BENGALURU, India — In his keynote address at the first Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) held in India this week, Gregg Lowe, senior vice president, analog, Texas Instruments, observed that India has come a long way from 2005, when TI chairman Tom Engibous came to Delhi for the global launch of TI's single-chip solution for mobile phones. From then on, there has been a steady stream of devices--from chips to chipsets--designed with ISV collaboration coming out the TI India stable.
"Right across the globe, everyone is watching India becoming a rich source of innovation and technology," said Lowe. "It is, indeed, a unique place with its own culture and with a unique set of technological needs. And today, it is playing a key role in delivering next-generation IT solutions."
TI entered India in 1984 and became one of the first electronics companies to begin tapping into India's deep well of engineering talent. TI India was established primarily as a design center here, and it continues to be one of TI's largest design centers outside of the US.
With its deep roots and historic commitment in India, TI blazed a design and development trail that's now being followed by a brand new generation of electronics suppliers--many with a sharp focus on the embedded sector.
With its eye on India's technology future, government officials in India are doing everything they can to encourage more multinational electronics companies "and Indian engineers—to follow TI's example.
In another address at ESC India, Debesh Das, minister for information technology, West Bengal, and formerly a chip industry professional, said engineers need to apply their knowledge of chip and embedded system design to benefit society at large, especially the poor, and at application areas such as agriculture, flood control and medical services.
Das said the vast talent that India has in embedded systems must move beyond merely finding applications in cars and mobile handsets, for instance, and be of use in the lives of common people.
With India becoming the fastest growing telecom market--8 million new subscribers are being added every month--it is not surprising that chip makers are honing their skills in this space.
India's design engineers are at the center of this opportunity, with the demand for technology increasing each day, along with India's electronics industry growing five times faster than the global electronics-communication market. Greater speed and higher precision solutions are creating tougher challenges in a scenario where technology is not merely being adopted, but personalized too.
"For instance, our India team is working closely with a third party ISV on an integrated electrocardiogram ( EKG) application for the medical industry, which will enable the supplier to get into a faster production cycle," noted the TI executive.
According to Lowe, the automobile industry, which sold more than 1.4 million cars in 2006, is yet another area that is becoming more lucrative for chip makers and designers. "There is a growing demand for not only for safety, comfort and entertainment in a vehicle, but also for fuel efficiency and the use of lighter weight systems. This means that technology has to keep pace with these demands, but it is only by working on these right from the chip-design stage that significant savings can be realizes," said Lowe.
"Being close to the customer and having access to the needs of systems integrators helps us create chipsets that, in turn, help them [systems integrators] develop the product faster and enter the market before their competition. Currently, we have three support centers and are opening up more by year end," he added.