BANGALORE, India -- India is forming a national association designed to expand its semiconductor industry.
The India Semiconductor Association (ISA) will be formally launched next week. It will initially bring together 31 member companies that are Indian subsidiaries of overseas semiconductor and electronic design automation companies. An additional 40 companies are expected to join, including venture capitalists.
Sridhar Mitta, one of India's best-known computer engineers, will serve as ISA's chief mentor, while Rajendra Khare, managing director of Broadcom India becomes chairman. Anand Anandkumar, Magma India managing director, will be vice-chairman and Uma Mahesh, director of Insilica India, is the group's secretary. Member companies include Indian subsidiaries of Intel, Texas Instruments, Wipro, Qualcomm, Synplicity and Centillium. Universities are also being invited to join the association.
"The Indian semiconductor industry is morphing itself into playing a more significant role in innovation, market share, consumption and revenue generation," Mitta said. "The time is ripe for the industry to make the leap into the upper echelons of semiconductor excellence."
Mitta cited the example of an Indian company that received $200,000 for designing a multimedia processor for set-top boxes, while its customer made nearly $1 billion in processor sales. Hence, Mitta said, Indian companies need to organize to realize the full value of their work.
Government participation is also being sought to help the industry, Khare said.
One association aim is to create an environment similar to Taiwan's. Observers said there is potential here for India's test and packaging industry, and ISA will focus specifically on that sector, according to S. Janakiraman, head of research and development services at MindTree Consulting.
Observers said ISA fills a void. Definitive statistics on the size and breath of the Indian semiconductor industry are hard to come by, but analysts estimate there are as many as 12,500 IC designers here. The number of companies involved in semiconductor design, both local and foreign subsidiaries, is estimated at 125.
The group has already been contacted by overseas companies like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. and the U.S. Semiconductor Industry Association, ISA executives said.
A conference coinciding with next week's launch of ISA will focus on expanding the Indian chip industry.