Startup claims wearables with its chips can have up to 30 days of battery life

Ineda Systems, backed by Samsung and Qualcomm, will ship its chips in the second half of the year

A startup has developed processors it claims could let wearable devices run for up to a month without a battery charge.

Ineda Systems' new Dhanush processors are targeted at fitness tracker bands, smartwatches, sensor devices, wearable cameras and other electronics, whose batteries at best last several days today.

The company is developing four chips with varying power consumption and processing capabilities. They are designed to work within the power constraints of these types of devices.

The chips will ship to device makers in the second half of this year, and devices may come out in the first half of 2015, said Ramkumar Subramanian, Ineda's vice president of business development. Test samples of the processors have already started shipping to device makers.

Ineda has benchmarked the chips using multiple scenarios and is comfortable with its battery life claim, Subramanian said.

The company is also backed by prominent chip makers Samsung and Qualcomm, which are already making devices for the body. Ineda received a total of US$17 million from Qualcomm, Samsung Catalyst Fund, Walden-Riverwood Ventures and IndusAge Partners on Tuesday.

Ineda, based in Santa Clara, California, and Hyderabad, India, is run by Gude Dasaradha, who worked at Advanced Micro Devices and played a role developing the Fusion chip that combined the CPU and GPU in one processing unit. The company's chairman, Sanjay Jha, is the CEO at chip manufacturer GlobalFoundries and was CEO at Motorola Mobility.

Dhanush's chip designs bring together multiple low-power CPU cores with shared memory and I/O. Wearable devices are designed to be low power, and Ineda says its hierarchical chip design can break down tasks and block them out for processing in specific units. For example, the chip can break down voice-related functions into tasks like natural language processing for execution in different parts of a subsystem.

The chips have different processing units, each with different degrees of power consumption and processing power, said Balaji Kanigicherla, Ineda's co-founder, CTO and vice president of engineering.

For example, the least powerful unit anticipates information typically fed through always-on sensors -- such as motion -- which is then processed and can be presented on a display. The most powerful CPU typically runs as an applications processor, Kanigicherla said.

The Dhanush CPUs can function on independent operating systems, which can save power because an instance of an entire OS doesn't need to be loaded just to process basic sensor information. Running a full instance of Android just to process small bits of information can be overkill, Kanigicherla said.

Dhanush is based on MIPS CPUs and PowerVR graphics cores, both of which are from chip design company Imagination Technologies. Dhanush's high-performing "Advanced" chip can run rich graphics and Android OS, the "Optima" chips are for midrange wearables, while "Micro" and "Nano" chips are for low-end wearables and designed to run for weeks. The chips can support a range of sensors.

A lot of fine-tuning has been done on Dhanush in the way data is processed and power is fed, which also helps achieve power savings, Kanigicherla said. The MIPS CPU has also been modified by Ineda and adapted to fit into wearable devices.

The wearable market is expected to take off in the coming years. In a study last week, Technalysis Research projected wearable device shipments to hit about 9.9 million units this year, growing to 70.5 million units by 2018. The estimate includes devices worn on the head, wrist, ears, legs and hands.

But Dhanush has competition. Qualcomm's Toq and Samsung's Gear smartwatches are based on ARM processors, and Intel is also developing Quark processors for wearable devices. Chinese company Ingenic last week shipped an integrated board called Newton for wearables with a MIPS-based CPU.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Ineda Systemsbusiness issuesconsumer electronicsSamsung ElectronicsqualcommComponentsprocessors

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?