|Dr Paramesh Gopi
President & Chief Executive Officer
Applied Micro Circuits Corporation
Q. What are the top 3 innovative trends Applied Micro sees
in ESDM technology?
A. Consumerization and Social Media driving the
electronics industry. The growing use of video, the explosion
of Internet connections and the number of connected devices,
spiralling bandwidth requirements and increased use of social
media applications are all contributing to the rise of the
cloud computing as applications become more data intensive and
less compute intensive.
The traditional data center needs remain the same as before
but the move to cloud is driving a consolidation of even
traditional data centers to captive clouds. This changes the
technology requirements for computing servers as well as
brings about a massive change in the connectivity
infrastructure. For example, where the market took a decade to
switch from 1G to 10G bandwidth on the connectivity side, it
has taken roughly only two years to move from 10G to 40G and
it appears that 40G deployment may be very short lived as 100G
solutions are already under late stage development.
Power efficiency is not merely a green initiative any more; it
impacts the bottom line of businesses directly. Hence upfront
awareness and analysis of total cost of ownership (TCO) drives
At Applied Micro we see these trends as the primary engine of
growth for the company. By designing devices that deliver the
compute performance to meet today’s data center needs with
dramatically lower power consumption, we will dramatically
Q. What part does India play in the overall technology
strategy and marketing strategy of Applied Micro.
A. AppliedMicro’s two design centers in India play a
significant role in the company’s overall technology strategy.
As a semiconductor company, our centers in Pune and now in
Bangalore offer full design, verification and validation
capabilities for our computing and connectivity chips. This is
one of the most important aspects of getting leading-edge
designs out into a competitive market. If we misstep in this
process, we stand to offer our competitors an open door. We
are expanding in Bangalore partially because of increased
demand for our products, but mostly because our design center
in Pune has proven that we can assemble a team of engineers to
realize our state of the art products that allows us to
Further, with several of our global & local customers having
R&D and systems development presence in Bangalore it allows us
to work closely with them to enable design-in and bring-up of
their products with our chips.
Q. With the Government of India giving complete support to
the manufacturing ecosystem, in terms of various policies,
what is the stand taken by Applied Micro
A. The Government of India has been working closely
with the industry and the IESA to formulate policies to give an
impetus to the manufacturing ecosystem in India. Given the
critical impact of ESDM in India it would be foolhardy to
ignore it. At the same time, we need to recognize that success
in manufacturing requires a lot of things to come together -
infrastructure, raw materials, transportation, skilled labour
and favourable tax policies. The government has a huge role to
play in influencing all of these. In the end, the perception
about India as a manufacturing destination would need to
change just like it did for software and electronic design
years back. Applied Micro is very happy to work with industry
bodies like the IESA and the various governmental departments
to help bring about this change.
As a fabless semiconductor company, our core output is
semiconductor and electronic design and we are expanding our
operations here in India to do that. As this process evolves,
our local presence strengthens the manufacturing ecosystem.
Today, just like the rest of our industry, our products are
manufactured in the far east, far from where we do our
designs. If additional competitive options are available to
us, for example in India, we will be happy to consider those;
and so would the rest of the fabless industry.
Q. What are the critical challenges facing companies
looking to develop or expand existing semiconductor companies’
operations in India?
A. The challenges in India are much the same as all
over the world where semiconductor operations take place: How
do you hire the most talented engineers for your team and
retain them for the long-term? We feel AppliedMicro was quite
successful in doing so in Pune and that is why we are opening
up our new center in Bangalore. Now that more and more
international corporations have discovered India and its rich
pool of engineering talent, it has become a lot more
competitive. But the favorable assets that India’s engineers
bring to the table still make it favorable to establish roots
here and compete for talent.
Q. How do you place the competency of Indian product
companies as compared with MNCs?
A. India’s highly educated and industrious work force,
and positive business climate have contributed greatly to the
emergence the country’s output. However, while India has
produced great thinkers, philosophers and scientists who have
contributed to the progress of the whole human race, "product"
orientation has never been a focus of the people and the
country in the past. Globalization has brought the realization
about how important "product" focus is in today's world. And
businesses and entrepreneurs in India are starting to create
products that the markets would accept. It might take some
time for successes to emerge but the education, intelligence,
focus and persistence would pay off; it always does.
Q. What would be the key market drivers in 2012?
A. As a company we see a tectonic shift taking place in
the computing infrastructure as we know it. This is akin to
the major shifts that happened earlier, only perhaps much
bigger. We moved from mainframe based computing to department
level servers, and then to powerful desktop workstations.
Then, with the introduction of PCs, computing came into the
homes of people from being exclusively in the business
offices. With the Internet and mobile phone, it has now moved
into the pockets of the masses. As can been seen, the edge of
inclusion moved from business to the home and now to the
individual. It was only a matter of time that the explosion of
applications like social media happened. The computing
infrastructure to support this explosive growth efficiently is
now rapidly evolving.
Cloud Computing data centers, explosive growth of video and
social media applications, spiralling demand for network
bandwidth, the drive toward lower-power to reduce total cost
of ownership are all key drivers.
Q. How do you see the Indian engineering education
scenario? What do you think are its strengths?
A. We see legions of highly talented engineers
graduating from Indian Universities who come to work for us
and produce world-class results. The "application" orientation
of fresh graduates could be better but we see that the
industry, academia and government are aware of this and are
taking steps to best address it. Wasn't it one of the first
focus areas taken up by IESA when it was founded?
Q. How does your company plan to leverage the unique needs
of India in the various market verticals?
A. As a fabless semiconductor company Applied Micro
creates chips in the computing and connectivity domains. These
chips are implemented by our customers in their systems
products which are then sold and deployed all over the world
including India. It would not be immodest to say that we are
already a critical part of India's telecom and Internet
backbone infrastructure through our customers' products, for
As we work with our customers in India we realize that they
see some unique needs in India that they need to address with
their systems products. And several of these companies,
including MNCs, have ramped up their Indian presence to define
and develop these products from their development centers in
India. We are closely working with them to create products
that will satisfy the unique needs of India.
Q. How is the regulatory environment in India impacting the
Indian semiconductor industry?
A. The regulatory environment is allowing the Indian
semiconductor company to grow at a healthy rate from the
AppliedMicro perspective. China is emerging as a significant
player in this industry but our company keeps coming back to
India to expand because we find the work force highly
motivated and highly educated. The regulatory environment has
not caused us to alter our expansion efforts.
Q. How does Applied Micro connect Cloud to ESDM industry in
A. The major growth in information technology industry
is shifting from compute intensive applications to
unstructured data and even more social networking based
applications. The cloud computing model is emerging as a
result of these trends. With the rapid consumerisation of
computing, there is a huge opportunity to create applications
to address the varied needs of the individual consumers. It
presents a huge opportunity to both software and hardware
developers in India to create solutions for the Cloud market.
Being locally present, the local creators are best placed to
understand the needs and define and develop these solutions,
not just for direct use by the consumer but also for the
backbone Cloud infrastructure required to support it. Applied
Micro's local presence in India is critical for the same
The ESDM industry is naturally aligned with the cloud
computing model and it will thrive as the cloud becomes more
pervasive in everyday use.
About the author
Dr Paramesh Gopi
President & Chief Executive Officer
Applied Micro Circuits Corporation
Paramesh Gopi is President & Chief Executive Officer of
Applied Micro Circuits Corp, a role he has commanded since May
2009 after joining the company in 2008. Under Dr. Gopi’s
leadership, AppliedMicro is transforming into a mid-cap
semiconductor company. In fact, no other small cap
semiconductor company is developing and introducing as many
groundbreaking new products as AppliedMicro.
Under his leadership, AppliedMicro has set a course for
exponential growth by re-aligning its semiconductor product
portfolio to converge on the cloud computing data center, one
of the most vibrant technology opportunities to emerge over
the last decade. Dr. Gopi’s vision has guided AppliedMicro to
develop the revolutionary 64-bit ARM processor-based
server-on-a-chip to disrupt the status quo in the cloud
services data center market. The X-Gene platform combines high
performance computing and low power consumption in just the
right quantities to bring game-changing reductions in total
cost of ownership as demand for data center services continues
to grow at an explosive pace.
Leveraging AppliedMicro’s core competencies and resources, Dr.
Gopi reinvigorated the company’s existing business lines and
drove an order-of-magnitude increase in new product
introductions over the last fiscal year, a cadence that will
generate upwards of $200 million in new revenue over the next
Dr. Gopi’s passion for capitalizing on emerging market
opportunities was established before joining AppliedMicro as
he contributed to the development of Apple’s iPhone, Sony’s
Playstation and the wireless ecosystem. Before joining the
company, he served in executive management positions at both
Marvell and Mindspeed Technologies/Conexant Systems.
He holds a doctorate in electrical and computer engineering at
the University of California, Irvine. Gopi is the recipient of
the 2011 Lauds & Laurels Distinguished Alumnus Award from The
Henry Samueli School of Engineering at UC, Irvine.