Enabling India’s supercomputing plans – Read interview of CEO of Xilinx

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Published: December 19, 2018 12:04:27 AM

California-based semiconductor company Xilinx Inc invented the field-programmable gate array (FPGA) and created the first fabless manufacturing model.

Victor Peng, CEO, Xilinx

California-based semiconductor company Xilinx Inc invented the field-programmable gate array (FPGA) and created the first fabless manufacturing model. It is now moving beyond FPGA to deliver a completely new category of highly flexible and adaptive processors and platforms that will allow for rapid innovation across a wide array of technologies— from the endpoint to the edge to the cloud, Victor Peng, CEO, Xilinx tells BV Mahalakshmi in a recent interview. Excerpts:

What is the plan to grow business in India?
India is the largest R&D centre outside of our headquarters in San Jose. Xilinx is one of the largest semiconductor employers in Hyderabad. India and San Jose R&D labs are developing Xilinx’s latest technologies. In the area of communications, India is on a high-growth trajectory for 4G LTE deployments and that has fueled growth for our customers both globally and in India. Xilinx technology has been used in all areas of defence in India from space to base—radar signal processing, electronic warfare, avionics, satellites and imaging. Xilinx closely works with many DRDO labs and PSUs and has been part of several successful space missions for Indian space agencies. With large investments in data centre infrastructure up from 1.3million sqft in 2007 to 10.9 million sqft by end of 2018, our data centre acceleration strategy and Alveo product line are in a position to capitalise on the growing Indian data centre market.

India is becoming the design centre of the world for automotives. One such example is Daimler which has selected Xilinx to drive AI-based automotive applications—collaborators included the deep learning experts from the Mercedes-Benz Research centre in Germany and Bangalore with local Xilinx teams involved at both sites.

How do you seen the future of super-computing?
Xilinx FPGAs and SoCs (system on a chip) deliver power efficient, high-performance processing solutions for aerospace and defense, medical, scientific, oil and gas, financial, communications and life science applications. The parallelism and customisable architecture inherent in the FPGA architecture is ideal for high-throughput processing and software acceleration. All Xilinx devices support long product lifecycles that mitigate obsolescence risk. These factors combine to allow HPC platforms based on Xilinx devices to deliver massive processing performance up to 2 TFLOPS, in a single chip, at a fraction of the power of GPUs and multi-core DSPs. This makes Xilinx devices an ideal choice for acceleration in high performance computing or supercomputing platforms. We are actively engaged in India to help enable the Indian government’s ambitious supercomputing plans through our acceleration solutions.

How is the company repositioning itself as a platform company?
As part of the growth strategy and positioning, Xilinx is moving from a device company to a platform company. Designed to deliver new growth, mission is to enable the ‘adaptable, intelligent world’. Xilinx has selected the platform approach, which bundles the right silicon with familiar tools, frameworks, libraries, IP, middleware, and software on industry-standard design flows. It moves beyond the field-programmable gate array (FPGA) to deliver a completely new category of highly flexible and adaptive processors and platforms that will allow for rapid innovation across a wide array of technologies—from the endpoint to the edge to the cloud.

Communications was very strong in Q2, driven by LTE upgrades, pre-5G and some early 5G deployments. Our wireless business grew very significantly with broad-based strength in both radio and baseband applications with major OEMs across multiple geographies. Our wired business grew due to customer transitions to next generation product in several applications. In terms of our updated guidance for Q3 and FY19, we are forecasting growth in communications, data centre and Test, Measurement & Emulation (TME) and industrial and aerospace and defense.

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