We also support silicon like OMAP3. This kind of silicon uses POP (Package-on-Package) memory. It is not done here, but it is done at an extension of Calixto. Specifically, it is done at Taiwan by Jorjin. We do the design for this, but Jorjin markets it to other parts of the world like China. These products are consumer oriented and the best market for those kinds of SoM are Taiwan and Korea. So we focus on relationships in order to bring them to Indian markets.
Q. What would be your best selling chip be?
A. We are a pretty new company, we have only been here for 17 months so there is not sufficient time frame to comment on that, based on revenue. The revenue time for a typical TI silicon is 18 months. That is why TI is promoting SoM. It brings down this revenue time to under 6 months. This is possible because most of the design has already happened before the customer approaches us.
Q. What is your first chip?
A. Our first chip is AM1808 System-on-Module with an LSEM connector. We differentiate using our connectors. The LSEM connector is a very rugged connector but on the downside it is not very cheap. This SoM has a very high feature set and it is aptly named Versa standing for Versatile. It has 200 pins allowing every processor signal to be brought in.
Q. What companies are you partnered with?
A. We have established partnership with leading system component/module vendors. We are the SoM partner for Texas Instruments. We have also partnered with Telit, a leading M2M (machine-to-machine) module vendor, and Jorjin which is the world’s leading WLAN/BT module vendors from Taiwan.
Q. What is the Calixto team strength?
A. We’ve got a team strength of 20 engineers spread between Thrissur and Bengaluru.
Q. What kind of hiring policies do you follow?
A. We only take freshers here. We have some very senior and experienced engineers so we are now focussed on taking freshers. We groom them to mould them into very good design engineers in a couple of years. In fact, it is one of the objectives of Calixto.
Q. Hiring only freshers might put up a lot of challenges, what are they?
A. We take freshers with diplomas like NTTF. They have a lot of hands-on experience so they can directly get to work. Of course, we do need a lot of patience when working with young freshers.
Q. Who are your clients?
A. We cannot name them due to NDA, but our customers are mostly OEMs. We work behind them as their technology partner allowing them to improve their services and products.
Q. Do you have international clients?
A. We haven’t started tapping the international market as yet. But, due to the Web getting the world closer we do get a lot of queries through e-mails and calls, even from China, requesting our services.
Q. How is your marketing done?
A. Actually TI does all our marketing in India. Because we are their partner, more business for us is also good for them. Other than that, most of it is through word-of-mouth. We don’t have any marketing team yet. We also participate in events, but only those done by our partners.
Q. What is your niche?
A. We are perfectly ok with our clients using our modules for any area. Until now most of our clients are from typical industrial, industrial automation and smart grid. We also have consumer electronics related work going on as we mingle in defense and aerospace but the numbers are not that high.
Q. Have you seen any trends in your industry?
A. Well, there are a lot of people moving away from high-paying jobs in MNCs and moving on to become entrepreneurs. It can be said that it is due to the fast response. Years ago we had to wait for years to get a particular silicon or material. But now, you can order them and they’ll deliver it to your doorstep in a few days.
Q. What are your future plans?
A. How we work is we find specific areas in the industry where the time to market is better than 6 months. Then we go in, and start building reference designs. Understand, that we are not going behind a customer. We find out a market and start working on it. When we get a customer, we have already started work. So with this reference design already done, we can bring down the time to market from 6 months to almost 3 months. This makes us a very good option for startups. We greatly bring down the time to get to market and thus increase the chances of success for these companies.