Saturday, April 20, 2024

“With 28nm Technology We Halved Our Power Requirements”

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Xilinx, a semiconductor industry leader at the forefront of technology, market and business achievement, has been a member of the India Semiconductor Association (ISA) since its founding in 2005. ISA is committed to building global awareness of our industry and supporting growth through initiatives like networking, events and alliances. Xilinx Inc. talks to EFY at the ISA Summit on the various innovations within the company and how Xilinx plans to tackle the Indian market.

Liam Madden, corporate vice president, Xilinx, Inc.
Vidya Rajagopalan, vice president–processing solutions and global verification group, Xilinx, Inc.
Vamsi Boppana, site director and chief technology officer, Xilinx India Technology Services Pvt Ltd
Neeraj Varma, director-sales, Xilinx India

EFY: What vectors does the Indian R&D focus on?
NV: The group in Hyderabad has contributed to a number of products, in particular to the Zynq product. The complete physical design was actually done in Hyderabad, and a significant amount of the verification was also done there.

EFY: What kind of challenges do you face with moving to newer process nodes?
VR: Xilinx is one of the few companies on the leading side of the process node which means we work with more cutting-edge technology. Zynq is an ASIC type product and ASIC IP is not available for the leading node. This lack of ASIC IP requires us to build our own ASIC IP. This means that we are building up the design and the collateral requirement of the ASIC simultaneously which is very challenging as it involves parallel development.

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EFY: How does the Indian R&D centre work with the global centres?
VB: We have a global development team and anytime we have a product that is coming up for development we analyse it and consider what is to be done and then partition those tasks appropriately. Ultimately it ranges based on the product line and depends on the timeline for execution and what that centre is involved in.

EFY: How does the organisation try to be energy efficient in terms of design?
LM: One of the things we focus on is the choice of technology and based on our choice of the 28nm technology, we essentially halved the amount of power required for the different applications where 28nm products were used. We also invest a lot in design techniques that help us reduce power. Power is really a huge issue for customers independent of whether it is for high-end applications or more consumer type applications. We do trade-offs between our design technology, process and in terms of features.

EFY: What kind of market are you targeting in India?
NV: In India, the primary business comes from communications which is in line with what our company does worldwide. In India, the biggest market is with wired infrastructure side of things and the second biggest market for us is aerospace and defence. We target all the defence labs and DRDO labs and all the public sector undertakings where they either manufacture local designs or collaborate with overseas companies.

The other market that is coming up very nicely for us here is the industrial, scientific and medical markets. This is because of the Zynq product that we have made available. In industrial, we work on factory automation, motor control, industrial networking. From the medical side, there is a lot of medical imaging applications that we are getting involved in. With the combination of an ARM processor and FPGA, many of our customers are very excited about this.

EFY: Of all the segments that you mentioned which segment is Xilinx the most successful in India?
NV: India is at the forefront of a lot of infrastructure deployment on telecom and that remains the number one market that we target. Clearly aerospace/defence is also more pronounced. We call it space to base and we are in the all of those areas. These products comprise electronic warfare equipments, RADARs, avionics for both UAVs or military aircraft and even satellites.

EFY: What percentage of Xilinx business is generated from this region?
LM: Asia-Pacific contributes to almost 35 per cent of our global business.

EFY: Please name the active countries in Asia-Pacific?
LM: It comprises China, Taiwan, Korea, India, Singapore and the South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

EFY: Do you consider India as a sales destination or a marketing decision influencing destination?
LM: India is quite unique because our focus is on design in India and the revenue from a design only comes 12-18 months after the product goes into production. India has a lot of design activity and thus it is a very strategic market for Xilinx.


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