In-house chipset could give Saankhya Labs the edge in 5G network race

Pune-based Saankhya Labs is committed to taking the lead in the crowded 5G network space driven by its internal semiconductor solutions.

Although there are a number of Indian companies that have entered the race to gain market share in the 5G network using open radio access solutions, Parag Nike, co-founder and CEO of Saankhya Labs, believes that the local chipset developed by gave him an advantage over others.

Saankhya’s invasion of the 5G market is a move that has been going on for decades. “In fact, our current 5G networking solutions are based on Software Defined Tech, which preceded 5G by almost a decade,” said Naik in an exclusive partnership with Business line. Over a decade, Saankhya has invested $ 40 million in technologies that eventually led to their 5G capabilities.

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With 5G technology starting to take off in India, the excitement is real and more and more players are entering the battle. Naik believes that the next four to five years will be the key divider by “knowing which Indian companies have engineering skills, product differentiation capabilities and operational capabilities to stand out and survive.” For now, the secret sauce for Saankhya, which it claims is at an advanced stage in product development, is the fact that it is the only Indian company to build its own end-to-end silicon systems.

What Saankhya Labs does

Saankhya Labs is developing a software-defined radio (SDR) chip system (SoC). These are digital signal processing (DSP) chips and can be programmed to work for a wide variety of wireless communication standards by changing the software. All products and solutions developed by Saankhya Labs are powered by SDR chipsets, which are universal with a wide variety of applications. For 5G network solutions, this includes ORAN-based 5G radio units and open DU solutions for Open-RAN networks. Other applications are in mobile transmission, satcom technology, etc. As Saankhya does not currently produce on such a large scale as to reduce costs, the production of actual chipsets is outsourced to conglomerates such as Samsung in Taiwan and South Korea.

“A large number of O-RAN players are dependent on external silicon,” Naik said, adding that “the downside here is that these companies will have no control and will be at the mercy of other players for prices and waiting times.” Designing our own chipsets can allow us to incorporate design capabilities to reduce power, save costs, etc., which other players cannot do. ”

Naik agreed that the main threat to Indian players in the 5G space is likely to be international companies that have better supply chain management capabilities to command a better market presence. However, he believes that Indian design capabilities can be a saving boon for Indian suppliers to enter the space of 5G solutions. “What Saankhya has done is to position itself among expensive operators such as Nokia, Ericsson and new Chinese manufacturers who are ready to provide cheap solutions. Our point of sale is that we offer high quality differentiated products at a reasonably low price, ”said Naik.