Chip design firms call for govt support

Tags: Knowledge
India’s design capability is at par with global standards. However, the industry ecosystem is very sparse. Without government support, the semiconductor industry will not get to the next level, according to Jaswinder Ahuja, MD, Cadence Design Systems.

Some of the emerging economies, such as Korea, which have come out practically from nowhere in the past 30-40 years, and have become important players on the world stage, have all had significant levels of government intervention, he pointed out.

“In all those countries, government has viewed electronics as a priority sector and has created both a favourable environment through policy and also made direct investment. The growth opportunity for electronic systems design and manufacturing (ESDM) in India is pegged at $400 billion by 2020. A lot of things are needed from the government side to enable such a growth for the industry,” Ahuja said.

“If you aggregate the total amount of imports, in the near future, semiconductor imports will overtake oil imports. Government should realise this is the sector of strategic importance to India, rather than doing something for the industry,” he further said.

Some countries have put a clause in the policy that the procurement, be it for defence or other purposes, if technically qualified and are able to offer at the same price point, then 30 per cent purchase will be made from the domestic companies. There should be a similar policy in India, Ahuja insisted. “Semiconductor industry is an industry of scale. Global players are able to make it at lower price points because of scale,” he said.

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