DSP firms have a big market to exploit – (Economic Times)

DSP firms have a big market to exploit – (Economic Times)

January 01, 2001
Economic Times, Bangalore – R. Subramanyam

DSP firms have a big market to exploit

THE MARKET for companies that are building software and services on digital signal process is mammoth. Market research agencies estimate this space to be worth around $10 billion this year and growing at 50 per cent annually.

This is the space that the yet to be christened company of Srini Rajam, who till the end of 2000 was managing director of Texas Instruments, plans to operate in. DSPs are unique microprocessors that operate in real time. Texas Instruments, Motorola, Lucent, and Analog Devices are the big boys in this space who make DSP processors.

The need for embedded DSP software and software for the numerous gadgets like digital cellular phones, high speed modems, MP3 players and braodband switch that have DSP in their core, is what is creating a huge demand for DSP related software and services.

“The proliferation of appliances and standards call for varied software to be developed on the DSP,” said Rajam.

According to him, the world over there are around 300-400 companies whose turnover range for $2 million to $20 million in revenues, who provide software applications and services on DSP.

As a large number of these companies focus on providing solutions to one specific segment of the market, like for example audio, voice over IP or cable modems, the market though appearing crowded is big.

Four senior professionals from TI are joining Mr Rajam in his new venture which will develop software for DSP for applications like audio, video, wireless and broadband. The startup will parallely also build IP (intellectual property) in these domain. “Revenue will be from DSP projects and licensing out IP we build,” said Rajam.

The startup will pursue a collaboration model a la Taiwan concept in the PC era (where different companies with expertise in PC components like monitor, motherboard, and keyboard collaborated to make the country a leading original equipment maker), he said.

“ASIC design competency is very adjacent to DSP as such we can collaborate with ASIC design companies. Traditionally, Indian companies have been reluctant to do this,” elaborated Mr Rajam.

Rajam would not comment on the market rumours that Global Technology Ventures (earlier Sivan Securities) is an investor in his company. “We have one domestic investor. We will announce the name of the company, and that of the investor soon,” he said.

Challenges that the startup will face are creating IP, marketing it and building an high intelligence network of partners, he said. Getting trained manpower in DSP space is also a challenge which he plans to circumvent by providing advanced in-house training to freshers of electronic, electrical and computer science.

“We will partner with academia and industry. Freshers who have an aptitude for signal processing can be converted into competent DSP engineers in three months time,” he said.

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