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The Silicon Review Asia

BlackPepper Technologies: A new generation ‘Silicon to System Design’ company fulfilling all your design needs

The Silicon Review
August, 2017

thesiliconreview-hari-krishna-puravankara-founder-ceo-blackpepper-technologies“Our mission is to create an organization that is fundamentally rooted in hardware and recognized as the gold standard in product realization.” 

Standing tall with outstanding capacity and ability to deliver the best, BlackPepper Technologies Pvt. Ltd., incorporated in 2009, is a new generation Silicon to System Design Company that brings to bear diverse design capabilities and provides complete turnkey solutions to tier 1 to tier 3 companies. Headquartered in Bangalore, the company combines more than 500 years of experience in the field. 

A celebrated & trusted design partner for over a dozen global semiconductor companies, BlackPepper offers differentiation with their quality, reliability, cost and TAT (Turn Around Time). “We assure our clients high quality, high reliability, lower cost and faster TAT compared to any of our competitors. We have developed a complex patented technology framework called EYWA, which provides us a significant edge over our competitors,” says Jei Narayanan, COO. 

BlackPepper’s Unique Offering

BlackPepper has constituted a design service technology framework which will assure the most predictable execution for every phase of the product engineering cycle - be it Silicon, System or Embedded software design.  BlackPepper’s single-minded focus on optimization has led to the creation of the EYWA platform - a distillation of hundreds of person-years of varied experience that their core engineering team could draw from. The EYWA framework seamlessly stitches together: 

  • Lean Tall Engineering (LTE) is a focused return to first principle engineering tenets of yesteryears where a single engineer was massively multi-skilled rather than skills and capabilities being sliced and diced across a slew of less experienced engineers. In their humble opinion, the counter-model that is today prevalent in large swathes of the Indian engineering eco-system is slowly but surely eroding India’s positioning in the global value chain with clear signs that the existing model is nothing but a race to the bottom.
  • Quick IP Select (QIS) IP Vendor-ing model - key methodology wherein SoC/System design IPs from multiple IP suppliers get matrix characterized. The optimal selection is performed by an internally developed mathematical algorithm by solving complex selection criteria on a per SoC/System basis.
  • Design Environment on Demand (DEOD) environment selection model consisting of EDA-DEOD and MACHINE-DEOD selection methodology for arriving at the optimal Price Vs TAT curve before design start or even course correct at run-time.
  • Sure Shot Convergence System (SSCS) project execution environment – Innovative platform for efficient project implementation wherein phase hand-offs are managed automatically using network-protocol inspired procedures.
  • Sure Fast Platforms (SFP) for rapid SoC and system designs - a Silicon and System integration process that allows auto-stitching of SoC subsystems allowing customers to focus purely on their differentiating IP or innovation.
  • Tier-1 service proven Cluster Team Delivery Model of engagement - Minimum program management bandwidth advantage for customer, Delivery ownership, clear team communication and timely deliverables. 

Meet the Market Monarchs

Initially, the company took about three years to build the business plan, technological platform and process, but once the platform was ready, they started growing 2 to 3 times year on year. Currently, the company is leveraging on its two innovative frameworks - namely, EYWA & LTE. Throwing light on EYWA, Manoj Sundareswaran, EVP, BlackPepper Technologies, says, “EYWA, our home-grown technology framework, simply removes sub optimality from the design process. This is what plagues the design process. EYWA is a unique combination of various technology components that consolidates principles of network protocols, human capability mapping and physical resource modeling into one single integrated platform.” 

With an impressive average employee experience of 4.5 years, the company addresses the industry’s biggest ARM (Acquire, Retain & Motivate) nightmare with its Lean Tall Engineering (LTE) talent transformation framework. With this they transform an ordinary design engineer to an architect level. “Our LTE framework allows two of our engineers to (say), design a semiconductor block far better and quicker, which typically takes five engineers in other companies,” explains Jei Narayanan, COO. 

Meet the Game Changers

Hari Krishna Puravankara, Founder & CEO- A visionary, Hari comes with an 18+ year career spanning Silicon design, Supply Chain Management, Foundry relations and technical support. Hari started his career at Wipro Technologies as a cell library and physical design specialist and then moved on to Magma Design Automation, where he led the Applications Support team across Asia Pacific. Post Magma, he started building the vision for BlackPepper and raised angel funding to commence operations in Dec, 2011. Hari did his Bachelor of Engineering from Cochin University of Science and Technology in Electronics Engineering in 2000. 

Sujeeth Joseph, CTO- Sujeeth Joseph is a semiconductor industry veteran in the SoC, System and Product architecture space with a career spanning over 25 years. Prior to joining BlackPepper, at SanDisk India, he was Director of Architecture for the USD $2B Removable Products Group. Simultaneously, he also headed the SanDisk India Patenting function, the Retail Competitive Analysis Group and drove academic research programs with premier Indian academic Institutes. He graduated in electronics engineering from Bombay University in 1991.

Jei Narayanan, COO- A vastly experienced industry professional, Jei carries over 30 years of experience in the semiconductor and electronics industry. Prior to joining BlackPepper as COO, he was the Practice Head of the IC Design team at TATA Consultancy Services since 2011. Prior to that he was Group Head in the Semiconductor and System Business (SnS) unit of WIPRO Technologies for over 14 years, and served the organization in various capacities ranging from managing large ASIC design programs to system programs for multiple global customers. He has an M.Tech in Electronics from IT, BHU, Varanasi. 

Manoj Sundareswaran, Exec. VP: Delivery- A industry veteran in the area of Chip Design, Manoj has been a SoC Product Specialist with more than 18 years of experience. He has been instrumental in implementing & delivering multiple first pass SoCs across Automotive, Wireless, Wireline, Health Care domains for companies like Infineon, Lantiq, and Wipro. His expertise spans across RTL Design, Chip Implementation, Package Design, Silicon Ramp-up and foundry support. 

Basavaraj Nagaraju, Executive Vice President: Strategy & Marketing- Basavaraj has diversified experience; he has been an entrepreneur, Investment adviser, technocrat, teacher and a mentor. He comes with about 23 yrs of work experience, having worked for VeriSign, Electronics For Imaging, Syniverse, Unimobile & Subex at different levels and held the post of General Manager (GM) in his last organization. He has a MBA from Southern New Hampshire University, USA and a Bachelors degree (Engineering) in Telecommunications from BMS College of Engineering, Bangalore. 

The Client Spectrum

Kick-starting their journey with one of the largest mobile chipset companies in the world, today BlackPepper is established as one of their preferred design partners. Their predictable and reliable approach repeatedly allows their customers to leverage their skills as they plan their product launches more aggressively than ever.  They are today the trusted design partner of more than a dozen of the top-20 semiconductor companies. This trust is borne out by the numerous testimonials of written appreciation they have received from these customers. 

Some of their major achievements leveraging the above framework are:

  • Delivered the first ARM Octa-Core design pushing the frequency limits to 1.8 GHz for a Tier-1 Semiconductor company.
  • Taped-Out 20+ Wireless SoCs for a Tier-1 Semiconductor company with all of them being first pass silicon successes.
  • Make-or-break tape-out of a Wireless SoC for a hot Medical-domain startup. 

Focusing on 5 key verticals such as Defense, Medical, Wireless, Automotive and IoT, the company currently addresses geographies such as Singapore, USA, Israel and Europe. Recently the company has established their entity in Singapore and will be replicating the same model in the USA shortly. To explain further, Hari Puravankara, Founder & CEO highlighted with confidence, “All the ground work for US incorporation is in place and we will be launching our design center shortly to tap the significant potential that exists there.” 

Future Roadmap

In its journey so far with global customer partnerships, the right team and strategic planning, BlackPepper has carved a niche for itself in the domain. For the long run, the company is building the process, talent pool and the technology that will facilitate them to be an ODM player. They have powered many of their customers’s full chip design and system programs soluting their critical technology problems.

Talking about their plans of global expansion in developed markets like USA and Europe, Hari Puravankara, Founder & CEO, said, “BlackPepper will be a global Silicon to System design services company and USA will be a very critical market for us and we have already started building up the process to start the operations in Americas.” 

“We have powered many of our customers’ full chip design and system programs solving their critical technology problems.”


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