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GDA design centres support market diversification

Posted: 01 Aug 2006     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:GDA Technologies Inc.  electronic design services  three design centres  A.G. Karunakaran 

GDA Technologies Inc., an electronic design services and silicon intellectual property solutions provider, had announced an increased investment between Rs.14 and Rs.23 crore ($3 million to 5 million) in its India operations, in January 2006. On a recent visit to India from the U.S. headquarters, A.G. Karunakaran, GDA Technologies' founder and president, share with EE Times India how the company's three local design centres have been developing.

"Our design centres in Chennai, Bangalore and Kochi are fully operational, and are turning out IC designs as well as electronic product designs. Our customers—global companies with worldwide operations, are taking advantage of the capabilities of these design centres," AGK stated.

Apart from a steady flow of IC and product design projects from GDA Technologies' U.S. headquarters, the design centres in India are serving customers in Europe (United Kingdom and Germany), Israel, United States and Japan, where GDA Technologies is increasingly making inroads.

The design centres are focusing on end-user markets such as communications, computing and consumer electronic devices such as IP camera and digital video-based devices.

The nature of work ranges from complete system level design to board level design and IC design. "In system level design, our engineering teams start with a high level requirement, analyse that, come up with an architecture, and implement, verify and test that architecture. In board design, our engineers start from the requirement, do the engineering specifications, schematic capture, layout, testing and the transition to manufacturing. In IC design, the capability ranges from carrying out functional requirement, micro-architecture specifications, RTL coding, verification, implementation, and physical design," AGK explained.

GDA Technologies has attempted to build horizontal and vertical specialisation in the design centres. The centres have specialists in horizontal domains that include IC front-end design, synthesis, DFT/DFM, physical design, board level design, embedded software and device drivers; and vertical areas such as digital video, consumer electronics, wired and wireless communications, and computing platforms (in embedded systems and servers).

The company is well on its way to increase its design manpower count by 50 per cent by end-2006, from 200 in the beginning of the year. The long-term plan is to gradually increase this to 600 engineers within two to three years.

According to AGK, the India design centres' contribution has been significant in supporting GDA-USA, IP development, and servicing the demand for system and IC design services for customers in Asia Pacific and Europe—markets where GDA Technologies is trying to penetrate more. "The India design centres are able to contribute significantly with their core competencies in digital video, handheld devices, serial I/O interfaces, such as Hyper Transport, PCI Express and RapidI/O, and design methodology. Whenever we are dealing with new methodologies for deep sub micron IC design, our India design centres are able to scale up and execute on those methodologies," he said.

Currently, IP development at the centres is focused on communications and chip-to-chip interconnects. The centres are also working on digital video IPs around video codec standards such as MPEG2, MPEG4 and H.264. "We also do a lot of reference designs based on processor technologies from Freescale Semiconductor, Texas Instruments, AMD and Intel.

In the near-to-medium term, GDA Technologies will continue with its plan of building large-headcount design centres in India, to support its geographically diverging sales operations. "In the new geographies, where we have started having good customer traction, we expect to set up business offices, with sales, business development and some key customer facing design/solution architects."

- Krishnan Sivaramakrishnan
  EE Times India

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