Betting high on embedded software
he future world will be driven by three key technologies: mobile communications, broadband, and 'always-on' appliances. This, in turn, would fuel the growth of embedded systems a combination of computer hardware and software, either fixed in capability or programmable, that is specifically designed for a particular kind of application device. According to a report in The Economic Times, "The global embedded and telecom market is worth one trillion dollars and will continue to grow at an exponential pace. Industry analysts estimate that over 54 per cent of future software development will be in the embedded technology space. Nasscom states that the worldwide market for embedded software is pegged at US $21 billion (2001) and is expected to grow at a healthy 16 per cent CAGR in the next three years with software becoming an important source of functionality enhancement and differentiation in many traditionally non-computing devices such as PDAs, cell phones and consumer electronics.
|* Percentage share of various verticals in Embedded Software market
The key sectors that are driving the growth of the overall embedded space (both software development and hardware design) are automotive and industrial electronics, digital consumer electronics, enterprise and carrier class communications, wireless, broadband, aerospace and even defence. Of these application sectors, telecom at 34 per cent enjoys the largest chunk of market share, followed by consumer electronics at 20 per cent and automation and instrumentation at 19 per cent. Automotive electronics and telematics are the hottest areas in the embedded space. In the automotive sector, for example, major new product advances such as Automatic Braking Systems, Telematics, Engine control are all powered by embedded software systems The amount of electronics deployed in a car has risen steadily over the years. Now, about 15 per cent of a car's value lies in the electronics, and this figure is expected to grow up to 20 per cent soon. The offerings include complete design and development services from concept to product design through development, and testing on a wide variety of processors encompassing all the major architectures, ranging from 4-bit micro-controllers to 64-bit microprocessors, as well as many popular Dips.
Rapidly evolving hardware is also fuelling the need for embedded devices. Every time a manufacturer chooses to upgrade to a more superior/newer hardware, all applications and tools need to be ported onto the new hardware. This calls for significant software input. In addition, as hardware becomes more powerful and inexpensive, with 64 bit processing power available now at US$120 - 200, the development as well as value needs of the future will lie in the software.
India is set to capture a significant pie of this emerging opportunity. MNC majors such as Texas Instruments, ST Microelectronics, Motorola, Intel, and Cadence are aggressively expanding operations in India. Honeywell Industrial Controls has a 400-person captive ODC in India, focusing on avionics and industrial controls. Delphi, the leading global automotive supplier develops embedded software for automotive controllers in India. It plans to invest $35 million in India over 3 years. Samsung has set up a development centre in India with 200 engineers to work on software applications around network management, computer telephony and network printing solutions.
Leading Indian IT companies such as TCS, Wipro and HCL Technologies are also focusing on this sector. Many OEMs in industries such as automotive face a huge challenge in attracting and retaining high quality software talent. This, coupled with the increasing need for services in this market is likely to result in a large number of OEMs and suppliers looking for third party service providers or talent hubs to augment their software development capabilities, according to Nasscom. Says Kiran Karnik, President, Nasscom, "Over 60 per cent of the top global Independent Software Vendors are already leveraging India for maintenance services and new product development. Many companies have already started providing complete solutions in this area by leveraging the existing design and programming capabilities within the industry while outsourcing the actual development of chips to external silicon wafer manufacturers. A testament to this fact is that of the total revenue contribution of US $1.2 billion in 2001 - 02, from the R&D and technology sector, embedded software development constituted a significant percentage."
Nasscom has identified four primary markets that can be carried out by third party providers or offshore hubs in India. These include:
- Product development partnerships: Companies can work with customer's in-house team to share product development workload, reducing costs and time-to-market
- Validation Services: Companies can use extensive tools to objectively validate code written by in-house engineers or other vendors
- Maintenance Services: Companies could maintain customer code, making and documenting any changes required during the life cycle
- Professional services: Companies could help their customer's customers (i.e., end users) modify and use their products
Expansion plans of various MNCs and recent efforts by Nasscom to play up India's product development skills point to the fact embedded software would be India's next sunrise sector. Companies are frantically looking for professionals with a good knowledge of the industry domain and product roadmap, along with knowledge of technologies.
List of Indian Companies in Embedded Software and Technology
|Arasan Chip Systems
||Provider of reusable,silicon
proven,parameterised,RMM complaint IP cores that are technology, foundry and
EDA tool independent. It provides IP customisation and integration services
to its IP clients
||Atrenta's flagship product - SpyGlass
provides the infrastructure to bring the requirements and constraints of all
the participants in the value chain (designers,testers,foundaries etc.)
right up front
||Focuses on products & platforms used in the
distribution and management of rich media content,using emerging wireless
and wired technologies.
||Offers the full spectrum of design services
on FPGA and ASIC platforms. Developed expertise in telecommunications (GSM,GPRS),networking
(SDH/SONET,ATM,Fibre channel,Ethernet) & DSP. Company has recently launched
a VLSI design course for individuals.
||Provides turnkey ASIC design services.
Software development for Application programming in the area of
networking,Device drivers for windows based operations,Embedded
systems,system validation & Internet applications
||Offers collaborative platform for
accelerating the product adoption process for multi-million fate IC design
and EDA tool development markets.
||Offers UMS (Universal Micro Systems) family
of SoC platforms. UMS platform is suitable for a variety of applications
that involve stream processing e.g. networking,communication,multimedia etc.
||Provides IP & design services to the
companies in the areas of ASIC/PLD design,embedded software and
||Provides services and expertise in
conceiving,developing and delivering core technologies in EDA, Digital Video
Technology (DVT) and VLSI design
|Dexcel Electronic Designs
||Provides design & development services in
communications,multimedia (Voice,video,image & data) and digital signal
processing areas. Provides front-end design services for ICs needed for
customer applications. Also verifies the IC design by implementing it on
||Provides products & services in the areas of
ASIC/PLD design,system level design and embedded software. Large portfolio
of 45 IP blocks in areas like : DSP,Controllers,Peripherals,Interfaces,
|Future Techno Designs
||FTD specialise in analog/mixed signal IP
cores like ADC,DAC,PLL for low voltage,high speed application. Offers
services like ASIC design,analog process qualification and consultancy on
Electrostatic discharge (ESD)
|Future Software Ltd
||Range of protocol stacks in the areas of
LAN,WAN,ATM,IP,Internetworking,Network management,telecom and signalling
Product realisation services,extended lifecycle services,verification and
validation services. Mindteck semiconductor industry software,telecom
protocol stacks (802.11,bluetooth,GPRS) and other embedded systems software
||GDA Technologies helps OEMs in the
networking,embedded and consumer electronics in product design and
development by providing system & IC designs and development by providing
system & IC design services & SIP
||Strategic R&D outsouring partner to
semiconductor equipment vendors. Strong relationship with leaders in
semiconductor equipment manufacturing industry in the areas of Wafer
processing & inspection, Metrology,Yield Management,Deposition,Ion
Implementation,ATE,packaging & assmbly
||Voice over Packet protocol stacks and
frameworks (softswitch,SIP server,Gatekeeper),Protocol stacks for GPRS and
UMTS,product design and engineering services.
||Offers several reference designs for
Bluetooth & 802.11b based products. These includes : BTHub,ISDNTA,
MacBeth,Cyrano,WANDA,iBTstack,BluePC,FiSH etc. Offers support services for
customising and porting its components and reference designs (to different
||Products offered : Web accelerator,which
uses novel techniques to significantly speed up responses at busy websites
and reduce webserver costs
||Provider of Design services and products to
clients in the networking domain. Focus on verification part of the IC
design cycle. Also provides software design services for model
development,embedded systems development,network protocol implementation and
device driver development.
|Ishna Tek Systems & Services
||Provider of ASIC design services and IP
cores. It not only provides specific design services like RTL development
but also undertakes complete ASIC design projects
||Developing DSP based products in the areas
of wireless,wirelines,speech and audio,image and video.These systems are
implemented as floating or fixed point C language models,optimized assembly
on multiple DSP platforms,synthesizable HDL,or as reference boards.
||Offers product realisation services to
Internet infrastructure and Internet appliance vendors through networking
technology expertise and re-usable components.
||MosChip is a fabless semiconductor player
developing ASICs for computer peripherals,data communications and consumer
electronics. Offers a range of ICs for I/O applications.
||Provides IC front-end design services and
has considerable expertise in developing behavioural and structural models
in HDLs like Verilog & VHDL. Has design expertise in broad range of areas -
buses,memory,FIFO,I/O, Processors etc. Also offers FPGA,custom ASIC and
board design services
|Pace Soft Silicon
||Offers SSIPs on DSP,ARM,Parthus and Cradle
UMS platforms in the following areas : Video,Crypto,Speech/Audio,Bluetooth,Systems
||Provider of semiconductor subsystem
solutions for the emerging metro optical network marketplace. Also offers
about 40 different IP blocks for telecommunication transmission including
SONET/SDH,ATM,Packet over SONET (POS) and Ethernet
||It's a powerful,base level platform for next
generation MP3-type player/ recorder systems,including hybrid systems
combining CD and digital audio player/recorders,and hard drive equipped
digital audio jukeboxes
||Provider of solutions for architectural
exploration of applications specific embedded processors,based on App2Chi
framework (Application to Chip)
|Purple Vision Technologies
||Offers the following set of services : DFT
services,system programming services and system design testability. Provides
onsite as well as offshore services
||Provider of telecommunications software
services and solutions to network equipment manufacturers,mobile terminal
vendors and semiconductor companies.
|Semiconductor Complex Limited (SCL)
||Offers VLSI design education & training (VEDANT)
course in an effort to contribute effectively to the manpower development in
the vital area of microelectronics in the country. Offers IC design,wafer
fabrication,packaging & testing services with expertise in analog and Mixed
||Offers tool development and maintenance.
Expertise in developing tools for all phase of chip design - from system
design to physical design
||Offers a range of packaging (PDIP,SOIP,QSOP,QTSOP,QVSOP,MILLIPAQ,SSOP,
TSSOP and SIP) It not only provides test engineering and test development
services to its customers.
||Offers a comprehensive range of IC design.
Other services offered are tool development and maintenance,tool
support,Graphical User Interface design, porting & verification
|Tata Consultancy Services
||Design & develop high-speed,high performance
analog,RF,DSP and mixed signal integrated circuits for : High-speed
networking,Wired & wireless communications,Multimedia & consumer,High-speed
computing,Automotive, Industrial,Data processing and other related services
||Offers product design services using ASIC/Silicon,Board/System
Firmware, Device Drivers,Operating System Protocols,Embedded Software,Host
based Application Software
|Teamasia Lakhi Semiconductor
||Supplier of dicrete semiconductors
specialising in the power management segment.
|U&I Scotty Computers
||Primary focus is turnkey IC design services.
Expertise in mixed signal design & focuses on the telecom segment. Also
provides software services in the areas of telecom software & embedded
||Provider of VLSI design and training
services. Helps its clients in the areas of system design,prototyping (on
PLD platform),testing and verification and IP core development
||Provides IP Customisation and integration
services to its IP clients. Also provides third party IP verififaction
services. Undertakes IP development based on customer specfication,offers
stand alone design services for tunkey design,FPGA based prototype
development and system development (board design,embedded software
|Virtual IP Group
||Provides intellectual property (IP)
development,licensing & integration services as well as frontend and backend
design services including firmware development for embedded system solution
||Offers services like : system-on-chip & IC
design,Architecture design, development,tape out and validation,Gate
array/cell and embedded array implementation,FPGA and board designs,Demo/development
and evaluation platforms,assembly level optimization,bench marking micro
controllers, Associated specialized tools and debugging utilities,Design &
development of DSP libraries,Debugging utilities and micro controller
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