@truekop. You are right when you say that these guys (who participated in the Ideathon) are not semiconductor guys. My mistake.
But the whole India Ideathon was based on an idea – which was to experiment and try to get people to promote apps/products for people. In 60 hours nobody can start with transistors and design something and get a product out. The Ideathon was based on embedded systems and soft skills and not on designing the entire circuit from first principles and making it a complete product but to go with something that was already there and tie them up so that they are able to develop a complete product which could do something meaningful for the society.
These guys were using off-the-shelf microcontrollers or microprocessors which were provided to them and they were trying to come out with products that would have some impact on the community as such. And, an eminent engineer like Dr Satya Gupta is spearheading the entire project and plans to make it a pan-India process too
Understanding how the chip is fabricated is a small piece of the puzzle. Now the design process and development has become so compartmentalised and specialised that no one needs to know everything from start to finish to get the product out. This is an age of collaboration. Someone could be doing front-end design, someone could be doing PCB design and there could be the software engineer doing his own piece of work – so all them get together to come out with a product.
The skills of say a VLSI engineer would not limited because he doesn't know the fabrication process but he would need to know the limitations of the process.
Anyway, this is my last take on the article. Hope it suffices.
@Tippu, sorry i disagree with your comments, you have to be prepared to take criticism. Sorry we dont have talent except the IIT's when it comes to semiconductor device physics, analog electronics, That is a cold hard truth, please stop equating embedded systems/softwrae with EE. FYI why dont you go and investigate how well analog electronics and semiconductor device physics is taught, you will realize how poor we are, i love india but truth is sometimes bitter. Please dont mistake me i am not telling Indians (we) dont have the talent, all i am suggesting is that our education system is totally absent to support the "talent", we have a long way to go here. Even your example of Dr Gupta is not correct in this context, he is developing an "app" not building the next high speed analog to digital converter...dont even get started that we have cosmic circuits etc etc...Please note i love india unfortunately an education system where a Chemical engineer and electrical engineer has to choose an Infosys or TCS will never ever produce talent that cna design the next great circuit or process...
@Tippu : would you please at least read the first post ( mine ) on this thread and STOP conflating software and chip design on one hand with semiconductor devices / Fab process technology on the other ? FYI, due to the stubborn perpetuation of such gross misunderstanding among the policymakers in India ( DEIT&Y ), the effort at IIT - B ( courtesy AMAT ) remains insignificant, thru no fault of Prof. Vasi.
I think you should chose your words carefully, truekop. " I think the writer needs to cover such topics rather than covering all the hype, that will be very useful" There is no question of hype it is just reporting - there is this person called Dr Satya Gupta who is trying his best to work against all odds in creating apps which would the society as a whole. Indian engineers - software as well as hardware - have a lot of talent but the only issue is the infrastructure.
There was my friend's daughter who had gone to do an internship in one of the US universities and was amazed at the kind of lab facilities that were there when compared to India. She is a gold medalist in material sciences and will soon get an offer there in one of the US universities.
Talent in here but it it is just a huge country and unwieldy to manage. And unlike China, we have something called democracy however skewed that might be at times. So pl dont run down Indian engineers ( EE as you phrase it) there are so many I know who are excellent at their work and in their particular fields and so many of them are in multinational companies.
Incidentally, Seagate had come to India about 20-25 years ago toep a manufacturing unit but due to the government's policies at that time, it came to naught. If we had started manufacturing at that time, I am sure we would have given China a run for its money.
Sure we dont have semiconductor proces tech per se but there are engineers who do understand it FYI.
@truekop: "...India as a country does not have the talent pool to build and manage process technology development like China..."
With all due respect, I disagree with this statement. I do not want to compare the knowledge, skills and capabilities between the engineers from different countries, because I have always thought the engineers (especially the EE) as a single global community and I do not want to draw lines between different counties. But I think India has the required talent pool and right education to "build and manage process technology development"...the missing element was mainly the support from the govt./bureaucrats in the past 10 years. But I feel that the time is positive in Indian politics and administration and hope to see something getting materialized soon.
Excellant points Chipmonk, It was as though you spoke my mind. I have repetedly seen that India as a country does not have the talent pool to build and manage process technology development like China. Software and embedded systems is somehow wrongly connected to semicondutors in India. There is a fundamental apathy towards EE (Semiconductor Devices) education in india. I think the writer needs to cover such topics rather than covering all the hype, that will be very useful.
you write " ... in semiconductors, covering design, CAD, systems, and embedded software. .. "
this is at most chip design and NOT semiconductors per se. Wish you would STOP referring to chip design or parts of it as semiconductors !
There is a wide gap between chip design and semiconductor technology ( transistor / solid state physics as well as process technology ) needed in Wafer Fabs. Design engineers are NOT equipped to deal with them, which is why in the US there are so many Fabless Chip Co.s staffed with Design Engineers and they have left the actual making of chips to the likes of TSMC staffed with Physicists, Materials Scientists etc. To design chips the Design engineers have to follow Design rules set by semiconnductor technologista at Fabs & Foundries.
Not even understanding this basic dichotomy has hindered the setting up of Wafer Fabs in INDIA. How many of the Trade Organization that grandly calls itself the IESA ( with the S standing for Semiconductor ) knows anything about Device Physics or have ever worked in a Fab ?
Ever since their formation as ISA in 2004, these mostly Software people of Bangalore have been poking their nose where it does NOT belong ( i,e Fabs ) and MISLEADING the Govt. of India to the extent of losing the 1 billion $ Intel Adv. Packaging plant to Vietnam !
These IESA Co.s do not even qualify as viable end customers of semiconductors or Wafer Fabs. How many of the IESA member Co.s own legal rights to complete chips that they can would get made at a CMOS logic Fab in India if any of the proposed 2 ever come up ? W/o first creating a demand at the System level / Design Wins in India would these 2 duplicate Fabs ever generate enough revenue to justify the $ 10 billion investment reqd. ?
What institutional investor in their right mind would ever throw money down the drain for such foolish plans when no end customers are in sight ? Even if a Govt. staffed by ignorant / arrogant bureaucrats approved 50 % subsidy for these projects ?
Any serious report should first try to understand the fate of SCL in Chandigarh, a 1 um CMOS Fab started in 1983, well before TSMC ?
Without any sincere / serious effort it will always be jumping on to the next bandwagon like IoT and yet more hype !