BENGALURU, India A study by the India Semiconductor Association (ISA) concludes that India needs a network of dedicated research centers focusing on chip technology research.
In a survey of India's technology institutes, ISA recommended upgrading existing labs to match industry's. It also urged industry to actively participate in semiconductor research rather than merely donate software, for example, like EDA tools.
The study was compiled for ISA by Evalueserve and also was supported by Intel Corp. and India's Department of Communications and Information Technology. It found that the government should take the lead in forging a public-private partnership involving industry and academia.
It also underscored the key role India's technology institutes will play in developing a domestic semiconductor industry, detailing options for strengthening chip research at the institutes. "The government must promote the setting up of technology business incubators that provide a robust platform for active industry-academia interactions, and help convert a potential research idea to its commercial success," the report's authors stated.
The government funds almost 90 percent of all semiconductor-related research in university labs, and India's institutes account for as much as 75 percent of technology research. The top institutes employ faculty researchers and host dedicated VLSI labs that support advanced IC research. They also account for about 60 percent of published Indian chip research, the report found.
Government regulations limiting commercialization of university research have hobbled the formation of technology startups here. The study recommended that university researchers receive performance-based incentives.
ISA said the study also provides the first database on Indian capabilities. The hope is that the findings can be used to promote industry involvement and government support for semiconductor research.
"This will enable the industry to focus with clear direction and vision on furthering effective partnerships with Indian universities and helping build our innovation capacity," said Rahul Bedi, Intel's director of corporate affairs for south Asia.
Indian technology institutes are better known for the engineering talent they produce, including Pentium designer Vinod Dham. Unlike U.S. technology institutes, few ideas emerging from Indian institutes have been commercialized .