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November 13, 1998


Intel presents the future of business computing

Wipro's giving a piece of its mind: EnThink Inc's been formed in Santa Clara to make and sell semiconductor intellectual property. A Staff Writer in Bombay

Wipro has announced the incorporation of EnThink at Santa Clara, California.

The new company will address the emerging market needs for semiconductor intellectual property. Industry analysts Wessels, Arnold & Henderson estimate that the requirement for such intellectual property would touch $1.4 billion by 2001.

Email this story to a friend. Wipro's initial investment in the company is around $2.5 million.

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Dr Sridhar Mitta has been designated chief executive officer of EnThink. He is being assisted by a select group of technical and managerial talent drawn from the Wipro Infotech Group.

An American national with over 20 years of experience in global intellectual property markets has been appointed vice-president, sales.

The product conceptualisation, architecture, marketing and technical support is being provided from EnThink's US headquarter.

Major portions of the design and development work are being carried out from Bangalore to access Wipro's pool of designers. This will also draw benefits like the lower development costs in India.

Additionally, EnThink has a technical support team in Japan.

In a press statement Ashok Soota, Wipro group vice-president, claimed that "EnThink will combine the speed and flexibility of a start-up with the stability and knowledge base of an established leader."

EnThink has the advantage of getting access to major computer vendors and networking and consumer product companies that are already customers of Wipro's services business.

"EnThink has certain unique advantages in addressing the semiconductor IP market," said Dr Sridhar Mitta. "We not only offer functional designs but these get verified in silicon through our relationship with third-party pure-silicon foundries. In addition, we provide customisation and integration services including software components, bringing time-to-market advantage to our customers," he claimed.

The semiconductor industry world-wide is currently changing dramatically, resulting in dispersion of the vertically integrated model.

The design and fabrication of semiconductors are spinning into independent and self-sustained industries, leading to 'fabless' and 'chipless' semiconductor companies. This discontinuity offers a unique opportunity for EnThink, a Wipro statement argues.

Semiconductor IP is the software encapsulation of the hardware design. EnThink will licenses such IP blocks to original equipment manufacturers, who in turn may incorporate them into their designs and fabricate highly complex 'systems on a chip', or SOC.

EnThink's current portfolio of IP blocks includes products in the domains of IEEE 1394, 'universal serial bus' or USB, Ethernet and 'asynchronous transfer mode' or ATM.

IEEE 1394, the high-performance and low-cost multimedia bus enables connectivity between computers and consumer products at speeds of 400 to 1600 MBPS and is being incorporated into the next generation of digital consumer products and computer peripherals.

Market Researcher In-Stat estimates that there will be 400 million IEEE 1394 ports in the market by 2000. EnThink is being poised to garner a share of that significant market.

Dr Sridhar Mitta further indicated that the next wave of IPs would be in the networking domain where demand is expected to be high due to convergence of data-communication and telecommunication.

The Wipro Infotech Group is among the top two information technology vendors and software exporters in India. It is a part of the Rs 18.3 billion diversified and integrated Wipro Corporation.

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