Brazil has a long time tradition for pushing for local manufacturing and is the country where we have more car manufacturers in the world. With the current changes in the semiconductor market with technology being offered through IP companies and third party foundries is not anymore needed to be a giant multibillion company to develop a leading edge technology chip. Government support for a long term policy and investment in forming especilists can make this a possible strength in a growing economy hungry for local specs on the consumer products that not always come ready from US or Europe. A local expert / partner is for sure a must to avoid loose a lot of money trying the one size feets all strategy in a complex and sometimes complicated market.
A big reason for so many people planning to buy HDTV sets is the up coming FIFA world cup. Local SoC and embedded system design is critical and hopefully can diffuse into industry rather than being dominated by Allen-Bradley or Siemens at very high prices. Engineering is a subsidised activity; in the USA the military pushes much of the jobs, in Oz the military certainly employs many but very little consumer electronics pops out here, so good luck and hopefully the government supports the industry to a stage that it can survive, rather than suffocate it with regulations, high taxes and unrealistic hourly rates. As for corruption, seems like no country has a monopoly on that one--it keep the media well fed with the latest on the head of the IMF; even the squeaky clean are easy victims.
Local market for electronics is increasing year after year, for sure. In the other hand, design activities are going down. In the big 4 segment for semiconductor (Telecom, Computer, Automotive and Consumer) design activity in Brazil in pratically zero. Some in medical equipments, some industrial, car alarms, white line and few other products. Tech Institutes survive based on government incentivies. Local cost and corruption still avoid foreign companies to invest here.
I'm working since 2008 in a commercial IC design training center located in Porto Alegre, Brazil. This training center was established through a partnership between Cadence Design System and the Brazilian government to train IC design engineers in the following areas: AMS, RF and digital design. The training is one-year long and today around 150 engineers have already passed in this training center.
Today, most of them are in companies like the one mentioned above (non-profit research organization). A good landscape of the companies can be seen at the ApexBrasil portal under the semiconductor section (http://www.apexbrasil.com.br).
Most of the semicondutor projects are still government supported and focused to develop applications to the Brazilian needs. Also, these projects can be seen as an way to maintain and develop the engineers in Brazil. We expect to develop more IC engineers in the next years to ramp-up this market.
We know there's still a long way ahead ... but I believe with the right investments, partnerships and decision, it's possible to start new and successful semiconductor business in Brazil.
I don't have the numbers, but I would not be surprised to find that Brazil is graduating far more engineers per year than the US.We are graduating foreign engineers that either stay here or return to their countries.
It is the US government that has to incentive our own high school graduates to get into an engineering field.
The ratio of foreign to American engineers working in the US is frightening.
Freescale has had a design center in Brazil since 1997. They have over 130 engineers and have delivered over 70 designs (according to their website). I'm don't know if it has helped them in the market there, but it coudn't hurt.
Roger - while what you say is right, Brazilian electronic engineers and companies are significantly incentivised by Government initiatives to study and be placed in industry. I suspect given the international interest, Brazil will eventually come to develop its design centres and start to dominate one or mutiple sectors.
There is no doubt about the consumer electronics ownership and spending figures. The only problem is that Brazil does not dominate any technology in consumer electronics, everything is designed and supplied out of Brazil, in USA, Europe or Asia.
Brazilian government should pay attention to this, they have to create ways to incentive the design of consumer products in Brazil by brazilian players.