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February - 2007 - issue > Editor's Desk
Where-is-India’s-Qualcomm?
Pradeep Shankar
Thursday, February 1, 2007
In the maturing semiconductor industry, revenue growth seems to be slowing, and fundamental technological and financial barriers of developing chips are escalating. Why not see this as an opportunity? In fact, we should be fortunate to be sitting at the intersection of myriad technological trends. If we do it right, there is a ‘real big’ opportunity for India—both in terms of business as well as job creation.

The rising design cost is pushing the growth of the third-party IP industry. Prospects are bright for Indian design houses that can match their technologies to user needs. Some examples of IPs from Indian design houses powering portable video systems, in-house aircraft entertainment or the latest cars across the world stand as testimonies. Our gut feeling is that, a few years from now, some of the best innovations in the semiconductor industry will take birth in India.

So, what stops us from accelerating this IP play momentum? China is an emerging competitor in the fabless space. There are already hundreds of fabless companies in China tapping both the domestic and global opportunity. In India, although we are all witness to the spike in consumption of electronic items, we hardly find young engineers hungry to jump and grab the domestic opportunity, not to forget the bigger global opportunity.

Going by the forecast for 2010, half of all IC revenue will come from fabless operations. If the opportunity is huge, it is time to build the next Qualcomm (the biggest fables company in the world) from India. As an industry, we have to put concerted efforts to leap frog.

In this issue, we feature Cadence Design Systems, the leader in the EDA space. India houses nearly one-third of Cadence’s worldwide engineering staff. While its design center in Noida has expanded its scope of product development activities over the last two decades. The company is keenly watching the domestic market evolve as its business in India is seeing a healthy growth rate. The man who steers Cadence India—Jaswinder Ahuja walks us through the company’s evolution.

Please do share with us your thoughts on the future of Indian semiconductor industry.

Pradeep Shankar
editor@thesmarttechie.com


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