Soft Silicon



Commodore (retd.) Anand Khandekar, chairman of PACE Soft Silicon, who
formerly headed Motorola’s Software Services in Bangalore, looks like a modern
day Robinson Crusoe. No wonder he has his extremely capable (Wo)man Friday,
Professor Jaya Panvalkar, the CTO who oversees the state-of-the-art
software-based multimedia applications the company develops for different mobile
devices. Besides the development center in Pune, the company also has offices in
Dublin and Cambridge and came into existence in 2000 with senior people from
CirrusLogic, Motorola, Symbian, Cambridge Silicon Radio and Accenture. The
pecuniary impetus was provided by the lead investor IIUL (International
Investment & Underwriting Limited), the investment arm of Dermot Desmond,
who closed three rounds of funding in June 2000, November 2001 and January 2004
respectively.

The company’s flagship product is SoftCorder, a new class of application
that turns PDAs and Smartphones into camcorders and allows users to share video
clips with other mobile devices and PCs via e-mail or MMS. Its other products
range from a video-conferencing platform, a media processing to optimized codecs
for different protocols like ARM, OMAP and Xscale. PACE Soft has already filed
for ten US patents for its various multi-media products that may be used in
camcorders, media players, video conferencing, PDAs, pocket PCs, digital
cameras, smartphones.

Khandekar says that the company sells its products on the Handango website.
Pace is already a platinum partner of Symbian, a consortium of the world’s top
mobile companies, Nokia, Motorola and Ericsson. And it rides piggyback on Intel
and Texas Instruments to go to OEMs.

Panvalkar stresses on the USP of the PACE solution. "Since the code size
a mobile phone can carry is limited, the challenge is greater. We have devised
an algorithm which can give 95% quality with 2% computing. Thus, the images and
high-motion sequences on your mobile phone will not be jerky since the errors
are concealed and, most important, you do not lose out on battery power."

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