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February 11, 2005

IIT-B start-up Powai Labs to launch chip testing system

Businessworld profiles Powai Labs, an IIT-Bombay incubated start-up that is close to launching a chip testing system:

Powai Labs, after two years of existence, is ready to launch its first product, a hardware accelerator, in March. "The launch will be a major milestone in the company's life and, by our calculations, should reduce the cost of verifying chip designs by a factor of four," says (Reapen) Tikoo (the company's founder)...

... Powai Labs uses a combination of software and hardware to speed up the simulation. Powai Labs' algorithm directs the program to a bunch of field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), which are cheap and reusable chips. The FPGAs execute the logic much more quickly. The algorithm is smart enough to take very large designs, split them, apportion it over just four FPGAs and then put it all back together. "We hope to launch a 64-FPGA accelerator over the next 18 months," says Tikoo. Some large semi-conductor companies in India are testing the beta version of the product. Powai Labs could soon become the first chip verification tool company from India.

Arun Natarajan is the Editor of TSJ Media, which tracks venture capital activity in India and Indian-founded companies worldwide. View sample issues of TSJ Media's Venture Intelligence India newsletters and reports.