Indian semicon startup Silizium aims to dominate analog, RF, mixed signal IP export

Prasanth Aby Thomas, DIGITIMES, Bangalore 0

Arun Ashok, CTO and Rijin John, CEO, Founders of Silizium Circuits. Credit: Silizium

The Indian government's recent efforts to boost the country's semiconductor ecosystem have given a boost to several startups in the fabless sector. Although India has always held interest in the design side, the local industry is becoming more active than ever before.

One among such startups is Silizium Circuits. Speaking to DIGITIMES Asia recently, the company heads explained that their ambitious plan is to dominate the space by the end of this decade.

"We want to become the largest analog, RF, mixed signal IP exporter from India by 2030 and evolve to be the most sought-after global brand in this segment by 2035," said Rijin John, co-founder & CEO of Silizium. "This is an ambitious goal, and we are open to partner with anyone who see the same or better dream through us."

To drive this growth, the company bets on their customer-driven approach. All IPs and SoCs are based on potential customer inputs. Any OEM in deep tech will need custom solutions in future.

"We have established collaboration with GaAs/GaN/CMOS/SOI foundries across the globe. These foundries can provide 28 nm to 180 nm technologies," John continued. "We also have association with various design houses will provide easy access to ASIC tapeout MPW and mass manufacturing. DLI Schemes [India government's schemes] can catalyze commercial volume production."

Silizium is also closely associated with leading companies like HCL Technologies, Tessolve, Calibre, CDAC and with educational institutions like IIT Hyderabad, IIM Visakhapatnam, IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, IIT Guwahati, and Cochin University of Science and Technology.

From IP development to system-on-chip solutions

Silizium Circuits is a pioneering fabless research and development venture, specialized in the creation of analog, radio frequency, and mixed signal semiconductor intellectual property (IP). Their mission is to address the ever-evolving needs of the global semiconductor industry.

"Our focus is primarily on the analog, RF and mixed signal wireless domain with IPs lining up for applications in emerging technologies like aerospace, 5G, GNSS, wearables and hearables, IoT, automotive, and strategic sector," explained Arun Ashok, co-founder & CTO.

With a team spread across India, Silizium has successfully taped out their first chip, SC2391, which is now open for customer evaluation. This innovative front-end module supports all navigation bands, including India's latest NaviC bands. Uniquely offering L1, L2, L5, and S bands on a single chip, SC2391 significantly cuts down the bill of materials (BOM) cost. Additionally, it supports the 5G band 41 with a remarkably low noise figure.

"While we initially focused solely on IP development in the wireless domain, our activities have evolved and diversified over the past few years," Ashok added. "Although analog RF IP design and development remains our primary activity, accompanied by successful tapeouts of front end modules for NaVIC/GPS and 5G, we are now also engaged in system-on-chip (SoC) solutions for a high-volume product."

Ashok indicated that the IPs they have designed are naturally incorporated into their SoC designs. They also collaborate with partners for complementary modules. He explained that their primary focus, which was previously largely on analog with a smaller emphasis on digital, has evolved. Now they are incorporating increasingly more digital elements to meet the growing digital engineering requirements for current and upcoming SoC designs.

Customers and factors driving demand

Silizium intends to capitalize on the potential of selling hardened ASIC IPs in global e-commerce semiconductor marketplaces, such as Design Reuse, Chip Estimate, and Any Silicon.

"Our primary target customers are OEMs offering wireless products catering to EVs, drones, satellites, location and positioning of IoT devices in energy meters, agri-tech, defence tech, GNSS, 5G, IoT products, hearables, wearables, AI ML and strategic applications," John said. "We already have a paying customer operating in B2B2C and B2B2G, with a confirmed demand of 2 lakhs (200,000) IPs per quarter for different commercial applications."

The usage of semiconductor-based ICs and Circuits in almost all modern devices is the primary driving factor, and the adoption of IoT and 5G based products and services in both enterprise and end customers level has catalyzed this growth. This trend is set to grow as the new generations prove to be more tech-savvy than the previous.

Final word

Silizium Circuits has set an ambitious goal of dominating the semiconductor IP export market by the end of the decade. With a customer-centric approach, along with a desire to provide efficient, high-performance solutions at low pricing, the company is planning to establish themselves as a prominent player in this quickly evolving area.

Silizium's focus on developing technologies, as well as its plans to enter global e-commerce semiconductor marketplaces, point to a bright future. The company's innovative solutions are positioned to address the increasing need for analog, RF, and mixed signal IPs as the world becomes more technologically driven, marking a huge step forward for India's fabless semiconductor business.