Government of India Equips Colleges with Chip Design Tools to Boost Semiconductor Workforce

chip manufacturing

Three points you will get to know in this article:

  • Equipping colleges with EDA tools bridges the chip design skill gap.
  • Fosters collaboration, talent pipeline development, reducing foreign expertise reliance.
  • Continuous curriculum, faculty training, and tech updates crucial for success.

To bolster the talent pool for the chip industry, the Indian government has embarked on a significant initiative. Reports suggest that more than 100 colleges across the nation are being equipped with top-tier electronic design automation (EDA) tools from industry giants like Siemens EDA, Synopsys, and Cadence.

Collaborative Partnerships with Industry Leaders

Leaders from prominent chip design software firms disclosed that the integration of advanced tools into educational programs ensures that students are well-prepared for the industry upon completing their studies.

Siemens has been collaborating with the IT ministry to establish an EDA tools grid as part of the design-linked incentive scheme, aimed at nurturing chip startups. Similarly, Synopsys has partnered with esteemed institutions such as IIT Bombay, Indian Institute of Science, and Jadavpur University, directing efforts through the Synopsys Academic & Research Alliances (SARA) programme to groom talent for the chip industry and address workforce shortages. Additionally, Cadence’s suite of EDA technologies is accessible to 350 engineering colleges in India, enriching the educational landscape further.

Global Significance of Advanced Tools

Globally, only a few companies produce these essential tools, highlighting their critical role in chip design processes.

Ruchir Dixit, country manager of Siemens EDA, stressed the need for India to cultivate a skilled workforce tailored for the burgeoning chip sector. He emphasized the government’s Chips to Startups (C2S) initiative, which has facilitated the provision of EDA tools to over 100 academic institutions across the country.

Nurturing Innovation and Expertise

Launched in January 2022, the C2S initiative aims to train 85,000 individuals over a five-year period in very large-scale integration and embedded system design. Notably, 103 institutions and startups, including prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology, have been selected for projects aimed at fostering innovation and expertise in chip design.

Government-Industry Collaboration for Growth

Siemens, in collaboration with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), leads efforts to establish an EDA tools grid under the design-linked incentive (DLI) scheme, aimed at catalyzing growth in the semiconductor and electronics domain. Dixit highlighted Siemens’ provision of software to colleges at a nominal fee, streamlining access and enabling concurrent training of multiple individuals.

Raja Subramaniam, Synopsys India’s country head, warned of an impending shortage of skilled manpower globally by 2030. In response, the Indian government aims to leverage the potential of engineering colleges, particularly in electronics and communication engineering, to meet industry demands.

Access to EDA technologies not only ensures graduates’ readiness for the industry but also supports startup incubation. Jaswinder Ahuja, Managing Director at Cadence Design Systems, India, highlighted the C2S program’s role in subsidizing the cost of essential tools, thereby facilitating innovation in chip design.

Towards Indigenous Semiconductor Production

The government envisions the production of 10 chipsets entirely in India, covering design, fabrication, and packaging. Initiatives such as Semicon India, with a substantial outlay of INR 76,000 Cr, underscore the commitment to developing a robust semiconductor and display manufacturing ecosystem.

Driving Technological Advancement through Collaborative Efforts

The recent approval of three semiconductor proposals by the union cabinet, with a cumulative investment of INR 1.26 Lakh Cr, signifies a significant stride in promoting the semiconductor ecosystem. The Tata Group’s proposal to establish the country’s first semiconductor fab plant in Gujarat, in collaboration with Taiwan’s Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp (PSMC), exemplifies the collaborative efforts driving technological advancement in India.

The government’s concerted efforts, combined with strategic collaborations and initiatives, position India to emerge as a global hub for semiconductor innovation. With a focus on talent development, infrastructure enhancement, and indigenous production capabilities, the nation is poised to become a formidable player in the chip industry landscape.

SA Team

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