Ph.D candidates in VLSI industry! Is enough being done?

January 4, 2013

“Fine art is that in which the hand, the head, and the heart of man go together.” – John Ruskin.

“Great men’s honor ought always to be measured by the methods they made use of in attaining it.” – François Duc De La Rochefoucauld.

The 26th International Conference on VLSI Design 2013 is starting tomorrow at Hyatt Regency, Pune. Over the years, it has served as a forum for VLSI folks to discuss topics related to VLSI design, EDA, embedded systems, etc. The theme for the VLSI and embedded systems conference is green technology.

That brings me to a point raised by one reader of this blog- what’s the future of  Ph.D candidates in the VLSI industry! First, do not believe when you are told that you can only join academics in case you are a Ph.D. You can certainly switch over to R&D at the various VLSI companies! Or, you can start on your own, by developing something noteworthy!!

As for the current scenario, especially in India, students, or well, Ph.D holders should seriously consider developing useful projects for  use in India, and globally. It seems all too very easy for folks to join some large MNC in India or overseas, as according to such people: their jobs are done!

For some strange reason, semiconductor/VLSI development seems to have remained in the backburner in India! I was surprised on visiting a center in Bangalore to find students – actually, some Ph.D. holders – working on projects that may never even see the light of the day! That leads to the question: are the tutors guiding them enough? Do we even have systems in place that backs development?

Having spent a long time in the Far East, I have seen young Chinese and Taiwanese, Korean and Japanese men and women take to VLSI earnestly. How did they manage to do that? Mainly, by starting their own companies and developing some product!

Now, this is something not yet evident in India! Has anyone else asked this question? And, can the Indian VLSI community make this happen? It should not be very difficult, if the head, hand and heart are there in the deed!

As John Ruskin says, “Fine art is that in which the hand, the head, and the heart of man go together.”

François Duc De La Rochefoucauld. says, “Great men’s honor ought always to be measured by the methods they made use of in attaining it.”

Hope these words make sense! Developing and designing solutions is a fine art where the hand, the head and the heart must be in sync. And, if you have really developed a solution or a product, what were the methods you used to attain that! Answering these two questions are tough, but the answers really lie within us!

My question remains: do students (in India) really spend time for developing projects, or do they simply copy or buy projects?

Coming back to the VLSI conference, this year’s program will play host to the 4th IEEE International Workshop on Reliability Aware System Design and Test (RASDAT) as well. There will be discussions around topics such as design-for-test, fault-tolerant micro architecture, low power test, reliability of CMOS circuits, design for reliability, dependability and verifiability, etc.

A semiconductor company will likely be introducing a portable and affordable analog design kit. Students will no longer be required to go to expensive labs for developing projects. There should be lot of simulation tools, online course materials, community support, lab materials, etc. to use using the analog design kit. There should be a string of announcements too, so let’s wait for the event to start!

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  1. Tamil Vanan K
    January 4, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Ya, I agree with you. It depends on people. People who are really interested in technology started knowing and doing small projects. Most of them don’t have the awareness.

  2. January 4, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    Thanks. What do you have to say for students who simply ‘buy’ projects? Is that lack of awareness or simply a ‘cannot do’ attitude? What about the teachers and VLSI industry?

  3. Gary
    January 5, 2013 at 3:22 am

    I have read some good stuff here. Certainly value bookmarking for revisiting.

  4. Lorel
    January 7, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    Wonderful post but I was wanting to know if you could write a little more on this subject? I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit more. Bless you!

    • January 7, 2013 at 8:53 pm

      Hello, this post is just about the right length. Best wishes.

  5. Horace
    January 9, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    It’s going to be end of my day. However, before I end, I am reading this great article to increase my know-how.

  6. Bhaskar
    January 14, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Hello Sir,

    I read your blogs regularly and it’s very helpful. I’ve been placed in Wipro VLSI 2012. But they are delaying joining date. So now I’m very confused whether to wait and join Wipro VLSI or join any other company, which give me early joining date. Actually I’m very interested in VLSI and microelectronics areas and have plans to do higher studies also.

    I want to know: How good is Wipro VLSI? What are the advantages in joining Wipro VLSI? Down the lane, say two years, what are my options in joining other good VLSI companies and also doing MS on VLSI abroad? Your reply is much awaited. Thanking you.

    • January 17, 2013 at 3:14 pm

      Hello, thanks for reading my blog. Well, am not in a position to comment on any company and its activities. Best wishes.

  7. Snehanshu
    April 11, 2013 at 4:26 am

    I am interested in VLSI field, but I am a fresher. How can I get entry in VLSI? Many institute have so many complaints against against them that they don’t provide jobs or they do not have good faculty. What should I do?

  8. Mallamma.h.r
    April 30, 2013 at 9:11 am

    Hello sir, I am in the 4th semester M.tech VLSI design and embedded systems. I am interested in the VLSI field and want go for higher education (Ph.D). How can I get entry to Ph.D? What are the procedures?

    • April 30, 2013 at 9:22 am

      You can log on to sites such as BITS Pilani and check. Best wishes.

  9. RK Gajula
    June 6, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    Hello sir, I have just completed my B Tech. I am interested in VLSI, but in India, institutes are lesser in number. I am confused whether to choose VLSI or any field. Please suggest.

    • June 11, 2013 at 2:54 am

      If you are keen on VLSI, go for it! Best wishes.

  10. Muttanna
    June 26, 2013 at 7:22 am

    Sir, your blog gives me a lot of information on the current events taking place in semiconductor industry. I have completed my masters in VLSI and embedded systems in 2012. and currently looking for job. I am more interested in analog design. I am curious to know how can I learn analog designing and all the companies ask for experience in the same analog designing which is difficult as a fresher like me.

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