A few years ago, Ineda, a tiny startup from Hyderabad, India made headlines when they developed custom-design processors for use in wearable devices that were optimized for high energy-efficiency, the chip having the ability to read out various sensors or listen to voice commands at the same time. Such improvements help increase battery life on devices that people don’t want to recharge every day. Over the years the company has received several million dollars in funding from Samsung, Qualcomm, Imagination Technologies and others.
Looks like this caused enough attention at chip giant Intel, who are trying to come up with a competitive design for a discrete graphics processor, that’s able to take on AMD and NVIDIA’s offerings. While Ineda certainly has patents that could come in useful, it looks like Intel is more interested in the company’s manpower. With around 100 engineers, the company has a lot of talent, that’s experienced in chip design and how to make these chips energy efficient.
Besides the obvious implications for mobiles devices, energy efficiency is the primary constraint these days when it comes to graphics performance since power generates heat, which requires bigger and more expensive heatsinks, and drives up fan noise levels. NVIDIA learned this after GTX 480, which was a big power hungry heater, and has since made constant improvements to its new GPUs to be better in this sector, which shows their market dominance today with power efficient GPUs.
Ineda Systems founder Dasaradha Gude used to be managing director of AMD India, which suggests some ties with Raja Koduri, who used to be head at AMD’s Radeon Graphics department and moved to Intel to start up Intel’s own discrete GPU project. This makes us speculate that Raja, who’s also from Hyderabad originally, was instrumental in making this buy-out happen.
Times of India reached out to Intel, which confirmed the all-cash purchase of Ineda, but didn’t provide any additional details:
Intel acquired engineering resources from Ineda Systems, a silicon and platform services provider based in Hyderabad. This transaction provides Intel with an experienced SOC (system on chip) team to help build a world-class discrete GPU business
Intel has a lot of software development staff in Hyderabad and is looking to expand that to several thousand engineers in the coming years. This is good news for the Indian engineers, as they won’t have to move to other countries, and it helps Intel to keep cost down as they don’t need to add engineers from abroad.