Monday, June 26, 2023

Mindgrove First Indian Firm to Join Global Silicon IP Giant Imagination’s Open Access Program

* With this partnership the Peak XV Partners backed firm can use Imagination IP in its System-on-Chips (SoCs) to be released in 2024. These SoCs will be the first commercial SoCs based on the Shakti core microprocessors designed at IIT Madras.

UK-based Imagination Technologies and India-based Mindgrove Technologies announce a partnership under Imagination’s Open Access program - the first official partnership in India under the program.

Imagination has over 25 years of experience in creating and licensing IPs used in silicon chips. Under its unique Open Access program, early-stage companies can access select class-leading GPU and AI accelerator IP without any licensing costs. This lowers the entry barriers for start-ups to design world-class SoCs.  

Mindgrove Technologies is a semiconductor startup that’s designing innovative System-on-Chips (SoCs) in India, for the world. These SoCs, which use the Shakti core microprocessor, are designed to be high-performance, low-power and cost-effective. They are meant for use in power-constrained applications in automotive, consumer electronics, industrial automation, security and aviation. Mindgrove is funded by Peak XV Partners (formerly Sequoia Capital India), Speciale Invest and Whiteboard Capital. 

Modern silicon design companies license existing silicon IPs and build on top of that. This way, they can focus on creating a unique differentiation instead of re-invention. This is especially true of newer companies with limited R&D budgets and lower tolerance for failure. However, licensing IP involves three costs - an upfront licensing fee, technical support charges and royalties on sales. 

Under Imagination’s Open Access program, the upfront licensing fee is waived, and the support is provided in fixed price bundles to enable the customer to manage their project budget. This lowers the barriers to entry to SoC design and provides help through technical expertise, class-leading tools, and engineering support.

Steve Evans, Chief Revenue Officer Imagination, says: “Imagination’s class-leading, high-quality IP is silicon-proven – meaning it significantly reduces design risk for those who need it most, and by removing the licensing fee for this IP, Open Access offers a more accessible route to cutting-edge SoC creation. We’re delighted to be working with an innovative company like Mindgrove who are pioneering home-grown SoC designs in India.”

Shashwath T R, CEO, Mindgrove, said, “It’s more than just the cost advantage. Imagination IP is silicon-proven, and we get to learn from their engineers. Plus, our time to market is reduced significantly.” Further, the IP licensing agreement has been simplified in the Open Access program. Shashwath added, “From the day we saw the agreement to legal vetting to signing took only 15 days. This is truly exciting stuff, and we’re very energised by this deal.” 

Founded in 2021 by Shashwath T R and Sharan Srinivas J, Mindgrove is based in Chennai and backed by the IIT Madras Incubation Cell and IITM Pravartak Technologies Foundation - a technology innovation hub funded by the Department of Science and Technology.

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