Big data

SAP India launches ‘code unnati’ for digital literacy

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SAP India recently collaborated with ITC and L&T Public Charitable Trust to launch ‘code unnati’ a multi-year, collaborative, digital literacy and software skills development initiative in India.

code unnati has six partners – NASSCOM Foundation, HOPE Foundation, Pratham InfoTech Foundation, Agasatya International Foundation, Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled, and UNDP India.The initiative aims to achieve the UN’s sustainable goals of: no poverty, quality education, decent work and economic growth, and partnerships for the goals.

In the pilot phase till next year, the initiative will focus on the rural areas of Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, Rajasthan, as well as the urban disadvantaged demographies in Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Pune, Vizag and Hyderabad.

Innovations through collaboration – Making of a digital literate society
There was a panel discussion, titled ‘Innovations through collaboration – Making of a digital literate society’. Shrikant Sinha, CEO, NASSCOM Foundation, said that the collaborations themselves need to be scaled up.

Dr. Madhav Chavan, founder, Pratham Foundation, said that optimum results have to be defined. He urged for digital literacy to go mobile.

Clement Chauvet, chief-skills and business development, UNDP India, noted that by using Project Disha, UNDP has managed to put 1 million girls/women to have some opportunity in life. He added that there is a need to bridge the information gap. There is also a need to ensure that the recepients were digitally literate as well. There should be a practical, blended element to spread literacy.

Ms Gayatri Mishra Oleti, senior deputy GM and head Operations, L&T Public Charitable Trust, said there are many ITC applications and all had benefitted. The question is: how do we reach out to the last mile people?There is a need to partner with the local governments.

Dr. Asheesh Ambasta, exective VP and head of Social Investments, ITC Ltd, said that multi-stakeholder partnerships are of importance. According to him, the learning with multiple partners is how do you align them with the set of project priorities? There is a need to identify roles for each partner, and set up a mechanism to review the program regularly.

Krishnan Chatterjee, head of marketing, SAP Indian Sub-continent, added that there is something empowering about technology. It can reduce inefficiencies and waste. He cited the example of Kolkata’s Maatir Manush, a program where they photograph 3-5 million farmers regarding crop queries.

img_20161202_031418Deb Deep Dasgupta, president and MD, SAP Indian Sub-continent, said that digital India promises that India will go on to become the world’s third-largest digital economy by 2025-30. However, lot of work needs to be done as only 10 percent of the Indian population is digitally literate.

He said that code unnati is India’s first-ever corporate-citizen initiative. These are:
a) Provide employable software IT skills for youth and women
b) Digital literacy for all
c) Provide employment to at least 50 percent of the youth trained
d) Digtal enablement of the Gram Panchayats.

How digital empowerment will make India more inclusive
There was a second panel discussion on ‘How digital empowerment will make India more inclusive.’

CT Sadanandan, VP Corporate Services & CSR, Tata Communications, said that awareness and the availability of an infrastructure should be present. Stakeholders at corporate India can make a difference.

Ms Kabi Sharman, India head, Pyxera Global, said corporate skills and knowledge are not being shared by the NGOs. There is also a need to understand people’s lives better by interacting with the local population.

Ajith Basu, Agasathya International Foundation, pointed out two key questions, namely, who are we going to teach, and how can we enable a child to learn! The idea is to inspire learning. There must be more collaborative learning.

Ian Correa, board member, HOPE Foundation, said there is a need to focus on the journey itself. And, if possible, to acquire special skills. The poor people of India require opportunities. Together, we can plug the gaps.

Mahantesh GK, CEO, Samarthanam Trust for Disabled, said the acceptance of being disabled is itself key. Technology and opportunity go together. Digital revolution has already brought massive progress. More needs to be done.

‘Graying’ of salary budgets for India!

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India continues to remain cautiously optimistic on business performance as far as the business outlook is concerned. The graying of salary increases in India is a reflection on how India Inc. is coming of age. The macro question remains: if this represents a blip or a trend! These are among the findings of the 21st Annual India Salary Increase Survey by AON Hewitt.

The survey projects a drop in pay increases to an average of 9.5 percent across industries. While the inequity of pay remains a concern, the key reasons cited by the various employees across 1,000+ firms for voluntary attrition are role stagnation and limited growth opportunities.

aon2For almost a decade, manufacturing firms in India are budgeting higher salary Increases than services firms. A lower base and higher expectations has driven this behavior. Although, with increasing pressures on margins and improved salary base, the difference in the budgets has been gradually declining since 2013. Along with high performance – high potential and hot skills remuneration are now gaining acceptance.

The gradual slowing of pay increases and higher emphasis on productivity and performance indicates the ‘graying’ of salary budgets for India. Some industries are impacted more than others – and AON Hewitt sees faster moderation of pay increases in industries such as technology, telecom, consumer etc.

Inspite of lower salary increase budgets, top performers will continue to get lucrative hikes as companies focus on performance and criticality. While attrition was contained at a broader level, key talent attrition takes a hit. Differentiated people and pay practices slowly taking the edge away from compensation for Key Talent Management.

Projections for 2017 include salary increase projections across consumer Internet companies, life sciences, professional services, chemicals, entertainment media, automotive/vehicle manufacturing, and consumer products.

The study, the largest and the most comprehensive of its kind in India, analysed data across 1,000+ companies.

Anandorup Ghose, partner at Aon Hewitt India, said: “Political changes and economic headwinds have had an impact on business performance. However, the trend this year reflects a gradual slowing of pay increases and higher emphasis on productivity and performance – quite literally a ‘graying’ of salary budgets for India.

“The last year has shown organizations take a strong view towards performance differentiation and not only have bell curves become sharper, the pay differentiation between top and average performers has also increased.”

MasterCard, CAIT launch digital payments program in India

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The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) and MasterCard have announced a 90-day ‘Digital Apnao Vyapar Bhadao’ campaign to accelerate the adoption of digital payments among traders in India.

masterIn this campaign, CAIT and MasterCard will organize 500 camps across 50 cities in India over the next 90 days. It aims to on-board 5 lakh merchants and traders by bringing together financial institutions and other payments facilitators under one roof.

The camps will follow a three-step process of completing KYC documents, opening merchant accounts and helping them adopt the right digital payments solutions for their businesses.

Ravi Aurora, senior VP, Global Policy Affairs and Community Relations, MasterCard, said that the stress is on trade, As of now, around 10,000+ merchants have been asking for PoS devices daily. There is a need for more incentives across SMEs and consumers, so that they do not go back to cash-based commerce.

This step is in line with the Indian government’s multiple objectives of combating tax evasion, drive electronification, and prevent circulation of counterfeit currency. As of now, India has 1.5 million PoS locations and 0.2 million ATM locations. MasterCard is committed to a ‘less-cash society.’

Praveen Khandelwal, secretary general, CAIT, said that digital payments are very important for traders. It is also a pre-condition to embrace GST. He added that the first camp will be held today, Feb. 7, in Nagpur, followed by other cities, including, the metros.

SAP consumerizing enterprise biz apps

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The recently-held SAP Spotlight Tour in Surajkund, India, emphasized heavily on the consumerization of enterprise business applications.

As we all know, all enterprises have applications that they have to manage. They also have data residing on the cloud as well as in the premises. Now, the SAP digital boardroom has been changing data into insights, said N. Sekhar, VP Engineering, SAP Labs India. There was a demonstration of SAP’s innovations regarding how customers can shop.

img_20161202_031320Sonam Wangchuk, founder, Students Educational & Cultural Movement of Ladakh (SECMOL), spoke about how students in the far flung area of Ladakh are enjoying playing with the sun, earth, fire and ice.

Three years ago, SECMOL came up with the idea of the ice stupa artificial glaciers. A pilot ice stupa stores approximately 1.5 million liters of water, and is used to water about 5,000 trees.

Now, SECMOL is said to be using siphon technology at the Lhonak lake, that resultantly, also helps water overflow to some other lakes. The ice stupa technology has since gone to Switzerland, near St. Moritz.

Deb Deep Sengupta, president and MD, SAP India Subcontinent, said the organization had img_20161202_031418now completed 20 years in India. “We are digitally enabling businesses to embrace a cloud mindset,” he added. “Technology is now driving innovation, efficiency and growth.”

On day 2, there was a session titled ‘Impacting one billion lives’. Dr. Ramesh Nimmagadda, managing trustee, Ramesh Nimmagadda Cancer Foundation (RNCF) said there have been disruptions in healthcare. There is a constant growing need to collect data, and then see what best can be done using that data.

According to him, the connected healthcare was growing in importance. RNCF has developed a data collection software. The next step would involve predictive analysis. “We must go digital. There is also a need to develop simple and cheap systems.”

img_20161203_155950Rajandeep Singh, co-founder, Kivi Technologies added that writing electronic medical records (EMR) would become much easier over the next two to three years. There is also a need to develop techniques to get different data to ‘talk’ to each other. Cloud is definitely the way forward.

Intel now sampling 14nm Stratix 10 FPGAs to customers

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Intel has begun sampling 14nm Stratix 10 FPGAs to customers. The Stratix 10 is the 14nm FPGA that was built as a result of Intel and Altera’s foundry agreement in 2013. Stratix 10 is the industry’s highest performance, highest capacity FPGA ever built.

stratix-10How is the Intel 14nm FPGA superior to that of Xilinx? According to a spokesman, Stratix 10 FPGAs provides a first to node advantage for Intel, in that Stratix 10 are the first true 14nm FPGAs, delivering the performance and density advantage of a true process shrink.

How are memory and programmable solutions delivering new classes of products for the data center and the IoT ?

IoT is said to be bringing online billions of new smart and connected devices that are generating a tremendous amount of data. This data must be processed, analyzed and acted upon in real time within the cloud and data centers.

FPGAs, like Stratix 10, are built to support this demand by delivering high-performance, multi-function acceleration to the data center. Microsoft and their use of FPGAs to power Azure and to accelerate Bing are great examples of this acceleration today.

Broadcom did announce 5G a couple of years ago. Is Intel’s 5G any different?

According to Intel, FPGAs will be a key enabler in driving 5G deployments. “As we are in the early stages of 5G where standards are being finalized, the flexibility of FPGAs are invaluable to developers of wireless infrastructure, as the FPGA can be re-programmed as standards are adopted and finalized,” he added.

What is Intel doing in memory and programmable solutions that will make it different?

5G represents a significant shift for the industry, and requires an unprecedented integration of wireless connectivity, computing intelligence, and distributed cloud resources. It will fundamentally transform our lives, bringing us a society that is smarter and more connected.

To realize this potential for the IoT and enable richer experiences throughout daily life, wireless networks must transform to become more powerful, agile and intelligent. Intel is transforming the wireless networks and infrastructure to lay the path to 5G. FPGAs like Stratix 10 and memory are key enabling technologies for Intel.

If you look at some of Stratix 10’s capabilities vs. the prior generation, which companies like Microsoft are using to power its data centers, you get a clear picture of how developers of high-end networking gear, communications infrastructure and data centers will benefit from these high-performance, multi-function accelerators.
* 2X higher performance.
* 5X higher capacity.
* 8X higher TFLOPS.
* Integrated of high-bandwidth memory (HBM2).
* Integrated ARM A53 quad core processor.

Mid-term semiconductor industry update and forecast

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What’s the status of the global semiconductor industry in 2016? What are the forecasts for 2017? Malcolm Penn, chairman and CEO, Future Horizons, UK, presented his findings in London, UK, on Sept. 20, 2016.

Industry update
The IC ASPs are said to be the least understood statistic. The underlying ASP trend is 4-8 year cycle (2-4 Moore’s Law nodes). The crash is steep, and recovery has been punctuated by 1-2-year disruptions.

ASP recovery from penn12005 cyclical bust has been derailed by Lehmann, Euro Crisis, China, Brexit, much more. Penn recommended to beware the extrapolations and received ‘wisdom’,
especially on ASPs.

As for the current 2017 market outlook. there is an ongoing weak PC and smartphone market. The economy remains the industry’s biggest ever wildcard. Lack of industry confidence will bite everyone hard. The poor market growth is said to be the main driver for consolidation (M&A). The chip industry definitely needs a strong economy for growth.

Market forecast 2017
As for the semiconductor market forecast for 2017, the wheels fell off three times in March, Q3 and Dec. 2015. First, demand collapsed in March. This was followed by an ASP collapse and Jun-Sep hit Q3 sales value. The disastrous December made 2015 tip negative (-0.2 percent).

The wheels fell off again this time in Q1! Q3 has been holding up (despite Brexit uncertainty). The disastrous Q1 blew recovery hopes. It has been five years in a row that the market’s failed to recover. The overall economic confidence is clearly to blame.

The current 2017 market outlook is pegged at -1 percent, Lack of industry confidence will bite everyone hard. “Business as usual” means another bad year. As said earliet, the chip industry needs a strong economy for growth.

Tech trends
Well, Moore’s Law is still breathing, but Samsung and TSMC definitely made great efforts to catch up with Intel. Neither spends anywhere near enough on process R&D to research all of the possible next node options, thereby, relying on Intel and Imec Yield ramps are proving to be ‘challenging’, and ‘probably’ always will!

More on the Moore’s Law’, there is shrinking, that’s getting tough. E.g. TSMC FinFET transition has been step by step. Again, in 12nm FinFET, the first designs are now in tape out. However, all are still using the 20nm planar back end of line (BEOL) process. In contrast, Intel is now in early production of its full blown 12nm process and still has one generation lead.

There is a need to bring back a real International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) roadmap, with classic gate channel width reduction no longer a realistic measure of IC process scaling. There needs to be separate scaling trends for the front (transistor), and BEOL (interconnect) has further muddied the waters. The industry desperately needs a new way to measure real scaling and properly compare different processes and process modes.

Now, N14/16 and N12/10 were easy, bur N7 gets hard! For N7 CMOS on production schedule for 2019, Intel and Imec have prototypes of most structure and material options. The N7 node will require III-V materials as well.

N5 CMOS node is harder still. It is the first node where quantum tunnelling effects are dominant. The prototype CMOS devices are already made by Intel and Imec. Vertical GAA (gate all around) structure is likely with FinET on SOI.

The less said, the better for the N3 node. Both heterojunction TFET and GNR (graphene nanoribbon) TFET offer complementary devices allowing continued use of CMOS design techniques. Intel definitely selected the heterojunction TFET. Either could be introduced at N5 if CMOS alternatives underperform or for very low power applications.

Beyond CMOS processes, there areSpintronics options. These include SpinFET, all spin logic, domain wall logic, Spintronic majority, nano magnet logic and Spin wave.

Looking at the “beyond CMOS” era of N2.25, N1.8 & N1.3 (maybe smaller), numerous device structures are in early research. Orbitronics may offer a simpler option than Spintronics with the BiSFET (bilayer pseudo-spin field effect transistor). A simple graphene-based device not dependent on the need for a band-gap could even come to market before Spintronics logic devices.

As for 3D Flash process challenge, Samsung’s ‘getting there’ Plus Intel’s the ‘dark horse’.

In FD-SOI, is the third process lucky? The original 28nm process was developed by STMicroelectronics and second-sourced to first GlobalFoundries, and then Samsung. The second generation shrink development has been aborted by STM. The second generation 22nm FDX process was launched by GlobalFoundries Dresden, and is an improved 28nm ‘squeeze’.

The third generation 12nm FDX process was launched (10nm FinFET performance and lower power/cost of 16nm FinFET). However, the first customer tape outs won’t be until H1-2019. Little is currently known how the process works and is made. There is unlikely to be a pure FD-SOI process/transistor as the classic FD-SOI transistor would not scale this far.

Let us also have an update on 450mm fabs. Europe’s now turned off all 450mm ‘life support’. Intel’s still “interested”, but remains low key for now. The 300mm process technology has moved on dramatically. 3D Flash needs might still ‘make 450’s day”.

As for an update on EUV, the 12 latest generation machines are now installed (plus six older ones). And, 24 more are due to be installed next year. New techniques with immersion are being used at 10nm. For 7nm, there will probably be used for Fin Cut stage. Most layers will stay with 193 immersion, wherever possible. Read the rest of this entry »

Mellanox intros 100G Open Ethernet switch in India

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Mellanox Technologies, a leader for data center Ethernet interconnect solutions, has presented the 10/25/40/50 and 100GbE solutions in the Indian market. Mellanox introduced ‘SPECTRUM’, the Open Ethernet switch, with a switching capacity of 6.4 Tbits that can transfer 4.77 billion packets per second.

mellanoxThe company also revealed to the Indian audience its ConnectX-4 Lx Ethernet adapter and the LinkX family of Ethernet cables and transceivers.

Present in 30 countries, with 2,800+ employees, it has come out with this particular switch and also wants to approach customers beyond the enterprise.

‘SPECTRUM’ switch based on the 100GbE Ethernet switch ASIC of Mellanox, is recognized as the world’s leading Ethernet switch. It provides a flexible choice of ports at 10, 25, 40, 50 and 100Gb/s, and ensures zero packet loss. This will help users to fully utilize their network resources and maximize the efficiency of the applications in their data center.

Compatible with a range of network OSs, this switch provides customers with the freedom to choose the preferred network operating system. Spectrum is the most efficient solution for cloud-based applications, web 2.0, storage, database and machine learning.

Eyal Waldman, president and CEO, Mellanox, said: “In today’s world, the speed of access to information resources is the competitive advantage. Mellanox’ SPECTRUM based Ethernet switch enables datacentres to deliver the highest performance and lowest TCO. Implementing Mellanox’ solutions in data centers, we help create a solid foundation for improving the competitiveness of businesses in the fast-paced modern world of digital services.”

It is a clear move toward making data centers of today even more efficient. The switch has a low latency of <30ns. Mellanox boasts of partners such as Oracle, EMC, IBM, Dell, NetApp, etc. There is a constant engagement with high-performance computing (HPC). There is also a desire to show value for ecommerce, and financial technology.

Mellanox also provides security infrastructure for data centers. Waldman added that Mellanox is building the future infrastructure for compute and storage. Also, it is partnering with Nvidia for artificial intelligence.

As of now, Mellanox has about 1,000 installations in India. “We are located inside data centers,” added Waldman. Municipalities can also build clouds within their facilities, so they can have a much more secure environment.

The products unveiled by Mellanox, are expected to trigger adoption of high speed networking in the Indian data center industry. Spectrum based Ethernet switches, will ensure maximum performance, efficiency and throughput with lowest latency and the lowest power consumption; thereby reducing costs significantly. This will maximize RoI and ensure highest application performance, in datacenters powering the telecom, manufacturing and the cloud services market in India.

Over the course of the coming months, Mellanox will be looking to open an India design and development center for sales, marketing and support. This would also support the Indian customers.