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July 30, 1997


Wipro readies 'soft chip' for global market

The latest product to hit the global market from the Wipro Global R&D division is the 'soft chip' which has been developed as per IEEE 1394 standards.

Dr Sridhar Mitta, Chief Technology Officer, Wipro Global R&D, has claimed that "The soft chips will be the single interface of choice for medium-speed digital communication."

These chips find application in digital cameras, DVDs, printers etc. "After fabrication, the soft chips will be proven silicon-ready and we will license it to multiple parties. There will not be exclusive licensing arrangements with any companies," he said.

The recently created products division of Global R&D is responsible for the design and prototype development of the soft chips. According to Dr Mitta, the R&D division would focus on creation of such intellectual property where the risks involved are higher, and so are the returns.

"We understand technology and market trends and develop the prototype of products which are either sold through partners or through licensed manufacturers."

Till now, Wipro has designed and developed products as per the specifications given by its clients. In such cases, the intellectual property remains with the clients and so the returns are also modest and the people availability is also low. Dr Mitta, however, clarified that the company would not altogether abandon that line of business.

It may be recalled that the company has licensed a Taiwan-based company for the manufacture of its CD-ROM server early last year. This is under production now, Dr Mitta said.

Another product, Cyber Manage, a network management software launched by Wipro a few months ago "is being repositioned as a device management software and consequently we are in the process of talking to a few device management companies from Taiwan and Japan."

According to Dr Mitta, the Global R&D division with 100 personnel, is expected to post a turnover of Rs 100 million in 1997-98, the first full year of its operations.

Another area of focus for the company is networking.

According to Dr Mitta, the Wipro R&D division is moving away from four technology areas including hardware, systems software, ASIC and embedded systems to networking. "Now the focus is purely on networking where time-to-market is of primary importance," he said.

In the services arena, the company recently created the Global Interop division which deals with interoperability and compliance of standards in networking.

- Compiled from the Indian media

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