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Indian Chips

Posted on Friday, Apr 7th 2006

Here is a wonderful article by Betsy Corcoran on India’s budding chip design industry. It traces Cadence CEO Mike Fister as he visits various customers in India. Betsy points out that the geographical mix of Cadence’s customer base is changing, as India emerges as a major chip design hub.

Indeed, this is a trend whose seeds were planted way back in 1984, when Texas Instruments set up its first off-shore development center in India. The man behind this move was Dr. Pallab Chatterji, then a Vice President of R&D at TI, Dallas. Today, TI has 1,200 chip designers working in their Bangalore center.

Intel and ST have more. Intel has 2,500 in Bangalore and ST has 1,525 in Noida. So far, the hubs of chip design are in Bangalore, Noida (near Delhi), and Hyderabad.

But remember my Team of Twenty One thesis? The rest of India is still relatively virgin territory for chip design. Pune has a bit, and LSI Logic has just set up in Calcutta. Kanpur has a fabulous IIT, and so do Madras (Chennai), Bombay (Mumbai) and Calcutta (Kharagpur). BITS Pilani is a good engineering school in the North, as are universities like Jadavpur and ISI in Calcutta.

Besides, there are 1,346 degree engineering colleges in India with annual student intake of 440,000 students plus 1,244 polytechnics with annual intake of 265,000 students.

This is what I would do, if I were Cadence: I would do a JV with Apollo Group around Online Training on Chip Design using Cadence Tools, and simply lock up the Indian engineering education market.

[For additional reference, please read my previous article: Online Colleges: Staggering & Growing Numbers].

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