How will 2013 turn out to be for the global semiconductor industry? Will there be growth for the global EDA industry? Importantly, how will the Indian semiconductor industry perform in 2013? I asked Jaswinder Ahuja, corporate VP and MD, Cadence Design Systems India these questions.
Outlook for global semicon industry in 2013
First, how is the outlook for global semiconductor industry in 2013 going to be? Ahuja said: “The long term outlook for the semiconductor industry remains positive, with mobility and cloud computing being the key drivers. The global economy is forecast to grow around 4 percent annually through 2016, according to an April 2012 report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“In its June 2012 report, Gartner predicted growth in electronics and semiconductor industries to outpace that of the world GDP growth, at 5½ percent annually to approach $2 trillion for electronics and 6 percent annually for semiconductors through 2016. So, the semiconductor industry outlook remains very positive overall.
“In the near term, multiple challenges will need to be weathered with respect to the global economic climate, especially in European markets. The JP Morgan/GSA Semiconductor Index of Leading Indicators points to a soft semiconductor industry in 2013. However, there are lot of new products in the mobile and tablet space that are driving demand, such as the iPhone 5, Microsoft Surface, and Samsung Galaxy S III.
“The China semiconductor space is emerging as a key market for semiconductor company revenue, and forecasts predict that it will show rapid annual growth rate. The consolidation and M&A activities that we are seeing in the global semiconductor industry also indicate a positive outlook for the upcoming year.
“In India as well, the semiconductor industry will continue to see growth. The injection of funds and other support outlined in the National Policy on Electronics will provide an impetus to home-grown design and manufacturing, which should start gaining traction in 2013.”
Five trends for 2013
What would be the three or five trends likely to be visible in 2013? Ahuja said Cadence sees five big trends that will drive growth in the near and long term. These are: mobility, application driven design, video, cloud and security.
Probably, the most pervasive change in electronics recently has been mobility. When we talk about mobility, it’s just not about smart phones or tablets, but any kind of device which is mobile. Within the mobile space, software applications help system manufacturers and vendors differentiate themselves and stand apart from the competition. The need to have apps on all kinds of devices is driving rapid growth, as well as placing new demands on EDA companies.
The entertainment industry will be the key driver for video, and as the year progresses, we will continue to see more and more products and solutions introduced to tap into the demand. For the semiconductor industry, video will drive growth both in the end consumer market (mobile platforms) and the enterprise space (networking industry).
In many ways, the backbone to mobility is the cloud. With its network servers and infrastructure, the cloud is what delivers much of the content and value to all of those mobile devices. Statistics show that we need one server for every 600 smart phones and one for every 120 tablets. So there is a big need for data centers which can provide support for all the computing and back-end operations.
Security of data in mobile devices and the cloud will continue to be a challenge in the near future. There will be renewed calls to develop products that can protect critical infrastructure and sensitive information from security breaches.
CDNLive India held its University Conference today. Welcoming the delegates — largely made up of faculty members from various institutes across India and students, Jaswinder Ahuja, corporate VP and MD, Cadence Design Systems (I) Pvt Ltd, highlighted that there are over 300 universities in India that have access to Cadence’s EDA software.
Dwelling on how Cadence went about developing its University program in India, he said that the EDA vendor first started its faculty training program. “As a next step, we wanted the students to develop some real designs, and to innovate. So, we launched the Cadence Design Contest. We have had this for five to six years now. This year, we split the contest into Masters and Bachelors levels.” Cadence started the University conference last year.
Ahuja re-iterated, “It is important that we develop a community — where the faculty and students come together and share their experiences.” A visiting professor from Gerrmany shared his experiences in Europe during last year’s CDNLive India University conference.
Challenges in university ecosystem
Ahuja added: “This year, we have started the Cadence VLSI Certification Program (CVCP). The whole idea is to ensure is that through the curriculum, labs and the like, we can help the student to be industry ready from day one!
“Right now, it takes anywhere from six months to two years to achieve that — which s simply, productive time lost. Our goal is to build capabilities in the universities. We also have two pilots going on under CVCP. Once those are over, we will be ready to scale up.
“One of the challenges that we face when we look at the university ecosystem today — the faculty is the backbone of the academic infrastructure. It is important that the faculty is world class. If some of our best and briightest don’t make the choice to be part of faculty, then the entire industry is at threat. Those who have the passion to teach and impart education, should definitely stick around.”
He noted that the government of India is also very keen on investing in education. That’s going to improve prospects for higher education and for those who would want to get into the education field. It is said that some of the bills that have to be passed in the Indian Parliament are built around enhancing and growing higher education. Read more…
The VLSI Design and Test Symposium 2010 (VDAT 2010) was held last week (July 7-9) at the picturesque Chitkara University Campus, Himachal Pradesh, located 32 kms from Chandigarh.
VDAT is an annual activity of the VLSI Society of India, and was initiated to provide a discussion forum for Indian academicians and industry professionals working in the areas related to VLSI.
Delivering the keynote, Jaswinder Ahuja, corporate vice president and managing director, Cadence Design Systems India, said: “There is a “real” but “different” opportunity in the emerging markets. One would have to immerse himself/herself to understand the market better. India is also a great proxy for the emerging markets. It has the design expertise as well to address this market.
“The next 10-15 years present a unique window of opportunity to India entrepreneurs to play a leadership role in the global economic growth.”
Elaborating on the “real” but “different” opportunity in emerging markets, he added: “The base of the pyramid opportunity is very real. As per World Resources Institute, there are four billion people in the developing world representing a $5 trillion market opportunity who have real needs and aspirations but are under served.
“At least 700 million of these people are in India and represent a real business opportunity as well as an opportunity to “do good” and help include them into the formal economy and enable India to achieve its aspiration of 9-10 percent “inclusive” GDP growth. This requires business innovation and a different mind-set presenting a transformative opportunity to marry low cost, good quality, sustainability and profitability at the same time.”
India a great proxy for emerging markets!
India is also said to be a great proxy for the emerging markets. Ahuja explained: “India is many markets — urban, semi-urban and rural) in one and presents a broad spectrum of challenges that need to be overcome to be able to reach the 700 million people market opportunity.”
“If we can make something (product or service) work in India, we can make it work pretty much anywhere else in the developing world – whether it is financing, distribution, logistics, operating environment or anything else.”
Opportunity for Indian entrepreneurs to play leadership role
The next 10-15 years present a unique window of opportunity to India entrepreneurs to play a leadership role in the global economic growth.
According to Ahuja: “The markets of the future are in our backyard and we have among the best design talent in the world. If we can immerse ourselves in the market to understand the real needs and opportunities and then leverage our design expertise to build products for this market we will be best positioned to serve the next 4 billion consumers of the world.
“Indian entrepreneurs have an opportunity to play a leadership role in the global economic growth across sectors, but especially in electronics. No other country in the world has this unique convergence of circumstances. This opportunity is once in a lifetime and ours to lose if we do not create the right environment and framework to leverage it.” Read more…
Following the announcement of the EDA360 last week, I managed to get in touch with Jaswinder Ahuja, corporate vice president and managing director, Cadence Design Systems (I) Pvt Ltd. We discussed a variety of topics such as why the EDA industry is at the crossroads, EDA360 unplugged, the integrators vs. creators concept, the IP stack and the road ahead for EDA360.
First, why is the EDA industry at the crossroads?
“Semiconductor companies are being asked by system companies to provide the hardware platform as well as the software that will run on that particular platform. That is the trend that Cadence is seeing today, and that is what is discussed in the EDA360 manifesto,” he added.
EDA is at crossroads because EDA companies can no longer provide the tools only for IP integration and silicon realization like they have been doing all these years. EDA now has to encompass SOC realization (including bare metal software) and then move towards system realization, which includes mechanical/board design, he noted.
EDA360 and its key features
Ahuja said that EDA360 represents System Realization, the development of a complete hardware/software platform ready for applications development; SoC Realization, the creation of a single SoC including hardware-dependent software; and Silicon Realization, which includes complex digital, analog, and mixed-signal designs.
The traditional approach to system development starts with the hardware, and appends the software and the applications later. With application-driven System Realization, designers start by envisioning the applications that will run on the system, define requirements, and then work their way down to hardware and software IP creation and integration. This flow requires some new and expanded capabilities.
Part of system realization is project management. EDA360 reaches beyond engineering teams to help customers meet project and business objectives.
Key features of EDA360 include:
The four chapters of the EDA360 manifesto take a look at:
Happy new year to everyone! Here is an outlook for the electronics and semiconductors sectors in 2013, provided by Jaswinder Ahuja, corporate VP and MD, Cadence Design Systems (India) Pvt Ltd. (Thanks a lot, Pallavi).
First, the past year, 2012, in review.
Globally, 2012 has been a challenging year for the semiconductor industry with the economic slump in Europe and the US. However, the long term outlook remains positive, with Gartner reporting that the growth in the electronics and semiconductor industries will outpace world GDP growth till 2016.
In India, the ambiguity around the telecom market, traditionally the biggest consumer of semiconductor equipment, was the main handicap to growth. On the positive side, the passing of the National Policy on Electronics (NPE) in 2012 promises a much-needed fillip to the electronics ecosystem. In 2013 we expect to see a positive impact in terms of home-grown electronics thanks to the provisions of the Policy.
Worldwide technology trends in 2013
User experience is the driving force behind many of the semiconductor design trends that we will see in 2013 and beyond. Consumers are demanding devices on which games, music, cameras, internet, and other apps all run simultaneously and seamlessly. As a result, mobility, application-driven design, video, cloud and security, all of which enable an enhanced user experience, are the drivers of the electronics and semiconductor world today.
Mobility is the single biggest driver for the semiconductor industry. The pervasiveness of mobility does not only affect the telecommunications industry, but also entertainment, home electronics, automotive and medical electronics.
For example, cutting edge mobile solutions in the healthcare field include devices that can monitor blood pressure and blood sugar levels remotely, and then transmit the readings to the physician for diagnosis and treatment; in the automotive sector, in-vehicle infotainment is expected to be the next big thing and end-consumers can look forward to real-time traffic reports, weather information, and entertainment options from next-generation cars.
Mobility has fundamentally altered how we produce and consume information. In the future, we can expect that devices will go one step further and actually interact intelligently with the user – we see the first steps of that with Apple’s Siri software.
Mobility has also created a completely new market for applications that enable a more interactive and satisfying user experience. It is via applications that system companies differentiate themselves and stand apart from the competition. The need to have applications on all kinds of devices is posing unique challenges to the semiconductor and EDA companies.
Whereas traditionally the hardware (silicon) was built first and then the software was added later, now developing the software and designing the hardware are becoming a parallel process. This gives rise to new EDA technologies that enable early software development using software models of system hardware long before silicon is ready. We will see this new way of designing continue to be a challenge going into 2013.
Per reports from Cisco, video will soon drive more than 90 percent of all global traffic on the Internet. As more and more entertainment and collaboration tools are launched, bandwidth-hungry video traffic will drive growth both in the end consumer market (mobile platforms) and the enterprise space (networking industry).
The cloud is closely intertwined with the growth in mobility – it is the cloud of network servers and backbone equipment that deliver the content and value to all mobile devices. For every 600 smart phones and every 120 tablets, one dedicated server is needed. With the demand for mobiles showing accelerated growth, the need for cloud computing technologies will be another key driver for the semiconductor industry.
Security underpins our information age. The vast amount of data residing in mobile platforms and cloud architectures is extremely vulnerable. As we move into 2013, we foresee a sharper focus on securing data and critical infrastructure from theft and hacker attacks.
While 2011 was generally a year of growth for the global semiconductor industry, 2012 promises to be more volatile, thanks to new macroeconomic issues that will weigh on consumer and IT outlay. The upside is that long-term business trends for semiconductors seem positive, with revenue projected by some industry analysts expected to grow more than twice as fast as global GDP over the next few years.
Global business drivers in 2012
According to Jaswinder Ahuja, corporate VP and MD, Cadence Design Systems (India) Pvt Ltd, the major semiconductor market drivers in 2011 have been apps, video, mobility, cloud computing and green technology, and they will continue to be so into 2012.
As seen over the past year, apps are driving new generations of products. Traditional devices have more functionality than ever before – mobile devices such as smart phones or tablets have the ability to email, tweet, text, browse the web, stream video, take pictures, calendar appointments, and manage your contacts. The pervasiveness of apps are changing the demands on electronic design – this is the basic tenet of the EDA360 vision that Cadence announced in May 2010.
Video drives development of both devices and networks. It is expanding from the television to the smartphone, to media tablets, to your wristwatch. Video is not just used for recreation or entertainment – witness business applications such as videoconferences, surveillance systems, and professional video blogs.
Over the past few years, we have see the consumer’s need for mobility with all their electronic devices – whether a tablet or a gaming console or even in a car. This continues to challenge electronics designers – the need to stay connected all the time is still driving cutting-edge semiconductor design. Along with mobility, we also want long battery life, light weight, small size, and lots of communications options. This, along with the demand for green technology, is a market driver that makes lots of demands on designers. Read more…
Right then, folks! This is my last post for 2010, on my favorite topic – semiconductors. If 2009 was one of the worst, if not, the worst year ever for semiconductors, 2010 seems to be the best year for this industry, what with the analyst community forecasting that the global semicon industry will surpass the $300 billion mark for the first time in its history!
Well, here’s a look at the good, the bad and the ugly, if available for otherwise what has been an excellent year, which is in its last hours, for semiconductors. Presenting a list of posts on semiconductors that mattered in 2010.
Future research directions in EDA: Dr. Prith Banerjee @ VLSID 2010 — This was quite an entertaining presentation!
Indian semicon industry: Time for paradigm shift! — When will that shift actually happen?
ISA Vision Summit 2010: Karnataka Semicon Policy 2010 unveiled; great opportunity for India to show we mean business! — So far, the Karnataka semicon policy has flattered to deceive! I’m not surprised, though!
Indian electronics and semiconductor industries: Time to answer tough questions and find solutions — Reminds me of the popular song from U2 titled — “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for”!
What should the Indian semicon/electronics industry do now? — Seriously, easy to say, difficult to manage (ESDM)! Read more…
Do you, as a semiconductor/VLSI/EDA company, run university or educational programs for colleges and institutes? Am sure, you do!
Well, are you providing these various colleges and institutes with the latest tools and EDA software? Perhaps, yes! So, do you regularly check whether your tool is being used properly, or at all? What do you do if the tool remains unopened or unused? Okay, before all of that, are you even guiding the faculty and students to tackle real world problems associated with chip design?
Do the students (and the faculty) know the intricacies of 22nm, 32nm, 45nm, and so on? Are you able to assist students in taping out? Right, is the syllabus taught in all of these colleges good enough to produce the kind of talent and skills that the semiconductor/VLSI industry requires currently, and in the future? Is everything being taught, the latest?
As they say — it takes two to tango… and, it takes two hands to clap! To the Indian academia — how many among you are “really” serious about being trained on a regular basis by the semicon/VLSI/EDA industry? What have you all done about it so far, all of these years? How many colleges and institutes among you (and do you) regularly put up or raise your hand to the industry and say — we lack the knowledge in a particular area and need training – please help us!
The question is: what are you, as a semicon/VLSI/EDA company, doing about training the various faculty and the students in various colleges and institutions across India? Do you have a proper program in place for this activity? Well, is enough being done regarding the industry-academia collaboration in VLSI education in India? What more needs to be done?
Are you, as a college or institute teaching VLSI, happy with the quality of talent coming out? Are you really satisfied with the quality of B.Tech/M.Tech projects? Do you seek industry’s help regarding training on a regular basis? What steps do you take to reach out to them? And, what are you doing about it all? Do you take that initiative seriously?
For that matter, are there easy-to-use systems that enable effective and industry-relevant education? Are those being made use of properly? Can entry barriers be lowered for students and faculty so they can explore an IP idea that has business potential? How many of the colleges have done this? I know of some folks trying to develop such solutions, but that’s a separate story for another day!
Coming back on track, apparently, some semicon companies and few well known Indian institutes are really exceeding themselves, but the same story does not hold true everywhere. Why is it so?
There could be a variety of reasons, and not all are listed here. Is it a lack of initiative on part of the industry and the institutes? Don’t they even talk to each other? Are institutes not able to approach semicon companies and vice versa? Or, is it the locations of the institutes themselves? Is it that not all institutes are concerned about teaching their students how to solve real world chip design problems?
An industry friend had once remarked: As of the last three-four years, students from the Eastern part of India have no clear pathway that they can pursue to get into VLSI design. The reasons are — there are no training institutes in the East, which can teach Synopsys or Cadence tools or even the basics of Xilinx FPGA design.
A very interesting panel discussion titled Forging win-win industry-academia collaboration in VLSI education was held during the Cadence CDNLive India University conference.
Moderated by Dr. C.P. Ravikumar, technical director, University Relations, TI India, the panelists were Dr Ajit Kumar Panda from NIST Behrampur, K Krishna Moorthy, MD, National Semiconductor India, Dr K. Radhakrishna Rao, head, analog training, TI. India and R. Parthasarathy, MD, CADD Centre.
Let’s see what the other panelists have to say about all of this, and whether they have answers to all of the questions or problems. Well, this is another long post, so please bear with me! Read more…
Day 1, CDNLive India 2010, kicked of with Lip-Bu Tan, president and CEO, Cadence Design Systems Inc. delivering the main keynote.
This is a new era of an application driven platforms and products that have very short time to market. The global semiconductor industry needs to be ready and prepared to face and take on the upcoming challenges.
Talking about the global economy in general, Tan said that there has been gradual GDP growth, and that the semiconductor growth has exceeded GDP growth this year.
Healthy semicon industry
Tan said: “There is cautious investment as well as government engagement. There have been seasonal adjustments in the industry. I see 5-7 percent growth over the next five years. It is a healthy semiconductor industry.”
There has also been some improvement in major capital investment, especially in China and India. The IPO market has also been encouraging, especially in semicon space.
He added that India, especially, is coming up very strong. The domestic market has been coming up quite strong as well. “I am excited about the whole of investment over the next five years.”
Tan advised that various national governments are realizing that the semiconductor is critical, and hence, it is now becoming a significant industry. “China realized that they import more semiconductors than oil. India will realize this fact sooner, rather than later. I am sure that India will also mark semiconductors as a key area.”
On globalization, he added that all companies were now moving toward globalization. Some major companies, such as TI, ST, etc., have experienced tremendous growth in Asia Pacific.
On organizational matters, Tan expressed excitement regarding the amount of innovation and IT education happening in India. “India has all the brains and innovation. Now, the challenge is how to come up with products and market them globally. Tejas is doing very well, so is Cosmic Circiuts. So is Ittiam Systems.” The capital efficiency structure is also gaining in importance.
According to him, the M&A activity is also gaining in importance. “Some of the major system companies are moving into semiconductors, such as Apple,” he observed. A similar pattern was also visible with Oracle. “So, the system guys are starting to move into silicon. The next five years will be exciting as there will be a sea change. Read more…