The Real Case of Silicon-as-a-Service – A Tale of 3 Innovators

Jin Zhang, VP of Marketing, Algodone 
Oct. 1, 2018

We, at Algodone, have been talking for a while now about the oncoming of the new business model for the semiconductor industry, “Silicon-as-a-Service”.

It is based on the insight and belief that for the last couple of decades, the world is moving rapidly towards an as-a-service economy. To stay nimble and relevant in the fast-changing world, the semiconductor companies also need to reinvent themselves and adapt.

Following this vision, Algodone’s founders, Jerome, Gael and Lionel, built the company and developed the Silicon Activation Licensing Technology (SALT™) that is to become the enabler for this transition. It has been 3 years in the making, and the day we have all been waiting for has finally come.

September 10th, 2018 marks a ground-breaking moment that our vision has come true. SALT, which symbolizes a necessary ingredient for our everyday life, has been deployed in real customer production.

In this exciting tale, it takes three to tango – three remarkable innovators working together to pave the way for all others to follow –

  • The trail blazer who is willing to walk the unknown and open a new chapter for the business of the semiconductor companies.
    Our hero here is NGCodec®, a leader in cloud video processing, who sees the same trend and seizes the opportunity to charter into the Silicon-as-a-Service, pay-per-use business model. Instead of selling its advanced video encoding technology as a product, NGCodec licenses its technology accelerated on FPGAs and bills customers based on volume of data processed through their video encoder.
    For that, it needs a platform that allows them to easily deploy and manage their video encoding products in the cloud (Public, Private, On-premise, or any mixture of the flavor). That brings us to the company Accelize®.
  • Accelize is the leading provider and enabler of FPGA Accelerator functions in the cloud. Their Digital Right Management (DRM) Platform allows NGCodec to securely address the need for as-a-service purchasing model from their customers, while focusing on developing its core competency on video encoding without having to worry about managing the logistics in complex, hybrid multi-cloud environments.
    At the heart of this DRM platform is a silicon-based licensing scheme created by Algodone, the 3rd innovator in the success story.
  • Algodone’s Silicon Activation Licensing Technology (SALT) includes a DRM controller that is used by Accelize for integration inside the NGCodec’s video encoding design; and a license provisioning software, also part of the Accelize platform. The combination of the silicon and the license guards against illegitimate uses of NGCodec’s technology and at the same time enables legitimate use of processed video while metering usage for billing.
    Without this core innovation, there would be no Silicon-as-a-Service, because protection and metering are two key elements that make it a viable and profitable solution.

Oliver Gunasekara, CEO of NGCodec, said in the press release: “Today, our customers want instantaneous access to our technology and the ability to pay only for what they use.” Indeed, today consumers’ on-demand, pay-per-use, anytime and anywhere mindset is driving and reshaping the broad market place.

With NGCodec blazing the trail and showing the industry that Silicon-as-a-Service can be done, both in terms of business model, and in term of the necessary enabling technologies, it won’t be long before other companies in AI, Automotive, Healthcare, Education, and IoT spaces, where security and user experiences matter, follow suit.

September 10th is the teachers’ holiday in China. It is fitting that this day, with this announcement, also signifies a teaching moment for the industry, that you too can be brave and adopt Silicon-as-a-service.

We, Algodone and Accelize, working together, are ready for you to take your business to the next level.


This article is also published on the following websites:


From NGCodec to Huawei, SALT is the bridge to a new era of hardware monetization
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