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Semiconductor company Mindgrove launches India’s first commercial MCU chip

Peak XV Partners-backed fabless semiconductor startup Mindgrove Technologies on Sunday said it has launched what it claimed is India's first commercial high-performance SoC (system on chip). Named Secure IoT, it is designed for IoT devices and will likely costs 30% less than other chips in similar segments.

The startup, supported by IITM Pravartak Technologies Foundation and incubated in the IIT-Madras Incubation Cell, said the chip has had a successful MPW tape-out (the silicon industry term for prototyping) at the 28nm node will be available for OEMs to try out it in the coming weeks.

The Chennai-based startup said the chip will allow local companies to use an Indian SoC in their products and help reduce the cost of their devices, without compromising on high-end features.

Secure IoT is a high-performance microcontroller clocked at 700 MHz. The company said it is the only Indian chip that is commercially available in this segment.

The chip is designed to provide programmability, flexibility, security and superior computing power for controlling applications on a wide range of connected smart devices, it said.

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“This chip can control everything from wearable devices such as smart watches to smart urban devices such as connected electricity, water and gas meters, to connected home devices like locks, fans and smart speakers, as well as EV battery management systems and control systems, amongst others," the company said in a statement.

In addition to selling the chip, Mindgrove will offer design support to Indian brands to accelerate innovation and scale of production in India.

“India consumes over a billion chips a year and 10 to 50 million of them could be replaced by secure IoT. Additionally, there is widespread demand for microchips across the world and we expect global buyers to be excited about a new option from India. ”said Shashwath, CEO and co-founder of Mindgrove Technologies.

Shashwath said the pandemic has exposed a wide gap between high-end and low-end players in the embedded systems space, with the latter prioritizing cost and size over actual chip performance. "This led us to set out to design chips that target the middle market."

Secure IoT offers a wide range of features and is designed to be used with bare metal code or any microcontroller RTOS (real-time operating system), thus opening up areas such as traffic control systems, autonomous vehicles, medical equipment, etc. Mindgrove said.

Mindgrove was founded by Shashwath and Sharan Srinivas J and is backed by Peak XV Partners, Speciale Invest and Whiteboard Capital.

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