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States compete for investment from VLSI industry

Posted: 18 Jan 2007     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:semiconductor operations  VLSI industry  IDC  India Design Centre 

In a panel discussion during last week's VLSI Conference 2007, senior officials from the state governments of West Bengal, Kerala and Tamil Nadu presented to senior industry executives why it was advantageous to establish semiconductor operations in their state.

Dr. Debesh Das, minister for IT, government of West Bengal shared the state government's specific measures for the VLSI industry—budgetary support for research funding; developing a finished talent base for the VLSI industry, through a joint training initiative with IIT-Kharagpur; building infrastructure tailored to the needs of VLSI design companies, through the formation of an India Design Centre (IDC).

The government's specific measures for start-ups include reservation of partial space in an advanced IT park exclusively for start-ups. Also, the IDC would aim to reduce start-ups' design costs, by providing EDA software tools on rental basis.

C. Umashankar, managing director, Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu highlighted the competitive advantages of Tamil Nadu for the VLSI industry – the state is emerging as India's hub for electronic equipment manufacturing; a cost advantage of 11 per cent over China; a proactive government that takes speedy decisions, especially with regard to land allocation for projects; an engineering talent pool that has a refresh rate of 110,000 fresh graduates per annum; and superior advantage in general infrastructure.

Tamil Nadu is aggressively promoting six tier II cities for IT-related activity—Coimbatore, Salem, Madurai, Trichy, Tirunelveli, and Hosur. VLSI currently contributes close to eight per cent of the export revenues out of Chennai, said Umashankar.

J. Parthasarathy, director, Software Technology Parks of India (STPI), Bangalore, said that the institution is hosting on an incubation centre, which is supporting five companies. One of these has already received about Rs. 9.06 crore ($2 million) of initial funding. STPI is in dialogue with Singapore and Israel universities for the latter's involvement talent pool development in Karnataka.

The government of Kerala will soon become the only state government to announce a semiconductor policy. KR Jyothilal, special secretary, government of Kerala shared that state is positioning itself as a destination for VLSI and embedded systems design, and high-end R&D activity. It is focusing on six different centres for spreading investment from the semiconductor industry.

Over 150 acres of land have been allotted for the semiconductor industry in Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram. The state will adopt the model of self-contained IT cities within cities, employing a hub-and-spoke system, to ease infrastructural congestion. Three finishing schools will come up, in Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, and Kozhikode.

Rajendra Khare, Chairman, India Semiconductor Association (ISA), who moderated the session presented the industry's perspective of what it expected from states. He emphasised that the states needed to collaborate to make a global impact in semiconductors, rather than adopting a competitive stance. He added that each state needs to come out with a semiconductor policy, to attract investment in a planned manner.

- Krishnan Sivaramakrishnan
  EE Times India

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