National Technology Day 2022: Creating cutting edge tech solutions for the world
Hyderabad designs Micron’s latest SSDs
India is phenomenal in chip design. Micron, one of the world’s leading semiconductor firms in memory and storage, started R&D operations in India only three years ago, but already has a lot to show for it. Anand Ramamoorthy, MD for India, says that in specific instances, India teams have taken majority ownership of products and mobile memory system architectures that will fuel cutting edge, next generation 5G device experiences. The 2450-series solid state drives based on Micron’s leading edge 176 layer 3D NAND memory technology, were designed in Hyderabad, and feature a PCIe 4.0 interface designed for data-intensive workstation use-cases as well as for ultrathin, ultraportable notebooks. The drive is used by major laptop manufacturers like HP and Lenovo.
InstaHyre’s AI platform is used globally
InstaHyre is a hiring platform that uses AI to enable recruiters to hire top talent effortlessly. Among its users are Amazon, Walmart, Uber, VMware, Target, Paypal, Salesforce, Flipkart, Byju’s and Swiggy. Co-founder Sarbojit Mallick says in traditional hiring, job seekers are frustrated with irrelevant jobs, fake calls, and spam emails, while companies, after manually sorting through thousands of resumes, get candidates who are not of high quality, irrelevant, and not a culture fit. “Our technology uses millions of data points to analyse a company’s past and present hiring patterns, candidate preferences, and career progression. After decoding the company’s DNA, it matches candidates with jobs that are highly relevant to them, and companies with candidates who fit their profiles,” Mallick says.
Koo’s native language tech
Scaling a social media app is tough. But in just two years since Koo was launched, it has crossed 30 million downloads. The work its engineers have been doing in natural language processing (NLP) has been crucial – it helps users express themselves in their mother tongue. Co-founder Mayank Bidawatka says that to facilitate direct translations between two native Indian languages, a robust language corpus is required. “By harnessing NLP, we are labelling all the data that comes to the platform and building a strong language corpus, which helps in the effective translation of a message between two Indian languages. This has enabled a creator to post content in his/her language, and users to consume it in a language of their choice.”
Twitter’s India inspired innovations
Apurva Dalal, engineering site lead at Twitter, says India is Twitter’s hub for world-class tech talent. “Our teams have a deep understanding of building products for developing and emerging markets, with capabilities ranging from product development, to research and design, to data science, and machine learning.” The India engineering team introduced live cricket scorecards on Twitter’s Explore page during the T20 World Cup in October last year. It has also started testing a revamped, more personalised Explore page to make it easier for people to unwind, find new interests, and see what’s happening. The company says innovations from India will help to better serve Twitter audiences in similar Android-first markets.
QNu Labs – pioneering quantum cryptography
QNu Labs is perhaps the only company from India, and amongst a few in the world, that has engineered quantum cryptography technology from the ground-up. Sunil Gupta, co-founder & CEO, says the technology leverages principles of quantum mechanics to create unprecedented security, and puts the secrecy and confidentiality of data back into the hands of its rightful owners. “The engineers at QNu Labs are a group of passionate individuals with diverse skill sets and expertise in quantum physics, quantum security, cybersecurity, optoelectronics, laser technology, and high precision electronics. We have products for quantum random number generation and quantum key distribution that are completely designed, engineered, and manufactured in Bengaluru.”
Oracle has 41,000 developers and engineers in India, who collectively have more than 18,500 patents, making the India ops one of the firm’s most important product development centres. Sathesh Murthy, VP of product development at Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), says their recent product innovations of data and AI services around language, speech and vision and its modern data management platforms, were conceived and developed by its India hub. One of these innovations includes OCI Data Labelling, a service for building labelled datasets to more accurately train AI and machine learning models. Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI) in Australia is using this for research in curing children’s cancer. It helps them characterise the effects of different treatments on tumours by labelling microscope images, then automating the process of detecting different types of cells. It also helps them speed up numerical simulation time from 30 days to five days.
TechEagle is a drone logistics startup that was founded in 2015 by an IIT alumnus and recently launched the fastest hybrid e-VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) drone ever made in India,called the Vertiplane X3. The company says the Vertiplane X3 can fly 100 km across different terrains to deliver cargo, and was designed to provide capabilities like improved access to healthcare in remote areas, surveillance, and online shopping delivery.
The drones are completely designed, developed, and manufactured by the company’s engineers in-house at their facility in Gurgaon. Founder Vikram Singh Meena says their engineers come from various technical backgrounds and collectively work on everything from aircraft design, 3D printing, electronics integration, flight control systems design, flight testing, and a host of other operations.
Yahoo may not be the cultural heavyweight it was in the 1990s, but it still reaches 900 million people globally and has a strong engineering presence here that keeps it relevant. Raj J, senior director for software apps engineering and India site lead at Yahoo, says Yahoo was early to realise India’s potential to emerge as an epicentre of high-end R&D delivering strong internet products. “We were one of the first global companies to set up a full-fledged R&D
centre in Bengaluru in 2002. Since then, our India (Bengaluru & Hyderabad) engineering centres continue to be a source of extraordinary talent, strong execution, and impact.”
Yahoo’s teams here work on several critical areas like global product development (application & mobile development), production engineering including deployment (CI/CD) and support, database & storage management, network administration, DNS & edge infrastructure and even sales operations.
Global cloud computing and virtualization firm VMware has its largest R&D center in India. Ramani Panchapakesan, senior director of R&D at VMware India, says last year the firm’s engineers were granted over 200 patents. “That should give you an idea of the immense talent that is housed at VMware India. Our engineers in India are also amongst the top contributors to open-source projects around Kubernetes/ Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) and other cloud native projects. We conduct workshops and mentor other Indian contributors to start their journey and contribute to Kubernetes. Nikhita Raghunath, who is a staff engineer, is one of the top contributors to Kubernetes globally. Nabarun Pal, an infrastructure engineer, was one of the first in the APAC region to lead a global Kubernetes 1.21 release,” he says.
Uber’s seamless ride-hailing tech
Behind every successful Uber ride is the technology that works with impeccable precision. Manikandan Thangarathnam, senior director of engineering at Uber, says this tech is increasingly being designed at Uber’s engineering centres in Bengaluru and Hyderabad. The teams here work on products and services that are used locally and globally. During the pandemic, the teams were focused on helping customers across the world adapt to the new normal – from working on ways to detect the riders’ masks, creating a new last-mile delivery service to get everyday essentials delivered to people’s doorsteps, and even helping organisations with their ‘return to work’ process.
Dell’s world-class servers
Sudha K V, vice president at Dell Technologies India, says their Bengaluru R&D centre has been instrumental in bringing about cutting-edge technology in the server portfolio. Right from conceptualisation of the servers to product upgrade and then retiring the offerings, and thinking about the next product and technology trends, the Bengaluru R&D centre is the locus of innovation. The centre has filed over 100 patents in the last 3-4 years.
To integrate software and hardware with specific capabilities, the R&D centre runs about 7 petabytes of networking traffic, 1,600 virtual machines, and 1,400 test configurations to mimic all possible customer scenarios.
Agritech firms like Ambee are at the heart of a digital green revolution. Madhusudhan Anand, CTO and cofounder, says the firm’s engineers have developed a suite of APIs for the natural integration of satellite images, remote sensing data, data-driven analytics, and forecasts to agricultural applications and machine learning. “The APIs track soil, weather, vegetation, land use, plantation (using remote sensing or on-ground sensing), and many factors
that affect a farm’s productivity, primarily due to the impact of industrialised agricultural practices and global warming,” he says. The technology helps increase agricultural productivity, and assists in the implementation of sustainable farming practices.
Vedantu’s e-learning innovations
Vedantu’s patented live learning technology called W.A.V.E (Whiteboard Audio Video Environment) uses AI/ML to track over 100 parameters in real-time to drive student engagement, teaching effectiveness, and learning outcomes. Pulkit Jain, co-founder, says the technology delivers precise insights through face recognition, content, whiteboard usage analysis, verbal interaction analysis, doubt analysis, tone, sentiment analysis, and much more. W.A.V.E also uses 40% less bandwidth than other platforms. Since its inception in 2014, W.A.V.E has been used by around 1,000 teachers to teach 24 million students for 70 million hours.