Today, the mobile Internet is providing unprecedented opportunity to include more than two-thirds of the world’s population into main-stream services, such as banking, health-care, learning and government. Processors and IO technologies have evolved to the point where it is now possible to host ready-made PC-class applications on palm-top computing devices that run an entire day without external power. Together with their silicon, software and system partners, there is a company who is pioneering products with an optimised delivery model for this emerging market.
Jagat Acharya, CEO, and H P Darshan, regional sales manager-India, Inforce Computing speak to Dilin Anand and Venkat C D of EFY.
EFY: What does Inforce Computing do?
Inforce is a supplier of high performance computing, networking and embedded hardware platforms in eco-aware, low-profile footprints, available off-the-shelf to serve growing markets enabled by the next generation of connected devices.
We go to the market in different ways:
Off-the-shelf products: So the customer can buy from a catalog and in quantity of 1, 10, 50. These are delivered from stock.
Reference design: Here the design is already done, but we don’t carry it in stock. This is because each OEM might require specific changes around the reference design. We create the product with the required change and then ship it.
Full Custom design: The customer gives us a spec with the requirements like it should do this, it should look like this, it should cost this much and this is our expectation. We design it based on these and they buy the products from us.
Inforce Computing does 100 per cent of its R&D in India.
EFY: What verticals does the company focus on?
We focus on 4 verticals: Industrial, Medical, Education and Data centre. We believe that as the devices get smarter there will be some horizontal features that go across the board.
EFY: What is currently happening in the Smart Energy sector?
Directives from the government and the current energy crisis is pushing the smart energy sector. The main requirement is to cut-down on transmission losses and energy theft. There are lot of good designs which combine great hardware and software and that is where we are focusing on. The Smart Energy sector starts from the production of power to its consumption so it is a whole gamut of industries.
EFY: What challenges did you face in the Industrial Automation field?
Putting something in the Industrial environment nowadays is very demanding. Every device is getting smart, and even Industrial devices are now connected.
We had a customer who did his installations at a height – mostly on tall towers. If a software crashed for some reason, then somebody has to climb all the way up the tower and reset the system. The client did not envision that this was going to happen. Once this problem started showing up, we quickly came up with a solution and enabled the system to monitor itself continuously. After the upgrade, if the software crashes the system is able to automatically reset itself. This little bit of innovation helped the customer a lot.
EFY: What is the most evolutionary change that is happening in the Industrial automation industry?
Android is currently changing the way things behave from consumer electronics to the industrial electronics. We see Android changing the inflection point in Industrial automation.
EFY: What is the most innovative product that you have seen recently?
There was a business case where we were asked to design the board for an emergency medical device. This device does a video based analysis of the patient and uses the analysed footage and detects fractures. This is a very innovative and helpful technology that has the potential to save lives.
EFY: What is your latest product?
The IFC7800 is a high performance computing server based on Intel’s next-generation Octal-core Xeon processor. Designed for super-computing and for cloud infrastructure, it can handle a large database, mining, artificial intelligence and also scientific computing. We just completed this project, and this has the highest computation power per square inch.
EFY: What made you enter the Indian market?
One of the issues that Indian customers need is a stable embedded supply chain and that is what we provide. For instance there is this board called the IFC9300. In India, there are 5 products that functions similarly but all of them are not on an embedded road map. Today they might have a particular form factor and I/O but tomorrow if the manufacturer decides to go forward with a new generation, the current form factor would be gone. This will adversely affect the customer using the previous generation.
On the other hand, anything Inforce Computing does has a life cycle of 5-7 years. That is one of the important selling point for us. A customer who comes up with a home automation solution as a full product would want to make sure that the electronics he uses does not change in under a year.