Mindgrove Launches India’s First Commercial MCU Chip Targeting Smart City Devices

Smart City Devices

Peak XV Partners-supported fabless semiconductor startup Mindgrove Technologies announced on Sunday the launch of what it claims to be India’s first commercial high-performance SoC (system on chip), named Secure IoT. This chip, designed for IoT devices, is expected to be 30% cheaper than its competitors in similar categories.

The startup, which has been nurtured by IITM Pravartak Technologies Foundation and is incubated at the IIT-Madras Incubation Cell, reported a successful MPW tape-out at the 28nm node for the chip. It also mentioned that reference boards would soon be available for original equipment manufacturers to test in the upcoming weeks.

Based in Chennai, the startup stated that this chip would enable local enterprises to incorporate an Indian-made SoC into their products, thereby reducing costs without sacrificing high-end features.

The Secure IoT chip, operating at 700 MHz, is noted as the only commercially available high-performance microcontroller in this segment from India.

Designed for various applications, the chip aims to offer programmability, flexibility, security, and superior computing power for controlling a broad array of connected smart devices. According to the company, “This chip can manage everything from smart watches, smart city infrastructure like connected utility meters, to smart home devices such as smart locks and speakers, and even EV battery management systems and control systems, among other applications.”

Besides just selling the chip, Mindgrove also plans to provide design support to Indian manufacturers, helping to foster innovation and enhance production scale within the country.

“India uses over a billion chips annually, and Secure IoT could replace between 10 and 50 million of these,” stated Shashwath TR, CEO and co-founder of Mindgrove Technologies. He added, “With a strong global demand for microchips, we anticipate considerable interest from international buyers in this new Indian innovation.”

Reflecting on the market dynamics heightened by the pandemic, Shashwath commented on the disparity in the embedded systems sector between high-end and low-end players, which often prioritise cost over performance. “This observation inspired us to design chips aimed at the middle market,” he explained.

The Secure IoT chip supports a wide range of features. It can operate with bare metal code or any microcontroller RTOS (real-time operating system), making it suitable for applications in traffic control, autonomous vehicles, medical equipment, and more, as per Mindgrove.

Mindgrove Technologies, co-founded by Shashwath and Sharan Srinivas J, enjoys the backing of Peak XV Partners, Speciale Invest, and Whiteboard Capital.