‘Ensuring Safety, Reliability Of Embedded Systems Are Critical’

Atul Chandra
21 Oct 2023
09:00 AM
4 Min Read

Sanjeev Kumar says he is looking to onboard global organizations to use their IPs and open to exploring new opportunities in the auto sector related to Field-Programmable Gate Arrays.

Logic Fruit

Sanjeev Kumar started Logic Fruit Technologies along with Anil Nikhra in 2009. The B. Tech (EE) graduate from IIT Kanpur, is a renowned technopreneur in the Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) and hardware design industry, with over 20 years of experience. He has a deep understanding of FPGA/DSP-based Product development, prototyping/validation & emulation of FPGAs.

Can you elaborate on the work done by Logic Fruit Technology for the automotive and aerospace sectors?

Logic Fruit Technology has a strong presence and extensive experience in serving the Aerospace & Defence (A&D) sectors, with a specific focus on providing innovative solutions and technologies. Our primary areas of expertise encompass A&D requirements, where we have developed a range of cutting-edge IPs and products, including ARINC818, ARINC664, ARINC429, and Mil1553B protocols, that are all avionics data transfer standards, and all internal or external communications are based on these protocols. We have IPs based on these standards and any aerospace company can build solutions based on these IPs. We already have two different use cases based on ARINC-based protocols like Single Board Computer (SBC) based on ARINC818 and Smart Multi-Function Display (SMFD).

Our Intel-based SBCs and SMFDs are tailored to the unique needs of these industries. Our decision to concentrate primarily on the A&D sector stems from the striking similarities in safety requirements and development methodologies between these industries and the automotive sector. Although we have a history of developing key IP solutions such as CAN, LIN, and FlexRay, we have chosen to channel our resources and expertise into the A&D sector at this time. These IPs are basically used in the automotive sector as a standard for data transfer and is widely used in making smart cars, which can communicate with fellow peers. We build these IPs in-house and though we have a limited focus on auto sector, if there is any requirement in line with these IPs, we are willing to engage with them and provide these IPs to build their smart cars or upgrade the technologies.

Another Unique Selling Proposition (USP) for us lies in our exceptional expertise and leadership in designing solutions based on FPGAs and Integrated Circuits (IC). When the aerospace or automotive industry seeks to develop, upgrade, or innovate their solutions, we are well-positioned to provide comprehensive support. Our R&D specialises in harnessing the latest technologies to conceptualise, design, and deliver cutting-edge solutions that precisely meet the requirements of these industries. What sets us apart is our ability to expedite the development process, ensuring the fastest time-to-market for our clients. We are working with domestic as well as international customers, again utilising our skillset around developing FPGA-centric solutions for various use cases. However, due to the confidential nature of the business, we cannot share more details.

What are the company’s market prospects in these sectors? Also, please provide an update on some of your recent projects.

Logic Fruit Technology sees significant growth prospects in both the aerospace and automotive sectors, driven by the increasing processing power available in today's processors and FPGAs. These advancements enable the integration of new and innovative features in both industries, particularly in areas such as sensor aggregation, radar technology, communication, and safety. While both sectors offer substantial opportunities, the automotive sector is highly competitive and saturated with numerous players. In contrast, the aerospace sector presents more specialised demands that align closely with Logic Fruit's deep expertise, making it the primary focus of our efforts.

We have been actively engaging in various projects in the aerospace sector, which include collaborations with domestic Public Sector Undertakings such as Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Bharat Electronics Limited, Defence Research and Development Organisationlabs to the likes of Aeronautical Development Establishment and Aeronautical Development Agency. Additionally, we have established partnerships with domestic private companies like Astra Microwave Products to develop tailored technology solutions that address the unique needs and challenges of the aerospace sector.

What are the challenges in embedded design and development requirements for the above sectors?

Embedded design and development in the aerospace and automotive sectors are highly demanding and come with several formidable challenges. These challenges are critical to address due to the stringent safety and reliability requirements, real-time constraints, intricate integration needs, and the necessity to adhere to strict size, weight, power, and cost limitations.

One of the foremost challenges is ensuring the safety and reliability of embedded systems. In both sectors, lives and critical infrastructure depend on the proper functioning of these systems, making any failure unacceptable. Additionally, real-time requirements demand that systems respond within defined timeframes, adding a layer of complexity to design. The integration of numerous components, sensors, and communication protocols is another significant challenge. These systems must seamlessly work together while maintaining reliability and safety standards.

Furthermore, complying with environmental conditions, such as extreme temperatures and vibrations, adds complexity. Cyber-security is increasingly paramount, as embedded systems become more interconnected. Protecting against cyber threats is a constant battle to safeguard data and functionality. Longevity is also a concern, as aerospace and automotive systems must remain operational for extended periods. Keeping embedded systems up-to-date and functional over these extended lifecycles is challenging.

Regulatory compliance is another hurdle. These industries are heavily regulated and ensuring that products adhere to these regulations requires rigorous testing and documentation. Software complexity also continues to grow, making it vital to manage code efficiently, debug issues, and update software when needed. Staying ahead of technological advancements is an ongoing challenge. Technology evolves rapidly and organizations must continuously innovate to remain competitive.

Finally, building and retaining a skilled team in the semiconductor and software industry is exceptionally challenging. The high demand for expertise in these fields adds to the competition for top talent. To overcome these challenges, organisations need multidisciplinary teams, rigorous testing and validation processes, a commitment to innovation, and close collaboration with industry partners and regulatory bodies. Addressing these challenges is essential to delivering embedded systems that meet the rigorous demands of the aerospace and automotive sectors.

How does the future look like for Logic Fruit Technologies?

We are excited and optimistic for the future opportunities for Logic Fruit Technologies.Due to the ‘Make in India’ initiative there is huge potential now in the Indian market, so we are trying to cope with that to generate profitable revenue. We are parallelly also building our global exposure so that we are not dependent on domestic market, and instead work on latest technologies globally and look towards growing to the Unicorn status.

We have expertise in high-speed digital protocols (PCIe, Ethernet, USB, SATA), SDR IPs, encryption, and AI/ML integration. We are also a self-funded company till date, but we are exploring options to generate funding to take our journey to the next level. Our present employee strength consists of 300 engineers at three different locations - Gurugram (HQ), Bangalore (R&D center) and USA (Sales office) – and we expect to grow quickly.

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