Boosting Make In India, Signalchip Launches Country’s First LTE Chip

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s clarion call of Make In India, that aims at more and more local manufacturing, got another shot in the arms today when Signalchip, a domestic technology company, launched India’s first indigenous semiconductor chips for 4G LTE and 5G.

“India is just breaking into the elite club of the world and this will have huge implications for India’s data security and data sovereignty, besides the positive economic implications,” telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan said while launching the chips in New Delhi.

She said it is indeed a productive moment for India as there are only eight companies in the world who can design and develop semiconductor ships.

“Launch of Indigenous Chip is in a real sense Make in India for the World,” she added.

Sundararajan said that when US and China are battling it out for the core ICT technology, India cannot lag behind. She said, even the high powered Committee formed by the Government of India and headed by Stanford University professor A.J. Paulraj to outline a road map for 5G telecom services has suggested breaking into the IPRs of 5G.

“The launch of a world class product by SIGNALCHIP is start of the Third Wave, after Software and IndiaStack as First and Second wave,” she added.

Signalchip, a Bangalore based fabless semiconductor firm showcased four chipsets during the launch. Those are :

1.   SCBM3412:a single chip 4G/LTE modem including the baseband and transceiver sections in a single device
2.   SCBM3404:a single chip 4X4 LTE baseband modem
3.   SCRF3402:a 2X2 transceiver for LTE
4.   SCRF4502:a 2X2 transceiver for 5G NR standards

The RF sections cover all LTE/5G-NR bands upto 6GHz.  These chips also support positioning using India’s own satellite navigation system, NAVIC. The Agumbe series builds up on SCRF1401: India’s first RF transceiver chip for high performance wireless standards like 3G/4G and WiFi, created by Signalchip in 2015.

The combined multi-standard system-on-chip (SoC) can serve as a base station chipset for a wide range of form factors from low-cost indoor small cells to high performance base stations. These are optimally designed to support evolving network architectures like Open RAN/CRAN with flexible interface configurations.

Through the IPs created for this device, the company now has the potential to design products for multiple related fields and is currently forging ahead with additional chipsets for advanced 5G NR features. With India having more than 1.1 billion mobile phones in use, one of the highest in the world, Signalchip has created high performance and cost-efficient systems to enable densification of the network.

“Currently in India, all devices and infrastructure, whether imported or domestically manufactured, use imported silicon chips. Silicon chip design is a very challenging activity requiring high-cost R&D, deep knowhow and mastery of multiple complex domains. Hence, this technology is not available in most countries. Given that wireless communication is central to almost all economic, strategic and domestic activities happening today, the ability to indigenously design and develop silicon chips is vital for the security and prosperity of our country,” said Himamshu Khasnis, Founder and CEO of Signalchip.

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