SYNOPSYS In India Powering the EDA Domain
Date: Wednesday , May 05, 2010
Synopsys is indeed a remarkable success story in India’s technology development history. The company’s local presence had a humble beginning in 1995 as a remote test and quality assurance centre for global R&D with just 15 people in a small office in Bangalore. Since then, the company has been successful in establishing strong product leadership, deep customer intimacy, operational excellence, and innovation in the EDA, or electronic design automation, domain. Today Synopsys India has world-class R&D and field offices, employing more than 800 people in three sites - Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Noida. These sites support local and global sales, and
partner with a variety of product teams across the globe. Synopsys India has become a full-fledged corporate entity that includes representation from every business unit and makes a significant contribution to Synopsys’ global revenue.
Dr.Chi-Foon Chan, Synopsys President and COO, was in India recently to recognize the 15th anniversary of Synopsys in the region. Chan played an instrumental role in setting up Synopsys in Bangalore and is proud to celebrate with the employees of Synopsys India. He has reason to feel good. “There were challenges, as we had to build from scratch. There were also many milestones that gave us a boost to grow further. To grow to this level, we had to stay on top of the trends. We monitor designs in our annual user group survey, and worldwide the number of designs at 65 nanometers and below constitutes about 26 percent of total designs. In terms of design complexity, it’s the same in India as it is in Silicon Valley,” says Chan with a grin.
Synopsys was originally founded in the U.S. in 1986 by Dr. Aart J. de Geus. When Chan later joined the company, they worked together to realize a vision of making their company the technology leader in the EDA space. Today, Synopsys software is essential to the development of complex chips and systems. The power of millions of transistors found in even the smallest electronics systems can only be harnessed with sophisticated EDA tools. That’s where Synopsys’ prowess comes in. Synopsys’ areas of expertise include design implementation, verification, intellectual property (IP) cores, manufacturing, and field-programmable gate array (FPGA) solutions. Their products help address the key challenges designers and manufacturers face today. “Design implementation is our core competency and Synopsys solutions are the preferred
choice for designers,” informs Chan.
The genesis of Synopsys in India is certainly inspiring. During the mid-1990s, India was starting to establish its technical prowess in the world. Chan was quick to recognize the opportunity India offered with its strong educational system in engineering and science. Synopsys invested $4 million on a research and development centre in Bangalore, employing approximately 15 engineers to work on chip design-related projects. Their primary area of focus was tool application and evaluation for the synthesis business unit. It was during this first phase of Synopsys’s journey in India that the centre had to prove its credibility to headquarters. To emerge as a key contributor to Synopsys’ global research, Synopsys India needed to build an extraordinary talent base. VLSI is one of the most advanced, demanding, complex technologies to create. It needs unique, sophisticated skills and talent. While India’s educational competence in science and engineering was valuable, another factor that helped was the presence of other EDA players like Viewlogic and Gateway Design, who had been in the Indian EDA ecosystem since 1987.
“Viewlogic became part of Synopsys after about a couple of years into our operations in Bangalore. Synopsys was fortunate to have a lot of great talent from IITs and NITs, giving India a solid foundation to build a new world-class facility,” informs Manoj Gandhi, Sr.VP and GM, Verification Group, Synopsys. An IIT Kharagpur alumnus, he joined Synopsys when the company merged with Viewlogic in December 1997. The acquisition of Viewlogic and its presence in India helped Synopsys quickly achieve a technology leadership position in the verification space. With Viewlogic, Synopsys gained competence in design-simulation technology. Viewlogic’s software was used to accelerate and automate the design and verification of advanced application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC), printed circuit boards (PCB), and electronic systems. This expertise also helped the company build a verification ecosystem in India, which hardly existed before. Within three years, Synopsys had established the credibility it wanted to achieve in India.
Having established a regional presence, Synopsys India now needed to demonstrate its capabilities to the world. Synopsys implemented both organic and inorganic growth strategies to
move up the value chain. Since the beginning, the company had been a magnet for luring talent in India. In the U.S., senior professionals who wanted to relocate to India found working at Synopsys attractive. This helped lay a foundation for the organic growth of the company in India. Synopsys was active in recruiting talent from university campuses as well. Fledgling professionals were trained and nurtured within the company to motivate them to become star performers. Synopsys continues to be successful in providing career opportunities to young, bright talent. Synopsys is one of the most sought-after companies for talented students who have a flair for logic design and simulation. Most of the young engineers in Synopsys India are recruited from IITs/IISc and NITs. Joining Synopsys can be dream come true for many graduates and post-graduates in Computer science and in the Electrical and Electronics disciplines, who are attracted by the company’s work culture and the opportunity for growth.
Besides its knack for securing talent, Synopsys has often been in the news for its strategic acquisitions. “Within the EDA space, Synopsys has fared well in terms of its ability to assimilate acquired teams and technology into the company,” states Dr. Pradip Dutta, Corporate VP and MD, Synopsys India. Dutta came to Synopsys in 2000 from Delco Electronics Systems, a division of Delphi Automotive Systems. Under Dutta’s leadership, Synopsys India was able to grow into a $25 million corporate research and development centre by 2003.
One of the biggest milestones for Synopsys during this phase of growth (1998-2003) was the merger with Avant! Corporation in 2002. Avant! had a world-class R&D facility with more than 200 engineers in Hyderabad. This merger put Synopsys in the technology leadership position in IC design implementation. “This was a crucial phase, and the process of integrating the Avant! team with Synopsys was challenging. It was also an important learning experience. The addition of some of the latest technological developments in back end design tools added to the Synopsys value chain,” says Dutta.
Mantra of Customer Intimacy
The third phase of growth for Synopsys in India was a relatively creative one, with Synopsys
focused on ‘customer intimacy’, product leadership, operational efficiency, and stellar team building. Since the beginning, Synopsys has recognized that positive customer relationships are important in sustaining a competitive advantage. Companies who have good relationships with their customers receive the benefit of a fresh perspective. They can discover previously unknown problems, detect unrealized potential, and create a dynamic synergy among teams. Indeed, companies who are typically strong in technology also have great relationships with customers, and this can reflect on their operations.
Synopsys’ customer relationships have helped the company sustain growth even during tough economic conditions. Establishing close customer ties was not so easy during the company’s initial days in India. Back then, the local team often had to visit the U.S. and other places where customers were based -- there were only few customers in India, like Texas Instruments. Today, the situation has changed. Many of the world leaders in electronic design -- such as Intel, ST Microelectronics, AMD, and Qualcomm, to name a few – have established local operations in India. In order to help the India-based MNC customers solve their toughest design challenges, Synopsys expanded its engineering, sales, support, and management resources in India to remain close to local customers. This was after 2003.
With several MNCs establishing bases in India, Synopsys executives got the opportunity to work more closely with those companies. This helped bring the company to the next level of maturity in India. Working with the teams in customer centers of excellence helped Synopsys learn and adapt. Synopsys was able to spot the latest trends in the industry, address customer requirements, and stay on top of the needs of the customer’s customer. All of this knowledge was rolled into the Synopsys product line. “There were many tweaks in many of our product lines which resulted from a better understanding of the customer’s needs,” explains Gandhi. “Being able to better address their technical issues helped Synopsys win the confidence of its customers, establish product leadership, and deliver stellar technical support.”
Intellectual property (IP) is one of the most exciting areas in the technology business. By capitalizing on the designer’s desire to procure the best technology in the shortest amount of time, IP vendors with the right business model have enormous opportunity. Synopsys has been at the forefront of this technology trend from the beginning. “Now we want to focus on systems and IP in India. At present, IP contributes about $150 million to our global revenue,” informs Chan.
Today Synopsys offers a broad portfolio of high-quality, silicon-proven interface and analog IP solutions for system-on-chip designs. Synopsys’ IP portfolio delivers complete connectivity IP solutions consisting of controllers, PHY and verification IP for widely used protocols such as USB, PCI Express, DDR, SATA, HDMI, Ethernet, and MIPI. Its analog IP family includes Analog-to-Digital Converters, Digital-to-Analog Converters, Audio Codecs, Video Analog Front Ends, Touch Screen Controllers, and more. In addition, Synopsys offers SystemC transaction-level models to build virtual platforms for rapid, pre-silicon development of software. Since its inception, the company has been involved in an IP OEM partner program that enables participating companies to have one central supplier for their IP needs. The program allows participating companies access to the Synopsys’ portfolio of silicon-proven IP, deployed in a range of applications and process technologies. “By gaining easy access to this portfolio, our partners and their end-customers can speed time-to-market and reduce the risk for their SoC designs. The IP OEM program allows our partners to focus their engineering talent on core differentiation and not on project-based IP procurement,” informs Raja Subramaniam, Director (Sales), Synopsys India.
Synopsys describes this as a program that extends beyond the traditional customer-supplier relationship. “Our unique business model is instrumental in helping the supply channel efficiently deliver high-quality designs to our partners’ customers. Expanding the ecosystem to include our technology-leading portfolio of silicon-proven IP enables us and our end-customers to get products to the market faster,” adds Subramaniam.
“We are committed to offering specialized on-site, in-depth product and integration training led by our engineers for our partners. Through this, Synopsys is demonstrating its commitment to the IP business and its ecosystem. This is truly a win-win situation not only for Synopsys and our partners, but also for their customers. These customers benefit from high quality designs that help them bring differentiated products to the market faster and with less risk,” explains Subramaniam.
IP is just one thing that matters. With companies in the design space beginning to sway towards lower power devices, power has become a critical component for both designers and EDA solution providers. Synopsys has been successful in developing a strong technology position in the low power design and verification space. The integration of ArchPro’s technology in 2007 helped Synopsys engineers address power management challenges in multi-voltage designs, from chip architecture to RTL and gate-level design. These technologies allow verification of modern power management techniques such as power gating, substrate biasing, dynamic voltage, and frequency scaling. “The addition of this competence to the Synopsys value chain made ArchPro one of Synopsys’ most significant acquisitions in terms of our presence in India,” says Chan.
Entering the FPGA and Virtual Prototyping Market Segments
When it acquired Synplicity in 2008, Synopsys enhanced its technology portfolio, channel reach, and total addressable market by adding FPGAs. Synplicity had been the technology leader for FPGA implementation and debugging. Since then, Synopsys has also been successful in helping develop the fast-growing rapid prototyping segment by using its verification technology, field presence, and virtual prototyping solution to enable fast software development. “Indeed, the combined solution is helping us enable electronics companies to better meet tight market windows with proven designs, even as software content continues to grow exponentially,” says Dutta.
In fact, the acquisition has helped Synopsys scale Synplicity’s FPGA and rapid prototyping business to help more designers successfully solve the increasingly complex problems associated with creating today’s chips and systems. “The combination extends Synopsys’ activities in the system-level design market segment and helps us provide new solutions so engineers can more quickly design processor-and software-intensive products,” explains Subramaniam.
To meet the stringent development requirements associated with today’s growing electronics and software content in automotive and consumer products, developers are ‘virtualizing’ their electronic subsystems to start software development earlier, improve their productivity, and deliver better-tested, higher-quality products. This has in fact created a new opportunity in virtual prototyping. Synopsys recently acquired VaST Systems and CoWare to expand its portfolio of system-level design and verification products. These acquisitions added processor modeling and implementation technology used to design automotive and consumer applications.
In the past 20 years, Synopsys has acquired more than 45 companies globally—including half-a-dozen that had a significant presence in India. These acquisitions supplemented Synopsys’ organic growth strategy, which continues to be a key force in the company’s development.
Synopsys is a company with remarkable strengths in its products and R&D. The integration of technology and talent from acquired companies has helped accelerate the pace of innovation within Synopsys and within its customer base.
Whatever happens in Silicon Valley, India had become an important contributor to the latest technology, and Synopsys has played a role in building that expertise. The presence in India of multinational companies as well as several venture-funded semiconductor companies helped. Dutta affirms, “This not only gives us the opportunity to work with local entities but also to work on technologies that are cutting edge.”
India’s advantage – and its challenge -- is that it is a different market altogether with numerous facets and requirements of its own. Unlike China, India didn’t have its own systems design ecosystem and market. These days, India is fast moving into innovation, and we see the early signs of an entire ecosystem evolving. Today, India is home to chip design firms, IP firms, EDA companies, and electronic manufacturing firms. MNCs like TI, ST Microelectronics, and others who are present in India have very strong technical teams supporting them. “Having top firms as our customers, we must have a solid technical team to support them. That’s one reason Synopsys India was able to become a very technically proficient centre,” explains Chan.
Evidently, India is no longer a cost advantage destination. Instead, the focus is on making R&D an integral part of the global organization. Today, Synopsys India has become a major R&D software development center. It is responsible for the development of various high-end products used in the design of application specific integrated circuits (ASICs). Synopsys believes the locale offers an opportunity for continued growth with a vibrant market. Throughout the last 15 years, Synopsys has invested close to $100 million in its Indian operations for this reason.
At present, it’s not only about servicing global clients in India like Qualcomm and STMicroelectronics. It’s also about serving local clients and partnering with a handful of domestic service providers like Wipro and TCS. More than a quarter of Synopsys’ revenue in India comes from domestic clients. India is also turning out to be a big talent pool for Synopsys’ global operations. “We expect that the Indian consumer market will further grow in size, and this will create newer opportunities for us,” says Chan.
According to an India Semiconductor Association (ISA) estimate, by 2020 the total addressable global market for the Electronics Systems Design and Manufacturing Industry (ESDM) will be about $400-billion. Domestically, consumption opportunities exist for semiconductors in set-top boxes, LCD TVs, digital cameras, storage flash memory devices, laptops, and smart books. Domestic electronics demand was 3-4 percent of global consumption, or approximately $48 billion in 2009. This number is comprised of 9 million STBs, 125 million 2G/3G handsets, 8 million desktops and laptops, 17 million TVs, and 1.5 million cars. These products are getting more affordable and thus are fueling consumption and creating a great domestic market opportunity.
Today, India is a preferred destination for chip, board, embedded software design, and development. With the emergence of fabless companies and IP providers, maturation of India’s semiconductor ecosystem has begun. A 2007 ISA and E&Y benchmarking study rates India as a global chip design hub due to factors like availability of good talent, a favorable legal and IPR environment, maturity of the ecosystem, and local market potential. Chan informs, “I believe the design industry is blossoming. The key focus areas for us as designs move to
advanced nodes are new design for manufacturing technologies, verification and verification
IP, and multi-core processing support.”
Low power is another key focus area, as power-efficient design gains importance across the design chain. Synopsys is prepared to look closely at ‘green’ technologies to address energy efficiency at the system and application level. Gandhi informs, “The domestic market offers huge opportunity for innovation in electronics products. Mobile phones, solar-powered LED lanterns, digital inverters, and hand-held medical diagnostics equipment for semi-urban and rural customers are really hot areas. In fact, the rural market for electronics is relatively untapped.”
According to a CRISIL study, 35 million Indians have a per capita income of greater than $32000, which is almost equivalent to the entire populations of Switzerland, Singapore and Australia. Add to that around 75 million Indians who can be considered upper-middle class and who enjoy a Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) income level of close to $10000. This is equivalent to three times the scenario in Malaysia. While it is true that India also houses approximately 700 million underprivileged people whose income is at the bottom of the pyramid--equal to what is seen at sub-Saharan Africa--more than 250 million are still middle class with an annual income of about $3500. “This gives us the big picture about the unmet opportunities in this country, which is looking for the latest in terms of technology, features and functions in its gadgets and widgets. In most of the applications today, be it in automobiles, the white goods sector, or pure play devices, the main driver is electronics. We should expect a huge demand for electronics in the form of systems, semiconductors, chips, components and more,” says Dutta.
Adds Dutta, “The way to utilize this potential is to align all the vectors towards ensuring that we understand the opportunity and do not miss the bus in terms of local design and manufacturing. For any country to prosper in high tech there has to be a strong synergy amongst the government, academia and industry. This will be a key factor for achieving inclusive growth. Synopsys wants to be a thought leader in India’s growth story. This can create opportunities in smart governance, health care and renewable energy.” India has gone through multiple phases of technological evolution in the last 15 years. So has Synopsys.
Today, Indian industries are not just talking about services. They have started talking about products. Synopsys believes the next 15 years will bring many product stories from India. In the coming years, many things may be invented, innovated, and delivered from India to the rest of the world, and Synopsys is geared up to help India deliver.
Manoj Gandhi, Sr.VP&GM,
Verification Group, Synopsys
An IIT Khargpur Alumnus, Manoj Gandhi joined Synopsys through the company's merger with Viewlogic in December 1997. Gandhi, who began his EDA career at Gateway Design Automation in 1986, later joined Viewlogic to play a key role in building a world-class team for Viewlogic India. As part of Viewlogic’s U.S. operation, Gandhi recruited, trained and groomed a talented and experienced management team, which was later sent to India to begin the Viewlogic India operations. Gandhi was instrumental in building a large verification R&D team for Viewlogic. After Synopsys’ merger with Viewlogic, Manoj played a key role as an executive helping shape Synopsys’ globalization strategy. A passionate EDA technologist, Manoj encouraged an increased investment in Synopsys India R&D from day one.
Today, Synopsys has one of the largest verification R&D centers in India with more than 700 people in multiple sites. Synopsys has many advanced technologies being driven from India. The local R&D team has built solid relationships and Synopsys is providing strong support to the Indian design centers of some of the world’s top MNCs. For many years now Manoj has been an executive sponsor for Synopsys India at corporate headquarters. In addition to Synopsys India growth, Manoj has been instrumental in building an ecosystem with premier universities like IIT Kharagpur, local verification service providers, and customers.
“Over 500 million consumers will bolster demand for consumer electronics in the next 15 years, with most of these new consumers originating from emerging markets like India. So, a focus on cost is essential to compete in these new markets where disposable income levels are far below those in more established markets. Synopsys in India is geared up to participate in this opportunity,”
Since co-founding Synopsys in 1986, Dr. Aart de Geus has expanded Synopsys from a start-up synthesis enterprise to a world leader in electronic design automation (EDA). With 25 published papers and numerous industry honors, Aart has long been considered one of the world's leading experts on logic simulation and logic synthesis. Among the prestigious technology awards that Dr. de Geus has received is the honor of being named a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in 1999. He was honored for pioneering the commercial logic synthesis market with the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society Industrial Pioneer Award in 2001, as well as for his “contributions to, and leadership in, the technology and business development of Electronic Design Automation” with the 2007 IEEE Robert N. Noyce Medal. In December 2009, he was conferred the GSA “Morris Chang Exemplary Leadership Award” - Dr. Aart J. de Geus, Chairman and CEO, Synopsys
“There were challenges, as we had to build from scratch. There were also many milestones that gave us a boost to grow further. To grow to this level, we had to stay on top of the trends. We monitor designs in our annual user group survey, and worldwide the number of designs at 65 nanometers and below constitutes about 26 percent of total designs. In terms of design complexity, it’s the same in India as it is in Silicon Valley.” - Dr.Chi-Foon Chan, President and COO,Synopsys
"The way to utilize the Synopsys R&D potential in India is to align all the vectors towards ensuring that we understand the opportunity and do not miss the bus in terms of local design and manufacturing. For any country to prosper in high tech there has to be a strong synergy amongst the government, academia and industry. This will be a key factor for achieving inclusive growth. Synopsys wants to be a thought leader in India’s growth story." - Dr. Pradip Dutta, Corporate VP and MD, Synopsys India
"We are committed to offering specialized on-site, in-depth product and integration training led by our engineers for our partners. Through this, Synopsys is demonstrating its commitment to the IP business and its ecosystem. This is truly a win-win situation not only for Synopsys and our partners, but also for their customers. These customers benefit from high quality designs that help them bring differentiated products to the market faster and with less risk." - Raja Subramaniam, Director (Sales), Synopsys India
Synopsys believes India offers an opportunity for continued growth with a vibrant market. Throughout the last 15 years, Synopsys has invested close to $100 million in its Indian operations for this reason.
Synopsys R&D Prowess
To enable the company to keep ahead of the incredibly rapid growth in design complexity,
Synopsys consistently invests more than 25 percent of its revenue in research and development (R&D). It follows an in-sourcing business model with a focus on developing technology in-house. India is now the second largest R&D hub for $1.3-billion Synopsys. The R&D labs at Hyderabad and Bangalore undertake a notable amount of the company’s global research
work. The Bangalore centre develops software that spans a wide range of applications -- verification, chip design applications and methodologies, design services, and consulting.
Fostering Tomorrow’s Innovations: Having an effective university program is important to fuel the growth of VLSI design. The ability to deliver complex and feature-rich designs within tight production schedules is largely dependent on having access to qualified engineers. To this end, Synopsys actively supports VLSI and microelectronics education in India by facilitating non-commercial usage of its products for instruction and research in several educational institutes across the country. Synopsys and IIT Kharagpur, for example, are conducting joint research on modeling complex protocols, which are fundamental in the operation of electronic systems.
For many years, Synopsys has believed investment in India is important to the company’s growth, and it continues to focus on university programs and design centres to help support this.
Synopsys has recruited and trained engineers from the extensive talent pool in India, bringing valuable skills to the company for developing its products. The Synopsys Worldwide University Program provides industry-leading EDA tools and resources for teaching and academic research to numerous universities around the globe. Using Synopsys products in a learning environment provides students with hands-on experience and enables graduates to quickly bring valuable skills to the fast- paced world of semiconductor technology.
Recently, Synopsys offered a license to use its suite of EDA software tools to the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur through the company’s Charles Babbage Grant. This was the first such grant by Synopsys to an Indian college/institute. For more than a decade, IIT- Kharagpur and Synopsys have had strong, enriching research collaboration, especially related to verification methodologies. The two organizations have taken steps to foster research in the domain of VLSI and EDA. Synopsys was a founding member in the Advanced VLSI (AVLSI) Design Laboratory at IIT-Kharagpur, and subsequently in the AVLSI Consortium. Both programs were the first of their kind in India. The establishment of the Synopsys CAD Laboratory at IIT-Kharagpur last year further expanded the collaboration between Synopsys and IIT-Kharagpur, and extended the focus of their advanced and industry-relevant education and research beyond verification to other areas of core EDA.
Other recipients of the Charles Babbage grant by Synopsys are Case Western Reserve University, North Carolina State University, Purdue University, San Jose State University,
Southern Methodist University, Syracuse University in US, Chinese Academy of Sciences in China, Moscow Institute of Electronic Technology in Russia and Southampton University in the United Kingdom. This is a sample list of some of the best electronics and engineering institutes in the world.
Synopsys partners with more than 150 engineering institutions to offer basic and advanced education in electronics design. Recently researchers at IIT Bombay and IISc Bangalore have used Synopsys’ TCAD tools to facilitate research in nanoelectronics, leading to publication in reputed international journals and at conferences in recent years.