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Tensilica's Pune centre establishes core design teams

Posted: 30 Aug 2006     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Krishnan Sivaramakrishnan 

Tensilica Technologies India, which started design operations in Pune in January 2006, has made significant progress in establishing teams to work in all the areas identified in its initial plan.

The engineers at the Pune design centre work on a wide variety of project areas that include TIE (Tensilica Instruction Extension) compiler for automated hardware and software generation from a high-level processor description; a next-generation integrated processor, software and system design automation tools; advanced multimedia architecture, and applications development for cell phones, portable media and digital television; and custom applications engineering.

"The TIE compiler team is contributing in the verification of TIE compiler, and verification is being handled completely and independently by the team in Pune," shared Subodh Shukla, managing director of Tensilica Technologies India. "The software tools development team is working on product enhancements, and new releases. And, the multimedia team is developing a number of audio/video codecs on our processor platforms."

The Pune design centre has a charter to conduct fundamental innovative research and development work for Tensilica Inc.'s configurable processor technology, in collaboration with its R&D team at Santa Clara. Its intent is also to establish stronger ties with Tensilica's customers in India, and enable them to achieve the full potential of its configurable processor technology. Tensilica's design teams at Santa Clara and Pune are well integrated, and work in a collaborative manner in all areas of product development.

Tensilica had started design operations in India through an offshore development centre (ODC) with a design services company in Pune. It continues to maintain a strong relationship with that company. The company now has a status of Tensilica Design Partner. "As a design partner, the company can leverage the knowledge they have about Tensilica's technology, and work jointly with us to service our customers. The company provides design services to our customers to develop products using our technology," shared Shukla.

Shukla believes that there are compelling advantages in Tensilica's direct presence by way of a subsidiary, vis-`-vis the ODC model. "Doing development work out of our own subsidiary helps in free flow of information, and reduces overheads in project management, as compared to the ODC model where two independent companies are involved. We also believe that a direct presence helps us attract good talent, as engineers get to work on exciting technology in a focused manner," Shukla pointed out.

The main challenge that faced the Pune design centre has been to develop an innate understanding of Tensilica's complex technology of configurable processor in a short time. "This was a serious challenge, as we have built the team in the Pune design centre with all recruitment done from India. We are happy that the team has ramped up very fast in all the new areas, and has started contributing in this very short span of time," Shukla commented.

Tensilica Technologies India has plans to grow the team size to 50 engineers. The Indian subsidiary has faced difficulties in attracting engineers. "We are looking for quality, not quantity, so we are selective," explained Shukla. "While we have done well in some areas such as DSPs, in other areas it has been much more difficult, such as our IDE (integrated development environment) group. Our technology and requirements are higher than other IT companies in India, and that is a challenge."

The company is attempting to counter this by creating a set of significant advantages for prospective employees. "The engineers will be integral members of our corporate R&D teams, with the same chances for advancement as given to R&D team members in the US," said Shukla.

Tensilica Technologies India intends to continue its thrust on investing in employees in India for the long term, and plans to move more programs to India as it believes it can hire good engineers in the country. Tensilica Inc. plans to invest Rs. 183.32 crore (US$40 million) in its Pune design operations during the next five years.

- Krishnan Sivaramakrishnan
  EE Times India

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