Monthly Archives: June 2009

Venture Center – Pune’s incubator for startups in biotech, chemical, materials sciences

Kaushik Gala, Business Development Manager at Venture Center is looking for all innovators in the areas of biology, chemical, and material sciences.
Kaushik Gala, Business Development Manager at Venture Center is looking for all innovators in the areas of biology, chemical, and material sciences.

Venture Center is an incubator housed in NCL Pune, created with this purpose:

To nucleate and nurture technology and knowledge-based enterprises for India by leveraging the scientific and engineering competencies of the institutions in the region.

Envisioned Future: To be the organisation that will be credited with creating, shaping and sustaining a “Pune cluster” of innovative technology businesses with a significant economic impact regionally, nationally and globally within the next 20 years.

To find out more about Venture Center, we interviewed Kaushik Gala, the Business Development Manager of Venture Center. Here are excerpts from the interview:

1. What is Venture Center?

Entrepreneurship Development Center (‘Venture Center’) is a technology business incubator approved by the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India. Venture Center is incorporated as a Section 25 not-for-profit Company established under the Companies Act 1956.

Venture Center was setup with support from the Department of Science & Technology – National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (DST-NSTEDB) and National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) (constituent lab of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research).

2. What are the services that Venture Center will provide incubatee companies?

Venture Center provides:

· Infrastructure – Dedicated labs, shared work-benches, analytical facilities, offices, hot-desks, etc.

· Advisory – Intellectual property, business planning, startup nuts-and-bolts issues, etc.

· Fund-raising – Seed stage fund raising from various sources including government agencies (eg. MoMSME), professional investors, etc.

· Technology commercialization program (‘Lab2Mkt’)

· Information and learning center – Library, databases, workshops, seminars, etc.

3. At what stage do you expect innovators and/or startup companies to approach you?

We offer resources and services at all stages of an early-stage technology startup – ranging from idea/conception, to prototype to Series A/B financing.

4. Obviously you are not interested in incubating any and all startups? Can you describe, with some examples, what sectors you are limiting yourself to?

Our focus is on the areas of material, chemical and biological sciences and related engineering / software ventures. However, some of our services are open to all individual entrepreneurs and startups.

Specific examples include startups that have commercialization technologies related to surgical implants, membranes for water purification, CFD and modeling solutions, etc.

5. Are the innovators expected to move to Pune, into your facility, to avail of any of your services?

For startups that need our infrastructure facilities, being located in Pune is obviously preferable. However, for services such as advisory and fund-raising, they can be located outside Pune as well.

6. How is Venture Center funded? What are your long-term funding plans?

Venture Center is funded via:

· A grant from DST-NSTEDB for start-up costs and operational expenses for the first 5-years

· In-kind support from NCL

· Donations from well wishers

After the fifth year of operation, Venture Center is expected to become self-sufficient. Besides generating revenue from a variety of services, our long-term funding plans include:

· Raising capital from governmental agencies and professional investors to set up an early-stage (‘seed’) fund for investment in technology ventures

· Raising grant funds from governmental and corporate agencies to expand our services portfolio

· Partnering with other R&D labs, domestic/foreign incubators, etc.

You can find out more about Venture Center at its website which is packed with a huge amount of detail. Information about the executive team behind Venture Center is here.
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Tech events for Pune – Barcamp? TechWeekend? CoreTechnology? When?

A discussion is going on over twitter for the next technology event. Should we have a “core technology camp”? Should we have a “Tech Weekend”? What about the “regular” Barcamp Pune that is expected to be announced soon? There’s also a session on REST by Dhananjay Nene that is being planned – but that is for an advanced audience – those more into architectural issues and long-term thinking. Obviously there is room and need for all of the above, but what about the timing?

Look at recent tweets of @irohan, @IamSB, @d7y, @thecancerus, @ngkabra for the discussion. Twitter was getting unweildy for the discussion, so we’re hoping to move the discussion to the comments on this article.

Here is our attempt to summarize:

(Note: the names attached to each event below does not imply that they support only that event and nothing else. In fact, I would guess most of these people would like to see all these events happen in Pune. Names are being attached just to indicate who first proposed this concept.)

Barcamp Pune: a big event, targeted towards all techies. Anything goes. Talks and demos from various different technology areas. Most will be “introductory” or “overview” type of talks. Proposed by: @tarunchandel, @rohit11, @whereispriyank and @thecancerus

Core Tech Barcamp: More advanced than barcamp. Will most likely have a specific theme (like Advanced MySQL, or J2EE). Not targeted towards beginners. This would be a place for people with some experience already to exchange advanced thoughts. Proposed by: @IamSB, @_ketan

Techweekend: A full weekend (or at least a full day) of technology talks. Not sure how different this is from Core Tech Barcamp (except for the length). Proposed by: @irohan, @IamSB

Individual / Advanced technology Talks: Like @dnene’s talk on REST. This is one talk, on a very focused topic. Expected to be very advanced stuff. Expected to draw an audience of just about 10 or 20.

The issue of dates. Blogcamp Pune is on 27th June. Proto will be on 26th July. The other events above have to be scheduled so that we don’t have too many big events close to each other, and a small event is not happening on the same day as a big one.

Please leave your thoughts below.

Event: IC Design Challenges in the Telecom sector – Shrinath Keskar, ex-MD Ikanos, India – 29th June

The integrated circuit from an Intel 8742, a 8...
Image via Wikipedia

What: Talk by Shrinath Keskar, fomer MD Ikanos Communications India, on IC Design Challenges in the Telecom Sector.
When: Monday, 29th June, 6:30pm to 8:00pm
Where: Venture Center, NCL Innovation Park, Pashan Road. To reach Venture Center, go past NCL towards Pashan, pass the cricket ground adjacent to NCL and then you’ll find NCL Innovation Park / Venture Center on the right hand side. Map
Registration and fees: This event is free for all to attend. No registration required.

About the speaker – Shrinath Keskar

Shrinath Keskar, former M.D. of Ikanos Communications of India has over 17 years of experience in the field of Semiconductors. He joined Ikanos in the year 2000 and has been with the company since then. Shrinath also worked with Fortune 500 hindered companies such as Motorola and Sun Microsystems before joining Ikanos. He has a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Texas A &M and B.E. from College of Engineering, Pune.

About PuneChips

PuneChips is a special interest group on semiconductor design and applications. This event is the inaugural event for PuneChips. PuneChips was formed to foster an environment for growth of companies in the semiconductor design and applications segment in the Pune area. Our goal is to build an ecosystem similar to PuneTech for companies in this field, where they can exchange information, consult with experts, and start and grow their businesses.

For more information, see the PuneTech wiki profile of PuneChips, and/or join the PuneChips mailing list.

Please forward this mail to anybody in Pune who is interested in semiconductors, chip design, VLSI design, chip testing, and embedded applications.

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BlogCampPune: Carpools, Buspool, What to Expect, Contacts, and other info

(Tarun Chandel, one of the organizers of BlogCampPune, sent out this mail to all those signed up to attend BlogCampPune 2, and it is being reproduced here for the benefit of those who haven’t yet registered – in the hope of convincing you that this is where you want to be on Saturday. And of course, if you’re still not sure of why to attend the blogcamp, check out our reasons why.)

I am sure you are looking forward to this Saturday with as much excitement as I am. Rains have arrived in Pune, it’s cool, it’s green, it’s beautiful and it’s ready to host all the bloggers for the BlogCamp Pune 2.

Just a quick reminder about some cool sections of our wiki that you can use to reach the Blogcamp in more fun way.

Carpools/Bikepools/Bus Sharing:

If you are coming on your bike or car please add your name in the Bikepool and Carpool section of our wiki: as that will help you to meet a fellow blogger even before the camp. Now there is a special treat for those who are coming from Mumbai. You can join the rest of Mumbai Bloggers who are traveling together in a bus. Please contact Mohnish, a Mumbai based blogger, through this link or sms your name, email & no. to 9768512770 (only sms). Kindly note that the phone number is an SMS gateway only, your calls will not be answered. You will help this earth in staying bit more green and you can have some awesome pre-blogcamp-networking 🙂


Please be there at 9:45am. We are going to start at 10am. If you are coming from any far flung corner of the city, start early. If you are coming from Mumbai start way too early else you are going to miss the fun part. If you wish to volunteer for helping us in setting up the venue, please be at SICSR at 8:30am.

I would suggest that you read the following post to get an idea about the BlogCamp Pune:

What to expect at the blogcamp pune.
If it is your first camp please read about the camp culture here.
Reasons to attend the Blogcamp Pune.
FAQs at our BlogCamp Pune wiki.

In case you have any questions or you need to know about the venue please give us a call.

For venue and directions: Abhishek – +91 9970983032
For Blogcamp related queries: Tarun – +91 9819997412

Event: Blogcamp Pune 2
Date: Saturday, June 27, 2009 from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM (GMT+0530)
Location: SICSR (Symbiosis) Atur Centre, Gokhale Cross Road, Model Colony, Pune

See you on Saturday!

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The PuneTech SMS Reminder Service – Get event reminders on your mobile

PuneTech logoHave you ever forgotten about an interesting tech event in Pune, and then regretted the fact that you did not attend it?

PuneTech is pleased to announce the Free PuneTech Event Reminder SMS service that will send you reminders about tech events in Pune one day before. Basically, this is a Google SMS channel, where we post the basic information about events: title, date, venue. In most cases, this will be posted twice – once when the event is announced (or when we find out about it) and once one day before the event. In case of events with submission/registration/nomination deadlines, we’ll also post a reminder a day before the deadline. Every reminder will be contained in a single SMS. For details, you’ll be expected to use a web browser to check out the PuneTech calendar (or ideally, you’ll already know all the details of the event because you are already subscribed to the PuneTech daily email updates (which is also free)).

This service is totally free. To subscribe, SMS “REGISTER” to +91 9870807070 to register with Google SMS channels, and when you receive confirmation, reply to that message with “ON PUNETECH”. Remember the second part – your PuneTech reminders will not start until you’ve sent the “ON PUNETECH” message. You can also subscribe via a web browser by going to the PuneTech SMS Channel page, sign in with your google account (i.e. if you use GMail, enter your GMail username and password, if you don’t have a google account, create one), and then follow the instructions there. For more details about the Google SMS service, see their homepage and FAQs.

PuneChips Weekly Roundup: Nortel, Moore’s Law, Graphene, 3G and more

(This is a roundup of last week’s semiconductor/EDA industry news by Abhijit Athavale founder/editor of PuneChips – Pune’s forum for the semiconductor industry. For more information about PuneChips see the PuneTech wiki profile of PuneChips)

The integrated circuit from an Intel 8742, a 8...
Image via Wikipedia

Please keep the responses coming. It is encouraging to see that as a writer. Last week’s mention goes to Sagar Khedkar, who picked out Iranian Politics 101 as the OT item. Congratulations!

Last week was pretty packed from a news standpoint so the newsletter is a little long as well.


  • Nortel done for good: Nortel has sold off whatever was remaining to Nokia Siemens Networks. I remember the days when Nortel was one of biggest OEM customer for a majority of semiconductor companies. No more, RIP!
  • More on Moore!

    While the demise of Moore’s law has been predicted many times, will this prediction be true? Could be, if you are thinking that the cost per transistor will decline due to process geometries. However, there may be other methods of reducing the cost other than using a smaller process node. Some out of the box or lateral thinking may be needed to keep Moore’s law alive.

    BTW, a little birdie told me that 2014 will unleash a new economic up-wave much like 1999. I wonder if that will again be based on advances in the semiconductor/nano-tech fields.

  • KPMG to pay Vitesse $22.5M in settlement: This has to be the first of its kind. Collusion with the management to doctor financial statements doesn’t pay anymore
  • Semiconductor Market updates: There are just too many of those every week so rather than adding links, I will just summarize. The curious readers can go find the articles themselves
    • Gartner is claiming that the semi market has hit the bottom and is increasing capex outlook. I wonder if they will have to eat their words. Gartner is also saying that IT spending will fall 3.8% this year, but grow by 2.4% next year – I just don’t understand how this works; if the biggest downturn after the great depression can cause a decline of 3.8%, a bounceback of 2.4% next year would absolutely have to be backed up by heady growth, which does not seem likely.
    • iSuppli says that semi sales were pretty bad last quarter, but like Gartner is calling Q1, 2009 as the bottom and saying that Q4, 2009 will be better than Q4, 2008. We shall see ….
    • Japan fab tool book to bill has climbed from 0.65 in April to 0.74 in May. Again the claim is that we have reached the bottom. How do we get this number? The three month average for worldwide billing was $391.1M in May while it was $385.7M in April. This does not really seem to be a quantitative improvement and to call a bottom based on this certainly does seem to be a leap of faith.

    In general, people are trying to be optimistic. However, I am not sure that we are going to see any quantitative improvement even if we are at a bottom. We could be at the bottom for a long time. Forget these numbers and just look at Chinese and Japanese exports for the past few months – they have fallen in May as well. That tells me that there is no one buying those chips that people are making!

  • Analog Devices launches a new website: This is a prime example of marketing people creating news of out nothing and the press covering it. I wonder if ADI also held press briefings to herald the advent of a new website to the editors.
  • India’s Solar plans: Going by the past record in power generation, I will be happy even if we see 1% of the 1GW power generation target
  • New Energy guidelines for the US and the EU: Now this is something I wholeheartedly support. Government regulation in this case will spur innovation and reduce power consumption, possibly giving better returns to the companies. According to the news item, energy start rated appliances saved ~$19b from the US energy expenditure costs.


  • Sun may cancel Rock, a high-end Server CPU: The Rock may turn into a Brick as Sun failed to submit a paper at the HotChips conference. They should really give up the pretense. They have lost the battle and the war and need to focus on something that they do really well.
  • EU warns Microsoft against not including the browser in Windows 7: Microsoft seems to be caught between a rock (pun not intended) and a hard place. After punishing them for including IE with WIndows, now the EU is telling them not including the browser will be a problem as well. Instead, they should include a choice of browsers with the OS, albeit tested, so the lazy bums on the EU competition commission don’t have to download and install.


  • India sets 3G base fee at $835M: Get on with this already. We are tired and waiting to get 3G. While I am not sure, this may be the first instance where mobile companies have the 3G networks ready, but the spectrum is not. No wonder the Indian Bureacrats were ranked way at the bottom.
  • First look at iPhone 3GS: Looking at the Broadcom and Toshiba chips inside, people are saying that the “S” stands for Savings …



That’s all for this week …

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Can Orkut/Facebook kill Flickr?

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase

(Vibhushan Waghmare co-founder of Pune-based marketing analytics startup, MQuotient, wrote this post, titled “Orkut – Facebook as Photo Sharing Sites” on his blog, and is reproduced here with permission.)

Orkut and Facebook are the most popular social networking sites in India. Photo sharing has been a prime feature for both these socio-nets. Often we find friends uploading albums with photos from their recent trip/vacation to some place or some events in their life. These updates are actively tracked among the friends’ network and commenting and tagging of photos is quite common.

Image representing Orkut as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

Given this, I am surprised that neither of these two socio-nets has a feature of image search among the friends’ network and public photos on these sites.

Often when we are planning a trip or vacation to some place, we try to search online about the destination. I would always love to know if any of my connection on either Orkut or Facebook has been there and has put up any photos of the place. A friend’s word would always carry more credibility than the most authentic commercial profile page/wiki for the place. In fact, a few days back Orkut themselves had run an online ad campaign wherein they showed one animated user talking about the great trip/vacation he had and other asking him to upload photos from this trip/vacation on Orkut. So I am quite sure that photo sharing (especially of specific locations) is a big traffic booster for Orkut and Facebook.

Image representing Flickr as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase

However right now there are no means to find out if there are any photos of interest available on these socio-nets to which I have access. I have to turn to proper photo-sharing networks like and try my luck with photos from some stranger with whom I might never be able to connect (Yahoo! sucks in all its social network efforts :) ). This one application can overnight convert Orkut and Facebook into a serious competitor for all photo-sharing sites like Flickr.

This image search facility should allow me to search for photos to which I have access on these socio-nets, i.e. photos from my friends or photos which have been made public purposefully by their owners. This search can be based on tags/album name or whichever image search technology is best suited. I am sure Google with its best search technologies will not have much of an issue in developing an image search for Orkut. Besides, Google maps/Google world should be integrated with Orkut and geo-tagging of photos should be allowed. It will only make image search more accurate when searching for photos of a specific location.

While privacy has always been a key concern for these socio-nets, and more so with photos, this search facility needs to be very particular in searching only among those photos to which the searcher’s account have access to. Facebook has the famous privacy bug still unresolved wherein if any of your friend comments on a photo from a Facebook user who is not your friend, you still get to see the entire album of photos of that person. Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor’s private photos from Facebook had leaked out once because of this bug, however still it remains unresolved. Wonder if it is now an intentional bug that Facebook wants to be alive to drive more page-views.

As a plain user of these socio-nets, I sense a need here for an application which can provide this image search facility. I hope some Product Manager from either Google of Facebook listens to this and evaluates the opportunity. But before that, what do you guys think of it? Is there an opportunity for building such an application for Orkut or Facebook?

About the author – Vibhushan Waghmare

Vibhushan is a co-founder of MQuotient, a Pune-based startup that uses cutting-edge quantitative analytics and mathematical modeling to build software products for marketing analytics, and in general deliver solutions for enterprise marketing challenges. Before co-founding MQuotient, Vibhushan was managing the Search product at Yahoo! India. He is an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad and an Electrical Engineer from REC, Nagpur. He has also held positions with Amdocs & Cognizant Technology Solutions. Check out his blog, his linked-in page, or his twitter page for more about him.

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Why you should attend BlogCampPune – 2


That is the one word that a BlogCamp can be captured in – passion. Bloggers, the serious ones, are very passionate about their blogging. And usually, the more successful blogs tend to be about a few specific topics that the blogger is very interested in, and puts a lot of time and effort into. And there is nothing like learning about a topic from somebody who has put years of effort into learning about and writing about that topic.

And you get about 20 such people in a blogcamp.

First, though, I need to clarify what a blog is, according to my definition. Far too many people thing of a blog as a “Dear Diary” where someone writes about every little episode of his or her life, and what they had for lunch, and how much they hate their boss, and how Pune’s traffic sucks. Those are not the blogs I am talking about. Those are pretty boring, and other than a few close friends and family of the blogger, nobody really reads those blogs.

I am talking about those who use blogging either to write about interesting insights they have related to their field of work, or who use it to explore an interesting hobby, or a topic that they are very interested in. In general, these are blogs by people who put some serious thought into what they write, and write things that their readers are interested in.

In the first category – those writing about topics from their work – are people like Dhananjay Nene, who writes long and insightful posts on software programming, design and architecture, some of which take is weeks if not months to think about and write. And for anybody interested in being great at software, it is a must read; and like Suvrat Kher, a geologist who writes on geology, evolution, and the changing earth. In the second category are people like SandyGautam who is really a software engineer, but  writes the Mouse Trap, a blog about psychology and neuroscience, that is considered amongst one of the best science blogs in the world (those technically minded should note that his blog has a Google PageRank of 6). Or meetu, who in spite of being a CA and an MBA in finance, gave up the corporate life for writing about movies at Arun Prabhudesai is interested in the Indian Business scene, and his blog has over 5000 subscribers (and god knows how many more daily readers). And Tarun Chandel, who in addition to “regular blogging“, also posts his experiments in photography to his photoblog.

You’ll meet Rohit Khirapate who writes at Aamhi Marathi, Nitin Brahme and Vishal Gangawane who are reporters with Pune Mirror, Sahil Khan, who started The Tossed Salad, a life style magazine, while still a student, Debashish Chakrabarty, who amongst other things, is also very active in Hindi blogging circles, Nikhil Kaushal of Rang De, which is a micro-finance organization, trying to make a difference in the lives of poorest people for whom a loan of a few thousand rupees can make a difference, and people from OLPC Pune, who are trying to put laptops in the hands of poorest kids – the stated goal of the project being achieving one laptop per child.

Register, and attend. This will be your chance to find some of the most interesting people you’ve ever met. This will be your chance to possibly find people who share the same weird interests as you. This will be your chance to inspire a bunch of college kids, who will all be there because of their individual and varied interests. This will be your chance to be inspired to do something interesting and different with your life.

BlogCampPune2 – come to inspire and be inspired.

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Rise of the Virtual Machines – Some thoughts on the impact of virtual machines

Virtual Machine Monitor Type I
Schematic diagram of a Virtual Machine setup. The physical hardware is at the bottom, the virtual machine monitor (VMM) sits in the middle, and multiple actual virtual machines sit on top of the VMM. Image via Wikipedia

(This post by Dilip Ranade on his blog, takes a look at how Virtual Machines are going to change the way we do computing, and also how we will start using virtual machines in new and interesting ways as they mature. It is republished from there here with permission.)

Synopsis: some thoughts on the impact of virtual machines

Virtual Machines were invented in IBM in the early seventies , but it appears that it was only VMWare started much later in 1998 that figured out how to make money purely out of virtualization. However, with Xen and Microsoft Virtual Server also entering the fray, things are getting interesting.  The green pastures of Virtual Machines, often misnamed virtualization (which is actually
a broader term) now appear poised to support a large herd of bulls.

Although it is hard to predict all the ways in which a new technology will change the world– think of telephones and sex hotlines for example — here are some thoughts on how VM’s can have an unforeseen impact, arranged roughly in order of increasing ambitiousness:

  • VM’s can break the HW/SW Red Queen Effect
  • VM’s can break vendor “lock-in”
  • Processors can become commoditized
  • Operating systems can become commoditized
  • Rise of virtual appliances
  • Rise of virtual machine swarms

VM’s can Break the HW/SW Red Queen Effect.

Software vendors and hardware vendors are in a mutually beneficial race, leading to an exponential spiral: customers are forced to buy ever more powerful computers to run ever more resource-hogging versions of software. But with a Virtual Machine this collusion can be broken. First of all, customers will balk at buying bloated software, as happened with Microsoft Vista. Secondly, marginally bloated software can be tolerated without having to replace the virtual servers with more powerful machines. For example, a VM can
be virtually upgraded to larger memory or more CPUs without making new purchases.
Thus, the existence of virtualized servers brings genuine economic pressure for software developers to be more frugal with CPU and memory consumption in their products. This works in conjunction with the next point.

VM’s can Break Vendor “lock-in”

When a software product is on a virtual machine, it is easy and non disruptive to try
out a competing product on another virtual machine, even if it
requires different type of hardware. However, this effect is not as powerful
as it can potentially be, because todays virtualization is too focused to x86

Processors can Become Commoditized

The time is ripe for the evolution of a standard virtual processor,
just like TCP/IP is for network protocols. Consider the advantages: Considerably reduced development and testing costs (write once run anywhere); potentially longer software product life (delinked from hardware obsolescence); clean room environment for “dusty decks” (very old software can continue to run in a virtual environment). I am thinking of a more abstract kind of virtual processor that is also extensible or mutable in ways that hardware processors cannot be. It may not need to make hard choices between various hardware tradeoffs.
The Java virtual machine is an example.

Operating Systems can Become Commoditized

As the virtual processor evolves towards higher levels of
abstraction, so should virtual devices that it connects to. This should reduce the complexity of the virtual operating system; then it should not need a team consisting of thousands of progammers to maintain a virtual operating system.
For example, a virtual OS does not need bootstrapping code – it can boot of a virtual network boot service. Similarly, there is no need for every virtual Operating system to implement its own file system and to interact only with (virtual) hard disks. All it needs is a simple file system client to discover and connect to the correct virtual Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices.

Rise of Virtual Appliances

General-purpose operating systems can be replaced with lean-and-mean
tailor-made variants designed for specific applications. For example
an OS built specifically for a web server, or different one for a

Rise of Virtual Machine Swarms

The trend towards multi-core, multi-thread programming can be fitted
better to a virtual machine designed to work in swarms. The Transputer of late 1980’s comes to
mind: multiprocessor meshes could be built from multiple Transputers just by physically connecting built-in serial links between pairs of Transputers. The
standard virtual processor’s simple network interconnect could support
easy interfacing within a swarm. I think PVM and grid computing concepts can be considered precursors of VM swarms.

About the Author – Dilip Ranade

For more information, see his linked-in profile.

Comments are closed on this post. If you have any comments, please leave them at the original article.

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PuneChips weekly roundup: Marketing ‘green’, Power over Ethernet and more

(This is a roundup of last week’s semiconductor/EDA industry news by Abhijit Athavale founder/editor of PuneChips – Pune’s forum for the semiconductor industry. For more information about PuneChips see the PuneTech wiki profile of PuneChips)

The integrated circuit from an Intel 8742, a 8...
Image via Wikipedia

Thank you for the great response to last week’s e-mail. Please continue with your responses and I will keep on sending this out every week.

Arati Halbe gets the mention for being the first one to pick on the OT news from last week. A few other people did point it out as well, but she was the first. Another reader thought that the Semi industry in Pune is like the Mayan Civilization as it keeps on depleting local resources, and hence the topic was really on the money 🙂 This newsletter also contains an OT item, but is more entertaining.


  • Google and the Internet caused economic crisis: This brilliant conclusion drawn by Peter Clarke of EE Times. While it is true that globalization and improved communication technologies have disrupted traditional economies, by the same token the Industrial revolution disrupted existing agrarian economies and can be blamed for the great depression. So, while the headline is catchy, the conclusion is just plain wrong …
  • Are we in denial about the crappy semiconductor market: iSuppli says that foundry market will see strong growth in Q2 after three straight quarters of contraction, but FBR said that the market will cool off in Q3. Why the bullish tone? Does it really matter that the IC market declined by 22% against 24%? It still is terrible and unless and until the cost structures created to support higher sales numbers are dismantled, we will not see 1990’s type growth. Short term thinking to please the wall street is the real culprit here. There are innumerable news items last week that herald a recovery, but is it real? I have nothing against a recovery, but I just don’t get how people will start buying more chips when they are just not buying anything at all? Gartner clearly says that the demand has not returned to the market and increased sales for some companies are due to inventory restocking – this is also known as stuffing the channel. (link)




  • Broadcom wants confidential information from Emulex: Does this not sound a little odd? Why would anyone give up their confidential information to a hostile buyer? Broadcom seems to have painted itself in a corner with no way of getting out. The market is also pricing Emulex above the Broadcom offer.


  • Power over Ethernet market sees growth: Now what would be interesting is to see if someone could send power packets over wireless Ethernet. That will instantly get rid of all the clutter we have around our PCs. Let’s see if that can be done without frying anything that gets in the way!
  • Nokia demonstrates energy harvesting handset: Hey, I was not that far off. Hopefully, laptops can also be charged in the same way not too far in the future.
  • ZigBee & low power Bluetooth tapped as the next generation health device standard: This is really important as networked health devices are going to be a huge market. Imagine a blood pressure monitor sending a message to your doctor when irregularities are seen. I think this is a fabulous opportunity for Indian companies to be developing health devices. However, Bluetooth is far from reliable and has too many connectivity issues so they will hopefully have been fixed.
  • Thin Film Batteries are here: This could be a solid advance in reducing device sizes even further.

That’s all for this week …

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