India’s Ineda Unveils Wearable Processor, Gets Funding From Chip Majors

by CXOtoday News Desk    Apr 09, 2014

wearables

Wearable devices chip startup Ineda Systems has developed a microprocessor specifically for wearables that dramatically lowers power demands. The company that recently received $17 million in funding from Samsung and Qualcomm said that its chips will be applicable to a multitude of devices such as smartwatches, health and fitness trackers and other wearable devices, as well as the emerging internet-of-things space.

Ineda claims the new microprocessor, Dhanush, consumes around 10 times less power than processors used in wearables today, which were often originally designed for smartphones, enabling 30 days of always-on battery life, reports Re-code. Power is a particular challenge for wearables, which are generally smaller than mobile phones and often intended to be worn around the clock. Device usage tends to drop off precipitously after a few months, often when it’s forgotten in its charging cradle, says the report.

Ineda founder and CEO Gude Dasaradha told TOI that this is a breakthrough technology from India. “I don’t believe there is an equivalent product in the world.”

The company has also received funding from Walden-Riverwood Ventures, IndusAge Partners, Imagination Technologies and others. The three-year-old startup, with offices in Silicon Valley and Hyderabad in India, has more than 180 engineers. “The new funding will be used to further develop Ineda’s semiconductor and software products,” he said.

The company is also announcing it has named Young Sohn, chief strategy officer at Samsung Electronics, to the board. Sanjay Jha, the former CEO of Motorola Mobility, serves as chairman, says the report.

Gude, who was previously the managing director of AMD India before he left to start Ineda, also said they’re already conducting customer trials, and expect to be able to announce product deals within the next three to six months.

The global market for wearable computing devices is expected to grow to $30.2 billion by 2018, with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 43.4%, says a BCG report. The consumer market, the fastest moving segment overall, is projected to grow at a tremendous 52% CAGR. Currently, wearable devices mostly use processors that were originally designed for smartphones. This makes for limited functionalities, high power consumption, and lower response times and this is where the startup wanted to make a difference.

India is a major global hub of semiconductor design services, and experts believe companies such as Ineda can further help in strengthening the ecosystem.