Q. What would be your organisation’s unique selling proposition (USP) for electronics design?
A. Densray’s USP is that we provide complete product design, from concept to original design manufacturing (ODM), including hardware and software, using state-of-the-art technologies that are optimised to the customer’s requirements, such as cost of production, features, performance (e.g., clock speed, amount of memory etc), time-to-market and form factor (size, shape). We do this while taking care of reliability engineering and statutory compliances such as thermal engineering, signal integrity, safety and electromagnetic interference (EMI)/ electromagnetic compatibility (EMC). To achieve this, we have a team of experts, who keep updating themselves on new technologies and components that are being introduced on a daily basis, so that the latest technology can be used in our designs to help our customers beat their competition.
Q. What are the key technologies you are working on?
A. Densray is domain-agnostic and mostly works with technology start-ups in the United States of America (USA), on cutting-edge technologies that are yet to be introduced in the market. The idea is that we are capable of developing new solutions and designs from just the customer requirements.
A few technologies we are working on are control and power systems to support the smart grid, smart solar power systems, which would connect to and communicate with the Internet over cellular mobile networks for control and monitoring purposes; ARM microprocessor (especially Freescale i.MX6-based) systems customised for applications such as point-of-sale terminals, automotive, industrial tablets; telecom systems such as routers, with interfaces such as Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi ; field-programmable gate array (FPGA) designs for various applications such as telecom, especially involving multi-gigabit per second links; peripheral component interconnect express (PCIe) cards for camera or X-ray data capture on a personal computer (PC) or the server.
Q. What are the technologies you specialise in?
A. We are well-known in a niche circle for delivering high-quality hardware designs and embedded software on schedule. In many cases, the technology that we develop is new and proprietary to a customer.
Q. Are there any niche industry applications that you focus on?
A. No. We pride ourselves in our ability to provide designs for any industry segment, especially new technologies where there are no older ‘industry references’, utilising our strong fundamentals in system engineering.
Q. How do you see the IoT phenomenon? Do you see it driving business growth for India’s independent design houses (IDHs) or is it more of a marketing gimmick?
A. We believe that any technology is only as good as the benefits it offers and how it improves the users’ quality of life or commercial efficiencies. Hence, while part of it is hype, IoT has the potential to solve some pertinent problems or simplify their implementations, especially with wireless sensors and associated communication protocols. Adoption of commercial solutions will mostly be driven by return-on-investment (ROI) considerations, while some home automation solutions will be driven by the consumer’s fancy for such gadgets.
Q. Is the IoT a priority area for your firm’s future growth?
A. IoT is definitely a growth driver. Most of our projects involve IoT as a subsystem. We have designed solutions to put solar-power generation and load-control equipment on the cloud, for monitoring and control over the cellular mobile network using general packet radio service (GPRS)/ enhanced data rates for GSM evolution (EDGE)/ 3G/ global positioning system (GPS) technologies. We have also worked on a point-of-sale terminal hardware with IoT capability. We generally undertake such projects based on customer requirement.
Q. Who have you partnered with for technologies and components?
A. Densray works with almost all semiconductor vendors and many component distributors, electronic manufacturing services (EMS) vendors and printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturers, both in India and abroad. For ARM microprocessor, our choice for most projects is Freescale i.MX6 due to the excellent support structure available from the manufacturer in Bangalore. We also work with other design services companies for outsourcing some of the implementation work.
Q. Do you target only global customers?
A. We target both local and global customers, although we find the global market more viable from a business standpoint. We can create cost-effective designs for the local customers (manufacturers) too, but they find it very difficult to do the manufacturing in India due to various hurdles such as excise duty and inverted duty structure on imports, where finished goods have lower duty than those for the components. We have had customers who spent money in developing the product but were not able to manufacture it due to these hurdles. We hope that the goods and services tax (GST) regime will solve these issues.
Q. Could you tell us about your work for international clients?
A. Our work involves hardware design review and analysis, hardware system design and validation of embedded ARM computer systems, smart-grid control system hardware and Gigabit Ethernet routers.