CDAC Partners SoftBank-owned Arm To Support Indian Semiconductor Startups at Every Stage of Prototyping

Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) on Saturday announced a collaboration with Arm, a SoftBank-owned leading semiconductor IP Company, to broaden the support under the Design Linked Incentive Scheme (DLI) and boost the growth of the semiconductor market in India.

UK based Arm is a chip design company, which was acquired by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, in September 2016, in a deal worth £23.4bn. At time of acquisition Arm was listed in London and New York. Arm designs the tech behind processors - commonly known as chips - that power devices from smartphones to game consoles. 

As part of Arm's partnership with CDAC, the Arm® Flexible Access for Startups program, which gives $0 license fee access to a broad portfolio of verified Arm IP, tools and training, is now broadening its qualification criteria to welcome applications from startups that qualify under MEITY’s SemiconIndia futureDESIGN DLI scheme.

Arm Flexible Access for Startups allows early-stage startups to move fast, experiment with ease and design with confidence. The program gives startups access to a broad portfolio of extensively verified IP, tools and training, with a $0 license fee to develop system-on-chip (SoC) prototype. This is backed by industry-leading technical support, an extensive ecosystem and a broad developer base for the best chance of success of participating startups in chosen market.

This program for startups provides low-risk, easy access to industry-proven technology, technical support, an extensive ecosystem, and Arm’s broad developer base so silicon startups can move fast, experiment with ease, and design with confidence.

With Arm Flexible Access, startups building products across all markets have the best chance of success with a fast, low-risk journey to building a working prototype, securing the next round of funding, and instilling confidence in potential investors. Arm Flexible Access for Startups also offers technical support and training to rapidly upskill teams, alongside a choice of experienced Arm Approved Design Partners to bring extra capacity and capability along their journey.

Guru Ganesan, President, Arm India, said, "Innovative silicon startups will drive the future of the semiconductor industry as they develop life-changing new technologies in areas from AI to autonomous vehicles and IoT. We are committed to supporting startups, and through the Arm Flexible Access program, we offer the freedom to experiment, innovate and design, so they can become the technology leaders of tomorrow."

E. Magesh, Director General, CDAC, said, "India has a large and growing pool of designers in semiconductor domain and such offerings from semiconductor ecosystem players like Arm will provide a low cost, low risk opportunity to create innovative designs by young entrepreneurs for import substitution and value addition in the electronics sector."

Under this collaboration, CDAC and Arm intend to work towards the following broad objectives:
  • Startups selected under DLI will qualify for the Arm Flexible Access for Startups program.
  • Arm will provide the startups with access to processor and system IPs, reference designs, GPU, ISP, and AI accelerator IPs, and software development tools.
  • Arm will provide access to thousands of Artisan physical IP products supporting multiple foundries and process nodes for physical design and implementation.
The DLI scheme aims to offer financial incentives as well as design infrastructure support across various stages of development and deployment of semiconductor design(s) for Integrated Circuits (ICs), Chipsets, System on Chips (SoCs), Systems & IP Cores and semiconductor linked design(s) over a period of five years.

The DLI Scheme is implemented by C-DAC. Under the DLI Scheme, ChipIN centre has been setup at C-DAC as one stop centre to provide chip design & fabrication services to supported companies.

Five startups/ MSMEs were earlier approved by MeitY for support under the DLI scheme and announced during the 2nd and 3rd DLI Roadshows held earlier this year in Bangalore (February) and Delhi (May). With this announcement, total 7 start-ups under the DLI Scheme will be working on making chip and IP cores for automotive, mobility and computing sectors.

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