INDIA Marching Ahead

India Semiconductor Ecosystem

Ten years ago, there was not the slightest sign of a semiconductor industry forming in India. India is now home to around 120 chip design companies that work in the areas of system on chip designs, library creation, defining the flow, methodology for ASIC designs, verification, validations and finally to testing, assembly and packaging. All the global top 10 fabless design companies have India operations and 19 of the top 25 semiconductor companies are already present. AMD, Analog Devices, Broadcom, Conexant, Freescale, Intel, Philips, ST Micro, Samsung and Texas Instruments are a few companies that are present in India.

As India is becoming a large market for electronic goods, a few companies have started electronic design, and a large number of vendors are planning to manufacture products in India. Alcatel, Nokia and Flextronics, have established manufacturing facilities in India.

The Indian semiconductor industry has grown to important R&D centres in Bangalore, Delhi (Gurgaon and Noida), Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, Ahmedabad and Goa. India semiconductor ecosystem is shown in Figure 3 below.

                               Figure 3: Indian Semiconductor Ecosystem


Articles India the land of Service Outsourcing, by Jack Horgan(Nov 2004) and EDA in India by Peggy Aycinena ((March 2007) are great articles on this subject.

Lets examine some of the companies in Indian semiconductor ecosystem. The Indian Chip industry was born with Texas Instruments (TI) establishing its chip design facility in 1984.

Texas Instruments

  • Entered India in 1984.
  • TI India is primarily a Design Centre in Bangalore. It is one of TI's largest Design Centers outside of the US.
  • Around 300 patent applications were filed from TI's Bangalore development center - the most filed from any technology company in India (source: Dataquest July 2005).
  • TI India Design Centre is in frontline development in analog and digital chip design and applications software, SOC, library and software tools, microcontroller and signal processing technologies

ST Microelectronics

  • It is one of the leading suppliers of semiconductors in India
  • Entered India in 1987 and has today grown to more than 1700 employees.
  • Advanced R&D centre at Greater Noida is the company's largest outside Europe
  • Also has sites at Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune , Chennai & Hyderabad.
  • Has strong relation-ship with premier research institutes like Indian Institute of Science
  • ST's facility develops libraries of reusable IP that are used by ST and its customers around the world, especially in advanced system-on-chip (SoC) solutions for digital consumer, computer, telecom and automotive applications.
  • In addition to its worldwide role as an R&D center, ST India is a major facility for application support.


  • Intel India Development Center (IIDC) started in July 1999 and today has over 1300 employees.
  • The largest non-manufacturing international site for Intel
  • Last year, a total of 14 invention disclosures with 8 of them accepted by the Intellectual Committee for patent filing
  • IIDC is the fast-track developmental center that brings synergy across multiple divisions in India, encompassing the following focus areas: Chip Design, Communications Software, Compilers, Digital Signal Processing ,e-Business Technologies and Applications ,Graphics Drivers, Networking Products, Manufacturing Applications and Stack Optimization

Applied Materials

  • First India office opened in Bangalore for information technology application development and support in 2002
  • In 2003 Started engineering design and services support in Bangalore Started manufacturing execution Software development in Bangalore
  • In 2004 650 engineers working on our behalf in Global Development Capability, India
  • In 2005 Opened regional headquarters in Bangalore


  • Cadence India was established in 1987 as an R&D site at Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi
  • With more than 350 employees, it is now the largest Cadence R&D site outside of North America
  • The sales and marketing organization was established in 1997 in Bangalore, India
  • R&D centre includes groups as PSD, Custom IC, Digital IC, DFM, and SFV as well as Customer Support and IT
  • Cadence is also creating partnership programs with premier engineering institutes in India including software grants, joint product development programs and fellowship programs


  • Synopsys India started operations in Bangalore in 1995 as an offshore development center with $4 million initial investment.
  • Synopsys India is now a $25 million corporate R&D center with representations from every major Synopsys business unit
  • It has over 100 people
  • Activities include software development of EDA tools, verification, chip design applications and methodologies, design services and consulting.

Missing Link: Fabs

India is at the forefront of the global semiconductor industry, but for one missing link-manufacturing. In the absence of a fab, manufacturers are entirely dependent on imports of semiconductors.

There is a debate as to whether or not India should be putting up a fab, or a latest-technology fab. On one side there are already expert fabs elsewhere -- really, Can one compete with TSMC? Manufacturing is a volume game, and India is late getting into that game. On the other side, in order to capture a larger portion of the semiconductor value chain, one has to move manufacturing to India. Domestic manufacturing would help product development immensely, because product development and manufacturing normally go hand in hand. When Tejas Networks ( developed its optical switches in India, it could use the manufacturing facilities from Flextronics and Solectron in Bangalore. Tejas's development gives an indication of changing times.

To provide the missing link, Department of Information Technology (DIT) announced on February 22 the semiconductor policy. The three key aspects of the policy are: grant of Special Economic Zones (SEZ) status to the electronics industry; definition of a minimum threshold level for investment; and inclusion of the entire electronics ecosystem for the incentives. The Indian government said it expects its new chip policy to attract more than Rs.22,060 crore ($5 billion) in manufacturing investments over the next three years. India's chip policy offers incentives like tax breaks and interest-free loans of up to 20 per cent of total capital expenditures incurred in the first 10 years of manufacturing.

There is proposal of construction on a prototype fab, which will be part of the India Design Centre in Kolkata. The information technology ministry of West Bengal, with support likely from federal agencies, is establishing the fab. The prototype fab will be part of the approximately Rs.528 crore ($120 million) design centre which also houses incubation centers, chip design and EDA tool development companies.

On November 15th 2004, Korea-based Intellect Inc, a semiconductor/chip fabrication company, had decided to set up a plant in Hyderabad with an estimated investment of around $1.6 billion in two phases. To be set up as India Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (ISMC), the Korean company has proposed to invest $600 million in phase I and another $1 billion in phase II. It was expected to provide a direct employment of 10,000 people; the company was to manufacture chips for SIM cards, microprocessors and other applications, including telecom. (Note: Other than this announcement I was not able to get more information on its current status)

Review Article
  • Emerging Indian Tech Industry - Possible Grey Area October 18, 2007
    Reviewed by 'Ramesh'
    It was a very well researched post and I found it extremely informative. While I am not involved in manufacturing ICs I am definitely dealing with Testing on a day to day basis in a Government firm and I do deal with problems of obsolescence quite often. While it is encouraging that our Industry is growing from strength to strength and most MNCs are setting up some of their biggest offshore camps and production facilities in country, I would want to point out that with the enormous exponential growth in consumer electronics that we will see in the days ahead, we should also start thinking on lines of formulating a policy to handle the E Wastes that would necessarily be by products in years to come. As such many developed nations are using India as its dumping grounds for their E Wastes. This is something that will have to be curbed in the larger interest of the nation.

      2 of 2 found this review helpful.
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