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ADI: 'Designed and Made-in-India' signs emerging

Posted: 20 Mar 2013     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Digital signal processor  embedded software  ASSPs  ASIC 

"Indian revenue as percentage of global sales is still in single digits," said Samuel H. Fuller, vice president, R&D and chief technology officer at Analog Devices. "We plan to grow our revenue substantially in the next few years and will expand our sales and application engineering team as required." In exclusive interview with EE Times India, Fuller talks about the growing importance of this market, ADI’s India design centre, and technology innovation.

EE Times India: What are the trends in the DSP market globally as well in India? Also, tell us about the challenges associated with these trends?

Fuller: As we continue to see unprecedented growth in the usage of smart phones, tablets, and digital cameras, the DSP industry is projected to see tremendous growth, touching Rs.51,505.38 crore ($9.58 billion) by 2016. Digital signal processing in today’s world require a large number of mathematical functions to be performed repeatedly and continuously and has wide ranging applications from defence and military that requires high end processing and on the other spectrum are mobile phones and consumer electronics devices where power requirements are stringent. The architecture of a digital signal processor has to be optimized based on such orthogonal requirements. The data processing capabilities within our systems has increased greatly with each generation with shrinking geometries, deeply pipelined multi-stage architecture and using multiple cores. Peripheral options like safety, security and connectivity are all now integrated on the chip. With portable devices, data throughput is lower but power requirements are stringent. As usual, Time to market remains the key. Focused hardware accelerators are also in demand.

At Analog Devices, we provide the roadmap that addresses the above. The common thread is that our DSP hardware and software technology allows us to innovate at the system level and make digital signal processing even more integrated into the signal chain. In summary, larger integrated memory, more signal chain integration, continued move to higher programming languages, targeted and easy to programme hardware accelerators, lower and lower power, multi-core for higher processing, standardisation to ARM as a control plane are some of the key trends of embedded DSPs that we are seeing in the market today.

 Analog Devices' Sam Fuller

Fuller: In India, our primary focus is on the wireless network infrastructure.

Comment on ADI’s R&D activities in India? What kind of role does the company’s India centre play when compared with other geographies; and its contribution to ADI globally?

Analog Devices India R&D centre is the second largest outside of U.S. and approximately has 10 per cent of the global design engineers. Engineers in our design centre in Bangalore is involved in some of the most challenging designs today, including complex application specific standard products (ASSPs), high performance DSPs, analogue/mixed signal ICs, and embedded software that powers these semiconductor chips. The team at India Product Development Center (IPDC) has developed multi-generation of industry leading SHARC processors and Blackfin products, Signal processing ASICs for Inertial MEMS, advanced analogue and mixed signal products. Engineers at IPDC are involved in all stages of product development from "Concept to Silicon to Production and Supporting Customers Worldwide."

Is the India centre more into research or design? Can you tell us about some technology innovation?

At Analog Devices Research and Product Development go hand in hand. The India Design centre is involved in developing products across embedded processors and DSPs, converters, MEMS and application specific ICs for our global customers. The engineers start engaging at a product definition stage, design the hardware, design the software, tests and characterize the chip when it comes back from the fab and then supports customers worldwide. "It is a total ownership of the product."

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