A Call for the Investor's Eye as the Semiconductor Industry Awaits

Date:   Sunday , October 05, 2014

Moschip (MOSCHIP.BO), a semiconductor design services company that incorporates the latest cutting edge technologies specializing in System on Chip, ASIC, PCB, design and synthesis. Based in Milpitas, CA, the firm has a market cap of $171.44 million.

Since the evolution of Mobile, data analytics, Social Media and Cloud, the situation has become real dry when it comes to funding in the semi-conductor industry. What attract the investors are huge and quick returns for their investment. The instances of the social media giant Facebook buying whatsapp, and investors only narrowing their investments towards cloud, mobile and social which have been the gold digger\'s paradise, this is suddenly becoming a norm and is hampering the confidence of people who are constantly trying to innovate in the industry. It is also extremely confusing for the startups in this arena though they come up with fresh ideas to innovate, with robust manufacturing techniques, and setup platforms to facilitate for great innovations as the investors still continue to ignore the semiconductor industry in the long run. In India and China there are a number design companies in mid scale who primarily offer coding and design services and have been ruling the rooster ahead of some of the large design firms by offering those at a lower cost. With such a scenario, big investors fail to come up with that investment in backing firms with the support they actually need to provide robust and more advanced solutions in view of taking the industry to the next level.

From Building Fabrication to Running SOC

With the advent of highly integrated circuit designs, the bar is raised for a higher demand to drive faster design convergence. The highly advanced 20nm and 28nm technologies facilitate for high operational speeds with being highly energy efficient. Also, recently with the 40nm in the foray, firms can now leverage Low Power, high performance platforms to meet various design application needs. But the expenditure involved to run a simple System on Chip (soc), with all the grades around the design ecosystem keeping in mind the fabrication has been highly expensive. This has been a situation for the semiconductor companies for quite some time; also the RTL codes are usually developed among dispersed design teams around the geography and this has not been of worth considering the future of the industry.

All\'s Well in the Technology

Industry wise there has not been much dearth for any technology. The continual advent of new designs and applications have only driven people to adopt a more aggressive approach in meeting or rather going past the industry expectations and requirements. Now for a higher transition, the industry is more focused to run large scale soc\'s. The investors have again failed to identify this industry though armed with all the sophistications that needs to drive a design cycle, right from the concept to silicon.

What lies as an Advantage for the Big Players

The Non-Recurring Engineering (NRE) referring to the onetime cost involved in getting through the testing of a new product has caught the eye of small companies which are now bidding aggressively to perform designs. Being a full service design firm, at Moschip, we make it a point to take the full NRE of the customers which provides us with the opportunity to know about their design requirements and the results that they look forward to. Some of the larger players like Broadcom, Qualcom who have their own design operations in China and India have cemented their value proposition over the years by implementing advanced operations contributing to the industry\'s advancements. Being an old industry player, the advantage lies in the amount of backing you receive from your investors and now they have their own design centres constantly innovating and improvising all the time to leverage a bit more of their cart. In India, centres like the DRDO have really huge opportunities with billions of dollars poured in research project and they are not volumes and are yet to perform good research projects in terms of design. This has been a motivation for the engineers to try and adopt new methods and is very challenging.


Over the past years with very few semiconductor companies, there were a lot of opportunities to go out and design for these big companies. Though it was not easy we were still able to achieve those. Today we are saturated in the business and have reached a time where we are looking for investors, instead of focusing on designing the product. The mantle need to be shifted towards organizations like TiE to take aggressive roles in identifying companies like ourselves and help us out in bringing the labour, fund and material. (As told to Durgesh Prakash)