eInfochips - such as the e Verification Component (eVC) solutions for PCI, PCI Express and Ethernet - under an OEM agreement.

Another area of focus will be product design services; it combines the company's expertise in ASIC/FPGA design, high-speed board development and firmware development to handle everything from concept definition to design and development of a fully tested and certified unit ready for volume manufacturing.

The company has plans to leverage its close relationship with Texas Instruments. eInfochips has been a third-party network member for more than four years and is one of only two worldwide TI Certified Software Integrators. It also expects to acquire newer technical capabilities with its foray into the Japanese market. For instance, it plans to build stronger capabilities in the area of analogue and mixed signal domains, which are important ingredients of consumer SoCs. It also intends on build strong linkages with chip fabrication units of the Japanese integrated device manufacturers (IDMs). This will enable it to offer a broader scope of back-end to testing services to its Japanese customers.




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