[Click to enlarge image]
Fabless US semiconductor company InSilica Inc is positioning itself to grab a slice of the ASIC and mobile imaging ASSP market by ramping up its largest design center, in Bangalore, India.

InSilica, which also has design centers in Slovenia and the US, delivers submicron solutions to multiple high volume markets. Its Bangalore design center was founded on an Indo-US model whereby executive and engineering aspects are driven from Silicon Valley, while implementation is carried out by the India-based team.

Mobile Imaging
InSilica recently introduced the industry's first digital still camera class image processor, overcoming cost, power and size constraints normally associated with high-volume camera phones.

This next-generation image processor, the INS-3510, provides a dramatic advance in price/performance over its predecessor. It brings full 3- and 5-megapixel capabilities to low-cost mobile phones and includes features previously unavailable in this segment, such as advanced adaptive tone mapping to ensure color correctness in variety of light conditions, full auto-functions including auto-exposure, auto-white balance, and user-selectable multipoint auto-focus. Through its programmable architecture, additional features such as special effects can be included to enable camera module and phone manufacturers to further customize and differentiate their products.

To bring such advanced camera features to the cost-sensitive mobile phone industry, InSilica designed the INS-3510 from the ground up, leveraging deep submicron process and InSilica's advanced physical design techniques to attain very small die size and low power consumption.

"Our engineers, both in Slovenia and Bangalore, have been instrumental in designing this product," said K S Raghunathan, head of the India design center, InSilica Semiconductor India."Today, keeping in mind, the current scenario where the camera module is being integrated in almost every device - from mobile phones to Webcam to surveillance equipment - we see huge potential for our off-the-shelf product."

ASIC Design Capabilities
InSilica's other main line of business is in the ASIC space, and it provides specific SoC-based solutions to customers. This activity is initiated by external customers who provide the specifications, and the design is executed and taken to production by the engineering team in Bangalore.

"Here the business models vary. Sometimes customers request us to engage them at the spec development phase itself, and other times we work with them from the netlist stage. These could be in any segment - storage, broadband wireless, VoIP, WLAN systems, and consumer products such as handheld electronics, multi-functional printers, flat-panel displays," said Murthy Suravarapu, product marketing manager, InSilica Semiconductor India.

InSilica's design capabilities include highly optimized power techniques, analog/mixed signal and complex IP integration. The engineering team has delivered high-volume products in both leading-edge deep submicron as well as cost-effective mature process technologies.

"Our unique correct-by-construction SoC design methodology, called inGenious, significantly reduces the number of iterations that take place in standard ASIC flows, and once underway, cross checks timing closure, test methodology and layout at each step in the process to ensure all aspects of the design flow are flawlessly executed," Raghunathan said."Our business model is based on integration of strategic third-party IP with our own extensive in-house IP, which enables us to provide ASIC and SoC solutions that consume lower power, cost less and (most important) reduce time-to-market."

by Sufia Tippu

From Nikkei Electronics Asia India edition August issue