Posts Tagged ‘Mindtree’

MindTree’s intelligent video surveillance system — a bit late, but has potential!

August 8, 2009 Comments off

Recently, MindTree launched its Intelligent Video Surveillance System (IVSS). Though it seems to be a bit late in the market, the solution has tremendous potential.

Video surveillance globally is said to be a $13 billion market. In India, there has been a huge budget allocation for security worth Rs. 33,000 crores. According to MindTree, its focus is on intelligence, and that would be the company’s differentiator in the years to come.

Technology drivers for such devices include — a move from analog to IP; from networked to distributed; intelligence and analysis; use of allied technologies and standardization.

According to MindTree’s Sharmila Saha, the company wants to become an end-to-end solution provider. Its main value proposition is to bring management and analytics into all of its solutions. MindTree also has a enterprise ready hybrid product that supports both analog and IP cameras. It is starting ready to manufacture/IP licensing products.

Commenting on typical IVSS market and its characteristics, she said these included:
* public infrastructure, defence, educational institutions, etc.,
* financial institutions, retail, enterprise and home,
* server-based storage (networked video recording), and
* server based analytics.

MindTree’s differentiators are said to be the following: video analytics — the solution allows searching metadata, bandwidth management, security managenent — including tamper detection, video watermarking and secure transmission of data; and deployment — MindTree is also going standard compliant, supports multi-vendor devices, and offers customizable solutions.

Let us take a look at some of the features of MindTree’s solutions. Users can certainly do PTZ remotely, and also set camera in the patrol mode. Digital zoom is yet another feature. Image detection is done at 30fps. Image stiching is yet another feature available.

Searches can be done based on both time and data. There is also an events browser. Schedule recording can be performed by setting certain rules. H.264 is used for compressing images. MindTree has also built in face detection and face recognition as part of its video algorithms, besides Virtual TripWire.

S. Janakiraman, President and Group CEO, Product Engineering Services, pointed out that several other algorithms are being developed at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. Another algorithm — image stitching — has been developed by MindTree.

The company is filing the patent for image stitching, as well as for face detection. MindTree can control the storage and network costs since its own algorithms are being used. According to him, the company is in talks with the defence, etc.

MindTree’s network surveillance system helps an existing analog surveillance system to migrate to a centralized and IP based video surveillance system while still exploiting the investment on the analog infrastructure.

Built modularly, the IVSS comprises of multiple components that can also be used individually to increase operational efficiency. OEMs can leverage the reference design from MindTree for creating their own hybrid DVRs and system integrators can use the ready-to-fit solution accelerators and components to provide more robust and flexible surveillance systems to end customers.

IVSS key components
* Digital Video Recorder (DVR)
* Network Video Recorder (NVR)
* Video Management Solution (VMS)
* Video Analytics Algorithms Suite (VAAS)
* Analog-to-IP Encoders
* Smart IP Cameras

Key features of IVSS system:
* Video analytics with distributed intelligence to trigger specific actions on alerts and alarms.
* Intelligent video mining to extract valuable information from raw feed quickly and efficiently.
* Bandwidth management to reduce IP bandwidth requirements for feed transmission.
* Single management station that is scalable for future requirements.
* Reliable alarm management that is configurable for any event.
* Multi-camera tracking for specific objects through multiple cameras.
* Enhanced security features including watermarking and tamper protection.

No fabs? So?? Fabless India shines brightly!!

October 23, 2008 Comments off

This is no secret: fabs or no fabs, fabless India has been shining brightly all this while and will continue to do so for some time!

I’ve blogged on numerous occasions about India’s strength in design services, India as the embedded superstar, and well, about India’s growing might in global semicon. A fab will surely boost India’s image on the global map, but it is definitely not that essential!

It was very pleasing to hear S. Janakiraman, former chairman, India Semiconductor Association, and President and CEO-R&D Services, MindTree, also highlight this fact at Altera’s SOPC conference recently. Perhaps, India has been emphasizing on having a fab. However, if the fabless segment keeps growing as it has been up until now, that would boost industry growth as well!

Top 10 global fabless companies
For the record, here are the top 10 global fabless companies of the world, as reported by the Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA), formerly, Fabless Semiconductor Association, USA.

According to GSA, the total fabless revenue was $27.3 billion, a 12 percent growth year-on-year during 1H 2008. I believe, quite a few, or nearly all of the companies within the GSA top 10 list, have some sort of a presence in India!

Let’s also re-visit the numbers provided by ISA-Frost & Sullivan in its study on the Indian semiconductor industry. The India semiconductor TAM (total available market) revenues will likely grow by 2.5 times, and the TM (total market) will likely double revenues in 2009. Is this not good enough?

Bear in mind that India also plays an active role in the verification and software domains, and it is increasingly covering the entire design chain. The fabs. vs. fabless debate has been going on since 2004-05. Back then, too, many industry observers were backing the fabless route. Now, this discussion is perhaps, a non-issue, with the fabless segment easily the star performer.

India has long had the expertise in chip/board design, embedded software and system engineering. Also, the product and service differentiation is being increasingly driven through software, where India already enjoys a lead over other the APAC countries.

India distinctly has a tremendous opportunity to lead the global market in both semiconductors and electronic products, with or without fabs, or even being fabless!

India leads world in semicon: S. Janakiraman

June 27, 2008 Comments off

Irrespective of the debate raging within the semicon community regarding the IC wafer fabs in India, the strength of and the talent within the Indian semiconductor industry has never ever been in doubt.

Delivering the welcome note at the recently held ISA Technovation 2008 awards ceremony at the Indian Institute of Science, S. Janakiraman, the former Chairman – India Semiconductor Association, and President & CEO – R&D services, MindTree Ltd, elaborated the fact that India now leads the world through execution of most complex and latest technology designs.

Former president of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam was the Chief Guest at the function.

Commenting on the ISA’s role, Janakiraman said that it has been an industry driven body focused on the unique needs and progress of the semiconductor and related industries in India to make it vibrant and project India as a global leader. The ISA’s journey began four years back, in late October 2004, in Bangalore, under the mentorship of Dr. Sridhar Mitta, when like minded industry leaders gathered together and debated how India can achieve leadership position in the semiconductor space similar to IT and software.

Janakiraman said: “We have come a long way since then and today ISA is recognized by everyone in the country and all such bodies outside, as the sole representation of the Indian semiconductor industry. This has been a significant achievement and made possible by all.”

Today, there is a good presence of both Indian and MNC organizations, large as well as start-up companies, design, as well as manufacturing organizations, with the members of ISA now totaling 130! The ISA also works closely with central and state governments to give shape to the aspiration of our industry. It had played a key role in framing the semiconductor policy that enables larger investments in the semiconductor manufacturing ecosystem.

He added: “India has excelled in areas that are knowledge intensive. Semiconductor design is no exception, and today, we lead the world through execution of most complex and latest technology designs. The market size of the IC design and embedded software industry in India was $6 billion in 2007 and has the potential to grow into $43 billion by 2015. It currently employs around 130,000 engineering professionals.”

ISA Technovation Awards
One of the primary charters of the ISA is the talent initiative. This initiative focuses not only on generation of quality talent aligned to the needs of the industry, but also to recognize innovation and research, that further nurtures talent.

The Technovation Awards were created in 2007 to recognize excellence in Academia that has made us what we are today. These awards have been created to honour semiconductor research in India and to create role models in core technology areas.

The award categories are:
1. TechnoVisionary for life time achievement in the semiconductor area
2. TechnoShield for research entity, lab or a department for excellence in a semiconductor domain of interest
3. TechnoMentor for recognizing academician/researcher for contribution in the semiconductor area
4. TechnoInventor for individual excellence in doctoral/masters researchers

This year, ISA has created two special awards for recognizing researchers from Karnataka which have been instituted by VLSI 2007 committee, under two categories:

1. Best Faculty award
2. Best PG student award

The number of nominations went up multifold in this year and an able set of panelists had a tough task of selecting the award winners.

“Given the vibrant scenario of the industry and importance of the event, we have our great leader and visionary Dr. Abdul Kalam with us today evening to recognize the award winners in person'” added Janakiraman.

“Dr. Kalam had been a role model especially for the younger generation – who are the future of this country. Dr. Kalam has been a visionary and a great inspiration for the community present here. It is a great honour for ISA to have Dr. Kalam amongst us.”

The Award Winners @ Technovation 2008


Juzer M. Vasi, Deputy Director, Indian Institute of Technology, IIT Bombay


Bhargab B. Bhattacharya, Professor and Officiating Deputy Director, ISI Calcutta

TechnoShield 2008 (Rolling Shield)

Indian Institute of Technology, Madras — Semiconductor Devices Circuits & Systems Group (SDCS)


(Ph. D category)

Debdeep Mukhopadhyay, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur
Thesis : Design and Analysis of Cellular Automata Based Cryptographic Algorithms

BP Harish, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
Thesis: Process Variability –aware Performance Modeling in 65 nm CMOS

D. Mahaveer Sathaiya, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras
Thesis: Modeling of Gate Leakage in Aigan/Gan hemts and nitride oxides

(M Tech category)

Rakesh Gnana David J, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
Thesis: Adaptive Keeper Design for Dynamic Logic Circuits Using Rate Sensing Technique

Nayan Bhogilal Patel, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
Thesis: Performance Enhancement of the Tunnel Field Effect Transistor for Future Low Stand-by Power Applications

Former president of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, Chief Guest at the function, advised the Indian semiconductor industry to develop tailor-made chips so that electronic equipment could become more cheaper and competitive.

Semicon special: Global and Indian scenarios, design trends

June 15, 2008 Comments off

I’ve been blogging on semicon for some time now, and it is also going to be a year since the CIOL Semicon site was launched.

This special edition looks at the global semiconductor scenario — how is the industry dealing with the ‘deep trauma’ it finds itself in, along with certain forecasts. Will the recession bring the industry down, or is there light at the end of the tunnel? We also look at some predictions made in the past and evaluate where the semiconductor industry stands today.

In the Indian context, the special analyzes India’s growing might in the global semiconductor market, the emergence of India as an embedded superstar, the growing strength of the Indian design services segment, and a quick look at how planners need to take the semicon policy forward.

The special also addresses some leading design trends, such as the use of graphical system design for embedded control systems, trends in video compression, and why designers and developers need to go parallel. It also touches on some recent developments in 22nm.

All articles can be found on the CIOL Semicon site. Some of the posts are available on my blog as well. Enjoy!

Global Semiconductor Market Scenario

1. Top 10 global semicon predictions: where are we today
While the chip industry is equipped to take on the challenges ahead, do watch out for weaker DRAM and NAND markets.

2. Semicon likely to grow 12pc in 2008
If there will be an economic recession, the chip industry (but not all firms) is in the best shape possible to weather the ensuing storm.

3. Semi trends 2008: Fab spend lower, ASPs stabilizing
The call on global fab spend was for a 10 percent reduction, and this is now getting to be closer to 20 percent.

4. Global semicon to grow 4.9pc
These forecasts are based on April’s WSTS sales numbers, as per the Cowan LRA (Linear Regression Analysis) model.

Indian Semiconductor Market Scenario

1. India’s growing might in global semicon
India is fast becoming the world’s destination, and increasingly the source too, for semiconductors.

2. Indian design services to touch $10.96bn by 2010
Total design services market in India is said to have grown at 21 percent year on year.

3. Indian semicon industry creating its niche
The Indian semiconductor industry has established itself as a leading provider for design services outsourcing.

4. Indian semicon needs concrete planning
India should produce a good plan to take semiconductors forward and be realistic about what can be done.

5. India the emerging embedded superstar
We are witnessing a strong trend from companies slowly moving from ‘Service Only’ model to ‘Service + Product/IP’ model.

6. Emerging trends in embedded market
High-performance, low-power embedded systems are moving to platforms based on multicore and mobile processors with low thermals.

7. IBM-Telelogic to extend embedded offerings
Acquisition of Telelogic fortifies Rational development at India Software Lab, opens door for company to gain foothold in embedded.

8. EDA healthy and growing in India
Consumption of EDA technologies is growing in regions outside of the US and Europe.

Semiconductor Design Trends

1. Graphical system design for embedded control systems
Graphical system design (GSD) is a revolutionary approach to embedded design that blends intuitive graphical programming and flexible commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware.

2. Video compression: trends in encoding/decoding chips
High-quality video transmission is creating challenges for designers, and this article seeks to address these challenges.

3. Be parallel, or perish!
Parallelism offers new doors, and creativity is required to open these new doors, says Intel.

4. Fascinating developments in 22nm!
These augur well for the global semiconductor industry, even though the field could get much narrower.

India’s growing might in global semicon

May 12, 2008 Comments off

It is no longer a secret that India is fast becoming the world’s destination, and increasingly the source too, for semiconductors. India also shows the most rapid growth potential among the BRIC countries.

Speaking at the recently held International Electronics Forum (IEF) 2008 at Dubai, organized by Future Horizons, S.Janakiraman, the outgoing Chairman – India Semiconductor Association, and President & CEO – R&D services, MindTree Ltd, touched upon India’s growing might as a being the third largest country in terms of purchasing power parity, as well as its growing presence in the global semiconductor industry.

It is no surprise that the current market drivers in India happen to be mobile phone services, IT services/BPO, automobiles and IT hardware. Add to these are the facts that India is very strong in design tools, system architecture and VLSI design, has quite strong IP protection laws, and is quite strong in concept/innovation as far as the semiconductor industry is concerned.

Testing and packaging are in the nascent stage. While India lacks a semicon wafer fab, as of now, there have been several announcements regarding solar fabs by leading firms such as Videocon, Moser Baer, Reliance, etc.

In the electronics manufacturing domain, India’s strength lies in hardware, embedded software and industrial design, OEMs, component distribution (includes semiconductor and box build), and end user/distribution channel, as well as more than moderate strength in product design and manufacturing (ODM, EMS).

India is likely to witness $363 billion of equipment consumption and $155 billion of domestic production by 2015. India’s electronic equipment consumption in 2005 was 1.8 percent. It is likely to grow to 5.5 percent in 2010 and 11 percent in 2015, as per a joint study conducted by the ISA and Frost & Sullivan.

The Indian semiconductor TAM (total available market) revenue is likely to grow by 2.5 times while the TM (total market) is likely to double revenues in 2009. The TAM is likely to grow at a CAGR of 35.8 percent and the TM is likely to grow at a CAGR of 26.7 percent, respectively, during the period 2006-09.

Telecom, and IT and office automation are currently the leading segments in both TM and TAM. Consumer segment occupies the third fastest growing area in the TM, while the industrial segment is the third fastest growing area in the TAM.

The major semiconductor categories include microprocessors, analog, memory, discrete and ASIC, while the major end use products include mobile handsets, BTS, desktops, notebooks, set-top boxes and CRT TVs.

Emerging base of EMS firms
India is also becoming an emerging base of EMS companies, thereby completing the electronics ecosystem. Five of the top 15 EMS companies globally have set up their manufacturing facilities in India. These include Celestica, Elcoteq, Flextronics, Jabil Circuit and Solectron. Two other large companies are in the process of setting up plants — Hon Hai Precision Industry and Sanmina-SCI.

Nokia has set up its manufacturing facility as well. It has invested $210 million in the plant since January 2006. The India plant has set another benchmark of achieving the fastest ramp up across all Nokia facilities worldwide. Currently, approximately 50 percent of the production from the plant is consumed domestically and the rest is exported to other countries.

Indian embedded design industry
The Indian embedded design industry has been going from strength to strength. The recent IDC-ISA report puts revenues from India’s VLSI, board design and embedded software industry to grow to $10.96bn by 2010 from the current $6.08bn in 2007.

As of 2007, embedded has 81.1 percent share, hardware board design 6.3 percent; and VLSI design 12.3 percent, respectively.Source: ISA.

The challenges and focus areas for the embedded design industry include manpower — focusing on increasing productivity, creating readily deployable engineering workforce, and focusing on developing high-end skills.

Another area India is working on is moving up the semiconductor value chain. India is now focusing on end-to-end product development, investing in IP development, developing India specific products, and partnering with OEMs to understand the market needs.

The challenge is posed by the cost structure. India needs to better address cost management, i.e., increasing infrastructure and salary costs, as well as managing the dollar’s impact.

India design inside
Several global products have been now developed out of India. Some recent examples are: Harita Infoserve Ltd is developing interior parts and conducting computer tests on components for General Motors Corp.

Next, Ittiam’s videophone design will become almost entirely an India story: part of the chip, the product design, the software and, finally, the manufacturing also done here. Plexion Technologies has worked on the interior design and windows for a DaimlerChrysler (DCX) bus.

Quasar Innovations designed and developed a dual SIM card — PTL910 mobile phone for Primus, to be launched in the European market. The mobile phone allows the user to have SIM cards from Primus for two countries, with the phone automatically choosing the correct SIM depending on the user’s location.

Finally, MindTree itself has designed a feature rich satellite handset with mobile handset form factor for a European company.

Attractive semicon policy
India’s semiconductor policy is likely to attract investments of over $10bn. The government of India will bear 20 percent of the capital expenditure during the first 10 years for units located inside SEZs and 25 percent for those outside.

For semiconductor manufacturing (wafer fabs) plants, the policy proposes a minimum investment of $625mn. The same for ancillary plants would be $250mn.

The government’s participation in the projects would be limited to 26 percent of the equity portion. The key benefit here is the grant of the SEZ status.

India’s evolving ecosystem is driven by the bottom of the pyramid (BOP) opportunity. Tata Motors announced the now famous Nano — the Rs. 1 lakh (sub $2500) car -– said to be the world’s cheapest car. This has been indigenously developed in India, for India, by Tata Motors.

Nano has passed all mandatory crash tests and Euro IV norms. It is likely to be commercially launched in the second half of 2008.

All of these make India the most happening semiconductor and electronics destination. Don’t be surprised if companies not having an India strategy in place miss out on the action!

Power awareness critical for chip designers

January 14, 2008 Comments off

The holy grail of electronics — low-power design, or having the requisite power awareness is extremely critical for chip designers working on both high-performance applications and portable applications. For one, it determines the battery lifetime of a device, besides determining the cooling and energy costs. It is said that several of today’s chip designs are limited in terms of power and still require maximum performance.

Touching on the global factors, S.N. Padmanabhan, Senior Vice President, Mindtree Consulting, said the Kyoto Protocol mandates energy conservation efforts.

Low-power design challenges
Asia, as we all know, has been emerging as a major energy consuming society. Shortage of electricity is becoming a major concern. There is a huge strain on nations to meet the rising needs/halt rise. There is also a rapid increase in all types of electronic goods in growing economies. As a result, increased efficiencies and reduced consumption should be beneficial as a whole!

In the Indian context, the country has around 125 million televisions sets, 5 million automatic washing machines, 10 million white goods, 200+ million other electronics, over 90 million cell phones and 50 million land lines, etc. A 1W reduction in white goods and TVs would lead to a saving of 140 Mi Watts of power! And, a 10 mW reduction in phones will save 1.4 Mi Watts!! Therefore, it makes even more sense to go low power!

Mindtree’s Padmanabhan said IC power budgets have come down drastically. It is <2W for four out of five chips designed. There has also been a simultaneous manipulation of multiple parameters (P=CV2f). Next, there are several leakage issues in 65nm and smaller geometries, which can no longer be ignored.

Add to all of these are factors that there is a lack of availability of comprehensive tools and techniques, as well as analog designs. In such a scenario, designers need to be very clear about their objectives — is it achieving lowering average power, lowering the maximum peak power or lowering energy.

Jayanta Kumar Lahiri, Director, ARM, pointed out challenges associated with batteries. Battery storage has been a limiting factor. Battery energy doubles in a decade and surely, does not follow the Moore’s law. Next, there have hardly been major changes in the basic battery technology. The energy density/size safe handling are limiting factors as well for batteries.

He added that the low-power challenge is four-fold in the VLSI domain. These are — leakiness; more integration means more W/cm^2; EDA tools not that good in low power domain and does not co-relate sometimes with the silicon, and variability of device parameters make things worse.

Toshiyuki Saito, Senior Manager, Design Engineering Division NEC Electronics Japan, said low power is necessary for customer’s success — in form of heat suppress for wired systems and improved battery life time for mobile systems. It also brings cost competitiveness for SoC suppliers in terms of packaging cost, and development cost and turnaround time. Finally, it would contribute to preserving the global environment.

Addressing low power challenges
What are semiconductor and EDA companies doing to address the low-power design challenges? Padmanabhan said several techniques were being employed at the circuit level. However, each one of those had limitations.

These include AVS — which provides maximum savings, reduces speed, but may need compensation; clock gating — which does not help to reduce leakage and needs additional gates; and adaptive clock scaling — which needs sophistication and is not very simple; and finally, the use of multi threshold cells for selective trade-off.

Emerging techniques include efficient RTL synthesis techniques, which is fast, but leaky, vs. slow and low power; power aware resource sharing, which is planning to be done at the architectural level and synthesis, but is not as widely used as other techniques; and power gating methodology — which makes use of sleep transistors, has coarse and fine grained methods, reduces dynamic and leakage power, and also exploits idle times of the circuit.

He added that power optimization should start at the architecture and design stages. Maximum optimization can be achieved at the system level. Also, the evolving power optimization tools and methodologies required collaborative approaches.

Power Forward Initiative
Pankaj Mayor, Group Director, Industry Alliances, Cadence Design Systems, said low power imperative is driving the semiconductor and EDA industries. He said, “design-based low power solution is the only answer!” Traditional design-based solutions are fragmented. Basic low power design techniques, such as area optimization, multi-Vt optimization and clock gating were automated in the 1990s.

There has since been an impact of advanced low-power techniques. These advanced techniques include multi-supply voltage (MSV), power shut-off (PSO), dynamic and adaptive voltage frequency scaling (DVFS and AVS), and substrate biasing. Cadence’s low-power solution uses advanced techniques.

According to Mayor, the Power Forward Initiative (PFI) has created an ecosystem as well. The Power Forward Initiative includes Cadence and 23 other companies across the design chain, as of the end of December 2007.

The year 2007 also saw a continued Power Forward industry momentum. In Q1-07, Common Power Format or CPF became the Si2 [Silicon Integration Initiative] standard. The Cadence Low Power Solution production released V 1.0 in this quarter as well. In H2-07, the industry has seen over 100 customers adopting CPF-based advanced low power solution as well as ~50 tapeouts.

CPF allows holistic automation and validation at every design step. Arijit Dutta, Manager, Design Methodology, Freescale Semiconductor exhibited the advantages of using the CPF in wireless, networking and automotive verticals at Freescale.

Outlook for Indian semiconductor industry in 2008

November 24, 2007 Comments off

S. Janakiraman, president and CEO –- R&D Services, Mindtree Consulting, and chairman, India Semiconductor Association (ISA), is quite bullish on the advantages of India and the opportunities provided in the Indian semiconductor industry. Here are some notes on the outlook for the Indian semiconductor industry in 2008.

Indian semiconductor industry to grow 25-35 percent in 2008
There has been an increasing trend of an increasing brand value for semiconductors within India. MNCs, especially are looking at semiconductor related outsourcing from India. We are also seeing lot of traction, from third-party service providers, like us — Mindtree, Wipro, Sasken, etc., as well as captive centers of MNCs like STMicroelectronics, NXP, etc.

In terms of growth plans, all leading MNCs, like NXP, Freescale, STMicroelectronics, etc., are planning to grow significantly from their India centers. They are strongly building partnerships with Indian designers.

From the design side, India is also seeing an increase in various activities, such as more complex analog designs and more complex digital designs. We are seeing more of physical designs happening, and even taking those designs up to the foundries are increasing as well. “We foresee 25-35 percent likely growth in the Indian semiconductor industry during 2008,” said Janakiraman.

Software is very critical to succeed. Various Indian providers, including Mindtree, are developing software for semiconductor-related products that are being designed by the overseas semiconductor companies.

Fab policy — More of ATMP
The fab policy announced by the government of India is really attractive and mostly on par with other countries. A semiconductor fab requires very high capital-intensive investment. In 2008, we will be probably seeing more of the assembly, testing, marking and assembly (ATMP) happening in India.

The fundamental fabs are still a little far away. Most companies are likely to start off by initially testing waters by making some level of investments in ATMP before moving on to fabs. One cannot also rule out the prospect of some leading Indian company investing in fabs.

Lot of the big MNCs have been moving to Fab-Lite, having already announced Fab-Lite strategies. They are moving to manufacturing to with people like TSMC, Chartered, etc. If manufacturing happens in the fabs, it would not be from any of the integrated device manufacturers (IDMs). It may also happen from Indian companies who are into manufacturing.

Electronics manufacturing has already moved on to the electronics manufacturing services (EMS) vendors. Similarly, chip vendors are also moving on to third-party providers. MNCs like TI, LSI Logic, etc., are moving away from manufacturing and moving that to Charter, TSMC, etc.

Fab companies will also look at India as the fab policy will look attractive to them. “Those questioning India’s need for fabs would feel terribly missing out on the opportunities currently being provided by India, by 2015,” said Janakiraman.

Product companies in India
Over the next one to two years, we are likely to see more product companies emerging from India. Companies like Tejas are already present in India. Down the line, this will percolate into semiconductors. Opportunities are bound to emerge. It means, first, there will be companies manufacturing electronics products, which will later move on to the emergence of semiconductor product companies.

As for Indian companies into manufacturing electronics products, the ISA chairman feels that there would be more of high-complexity, medium volume products. These would probably be manufacturing networking, automotive, navigation products, etc., which are more rich in software, but are medium volume in production.

Impact of semiconductor policy
According to Janakiraman, the interest in India has only increased since the announcement of the semiconductor policy. As per the announcement, the government of India will bear 20 percent of the capital expenditure during the first 10 years for units located inside SEZs and 25 percent for those located outside.

For semiconductor manufacturing (wafer fabs) plants, the policy proposes a minimum investment of US $625 million. The minimum investment for for ancillary plants is US $250 million. The government’s participation in the projects would be limited to 26 percent of the equity portion. The key benefit is the grant of the SEZ status.

The Indian semiconductor policy is applicable for manufacturers of all semiconductors, displays – including LCDs, organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs), plasma display panels (PDPs), and any other emerging displays, storage devices, solar cells; photovoltaics; other advanced micro- and nanotechnology products; assembly and test.

Advantage India
India is now presenting a great opportunity to the world, in fact, offering triple advantages. India has a very rapidly growing domestic market, growing at a CAGR of 30+ percent. India has achieved global recognition for back-end services -– having become a proven case for IP, embedded systems and IC designs.

India is also an attractive destination for manufacturing investments. It further boasts of a highly skilled employee base, and a fast and upcoming modern infrastructure –- SEZs. India also enjoys proximity to the EU and the MEA markets. It also boasts of freight cost, said to be 20 percent cheaper than China, leading to faster delivery and lesser pipeline inventory.

Indian ecosystem maturing
India is aligning itself with the global semiconductor market by creating high value work in VLSI, and board design and embedded software. Companies with domain expertise are driving Indian businesses. India has become the world’s destination for semiconductor design and embedded software, and is increasingly becoming the source as well.

In terms of consumption, the India semiconductor total available market (TAM) revenues are likely to grow by 2.5 times, while the total market (TM) is estimated to double in revenues by 2009. India’s semiconductor market share is likely to be 1.6 percent of the global market by 2009 in comparison to 1.1 percent in 2006.

Regarding the growth drivers for electronics manufacturing in India, telecom and IT & OA (office automation) segments will account for almost two-thirds of the semiconductor TAM by 2009. Telecom’s share has been estimated to grow from 21.2 percent in 2006 to 41.1pc by 2009.

According to ISA estimates, TAM revenues are likely to grow by 2.5 times and TM revenues are likely to double their revenues by 2009 as against 2006. Growth of TAM revenues is 35.8 percent compared with just 26.7 percent for TM revenues, thereby signifying an increasing manufacturing index for different electronics products in India.

The decline in ASP (average selling price) of semiconductors and hence, of electronic products, is largely offset by the higher unit sales of different electronics end use products.

Indian electronics industry — 2010 scenario
India will have a very strong electronics scenario by 2010. The installed base of mobile phones will go up to 500 million. The installed base of PCs will move up to 65 million. The IT enabled services (ITeS) and software exports has been estimated at US $60 billion.

There will likely be about 40 million new Internet connections, with at least 50 percent of those being broadband connections. The nationwide TV broadcast is likely to become digital by 2015, beginning 2010. In that scenario, there would be significant opportunity for set-top boxes (STBs) consumption and manufacturing. There will also be an estimated over US $10 billion investment in e-governance initiatives and the national ID card.

ISA initiatives bode well for semicon

July 12, 2007 Comments off

When the India Semiconductor Association (ISA) started functioning from way back in Nov. 2004, it had three main objectives. These were: bringing the Indian semicon industry together; ensure that the Indian government paid enough attention to this sector; and finally, putting together a semicon policy.

ISA has since come a long way. S. Janakiraman, president and CEO – R&D Services, Mindtree, and chairman, ISA, says that the ISA is now transitioning into putting systems and processes in place.

The ISA also has three special interest groups, focusing on market research, technology and talent. The market research aspect is more in terms of reference data and in terms of opportunities.

As far as technology aspect is concerned, mixed-signal is fast becoming a reality. The process geometry of semicon has been shrinking from 90nm to 65nm and even 32nm.

Design and manufacturing used to be fairly independent earlier. However, they are fairly coupled now. All of these changes need to be addressed, according to Jani Sir. The ISA SIG on technology would be studying and recommending how to implement, keep track and stay ahead of technology.

Talent is an extremely critical area! The depth of knowledge is in danger of drying out soon! ISA feels that there is a need for a lot of faculty retraining and change in curriculum. The industry also needs to collaborate with the academia.

To address this, ISA has collaborated with the Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU), Karnataka’s nodal body for engineering education to form the the ISA-VTU understanding. This is a comprehensive initiative, which seeks to catalyze talent generation through enhanced industry-academia interaction. The VLSI Society of India (VSI) will partner and support ISA on this initiative in specific areas.

Established in 1998, Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) is headquartered at Belgaum. Presently there are 120 engineering colleges affiliated to VTU. Of these, five colleges offer a post graduate degree in VLSI design and embedded software.

Key aspects of the ISA-VTU initiative are as follows:

* Creation of a Semiconductor Research Consortium-like forum for India that would foster industry-oriented research;
* Facilitation of software acquisition in identified educational institutions;
* Create and support a repository of student projects;
* Faculty development through increased industry interaction and exposure; and
* Augmenting the curriculum evolved by SMDP/ VSI/ Universities in practicals and projects

The ISA also has another program, called the Si-Quest. The Si-Quest is a pioneering semiconductor campus awareness program aimed at talent generation from a broad-based quality talent pool in India. Its nationwide campus coverage, coupled with various awareness campaigns, will attract more and better candidates towards semiconductor industry. All of these bode well for the industry.

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