BANGALORE, India Pushed to the brink by a severe shortage of IC design engineers in India, Open-Silicon is teaming up with Magma Design Automation to start an ASIC design school.
India’s growing design services industry is currently hampered by insufficient talent. The problem is accentuated by attrition, as companies find it easier to poach experienced talent from peer firms. Demand for design schools in India is high with students willing to pay for the education and recruiting companies willing to reimburse tuition fees.
"We hope to start the school early next year, covering various aspects of VLSI design: architecture and logic design, functional verification, physical design, analog and mixed signal design, test and packaging," said Satya Gupta, vice president, engineering, Open-Silicon Research Pvt. Ltd., Bangalore, who conceived the program. "There will be six-month modules with soft skills being imparted to enable students to be productive in a corporate environment."
Selection to the school will be based on an entrance test, Gupta added.
Open-Silicon has sought other firms to help establish the school, which would cost an estimated $300,000 to $500,000 to start. Magma Design Automation has decided to join in.
“This is a great idea-- an IC design finishing school-- a layer between the university and industry. Graduates from here will be readily absorbed into industry and their ramp-up time will be minimal. This is long overdue," said Anand Anandkumar, managing director, Magma Design Automation India Pvt. Ltd.
"Magma will work to make the program a success," Anandkumar added. "We will offer licenses and training material to seed this program and work closely with Open-Silicon."
Magma is on its own talking to a professional training institution for a separate finishing school for IC implementation.
EDA rival Cadence will not partner Open-Silicon in its initiative as it has a broad-based educational, internship and faculty training program of its own and works with professional training institutes in India, said Jaswinder Ahuja, corporate vice president, Cadence Design Systems Inc.
India’s EDA industry is seeking to establish similar educational initiatives.
"Student awareness of the silicon world is low and industry is equally hungry for talent. If Open-Silicon and the others can pull it off it will be a very strong contribution to an area of limited talent," said Rajendra Khare, chairman of the India Semiconductor Association.