Indian semicon industry starting to make a noise and be heard!
Several years ago, I was extremely fortunate to witness the Cirque du Soleil perform Alegría! Oh, what a spectacular show that was! I remember one the of lines going something like — when you can’t shout, scream! Although I don’t quite recall the context, this line really stood out!
Another anecdote! “Did I not instruct, that box 5 was to be kept empty?”, boomed Gerard Butler, as the angry Phantom of the Opera, in the movie featuring him and Emmy Rossum. The Phantom really made his statement. He made noise!! Deafening noise, that was hard to close your ears to!
Now, what’s the relationship between Cirque du Soleil’s Alegría and The Phantom of the Opera? Well, both are fantastic, distinct examples of how to create a noise — and be heard!
Why am I saying all of this? Well, here’s a wonderful comment left by a reader, Sanjay Agarwal, president and CEO, Zelig Semiconductors, to one of my earlier blog posts titled Indian semicon industry: Time for paradigm shift!
He says: “I have worked with India-based semiconductor design houses since 2001. The quality of work has steadily improved. I am sure that India will have more of semiconductor design development including whole product development in few years.”
That’s great to hear! The Indian semiconductor industry is really starting to make a lot of noise and be heard, globally, irrespective of having or not having a fab! I sincerely hope that this momentum gained by the Indian semiconductor industry continues in the years to come!
The forthcoming India Semiconductor Association (ISA) Vision Summiit 2010 — on Feb. 1-2 in Bangalore — will provide even opportunities for the Indian semiconductor industry to really make a lot of noise, and be heard, globally.
Here’s a photograph from Oct. 28th, 2004 — the day, the ISA was born in Bangalore.
Notice the stalwarts? From left: Dr. Ananda, Dr. Madhu Atre, S. Uma Mahesh, Rajendra Khare, Dr. Sridhar Mitta, Dr. Anand Anandkumar, V. Veerappan, S. Janakiraman and Dr. Satya Gupta.
The ISA, and indeed, the Indian semiconductor industry have come a long way since! Both have made lot of noise during this journey. Back in those days, it was a bit difficult for me to explain to folks in India that I wrote about semiconductors! Or, for that matter, EDA.
That was the ‘age of innocence’ for the Indian semiconductor industry! Nevertheless, I was there!
The journey of the ISA and the Indian semiconductor industry, post the formation of the ISA has been pleasant, so far. One, it got all leading companies under one umbrella. Two, we started seeing some India specific reports on the industry. Does not matter if the statistics presented were/are agreeable to all. Three, it led to the semicon policy. Again, it does not really matter, how much of it has succeeded as far as setting up a wafer IC fab is concerned.
What it has not achieved so far is that these events have not really led to the creation of a knowledge economy one would have liked to see. However, that will change for sure in the times ahead! Do understand: semiconductors is not an easy subject, nor easily understood by all. I’m still a student and have much more to learn about this industry!
Continuing with the journey of the ISA and the Indian semiconductor industry, starting from 2005, when the Indian semiconductor industry and the ISA were discussing design hub challenges before India and whether the country should go fabless vs. fabs, it has since led to the formation of the Indian semicon policy in 2007. That sparked off a huge debate about having fabs in India in 2008, to the falling off of fab plans by early 2009! The strength of India in embedded electronics and design services also came to the fore during this period. Last year, it led to the emergence of solar photovoltaics (PV) and solar fabs in India. How this market segment plays out in the coming years would be interesting to watch.
As of now, the Indian wafer IC fab story lies dead and buried! Will it get revived? No, for the present. Perhaps yes, in the future.
The new mantra in 2009 became Made in India, Made for India. Now, the emerging mantra in 2010 seems to be product development and product development companies, and India as a market with growth momentum.
All of these really make for very compelling reading, especially for followers of the Indian semiconductor industry. However, everyone associated with the Indian industry will agree that while a lot of noise has already been made and it has been heard globally, a lot more really needs to be done to make India a truly semicon powerhouse.
The ISA Vision Summit 2010 will, in all probability, see the light of the day of the really long awaited Karnataka Semiconductor Policy. It has been nearly 18 months in the making and waiting. Hope to hear some good stuff about it. Better late than never!
Finally, hope to see you at the ISA Vision Summit 2010. More, later!