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China, India target design cooperation

Posted: 06 Jun 2003 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Design Automation conference? IC design? DAC? China? India?

The world's two largest emerging markets, China and India, are honing their design skills in hopes of becoming key players in chip and product design, not just bases for manufacturing and software programming.

Chinese engineers at the Design Automation Conference (DAC) stressed the design opportunities inherent in their massive market and the steep rise in the number of engineering graduates that is reaching 500,000 a year. Their Indian counterparts trumpeted the expanding design skills of a deep engineering talent pool and the growing sophistication of Indian design houses founded by Western chipmakers.

India especially remains hampered by its distance from key markets, but design engineers in both countries are quickly moving up the learning curve as they attempt to boost cooperation between their manufacturing and design bases.

"Localization, integration and customization will be the focus for China local IC design," said Michael Chen of Pericom. He said China's largest design house, Shilan, is focusing on consumer electronics for the Chinese market, including areas like toys that Western companies have not tapped.

Similarly, India companies want to use expertise obtained through Western subsidiaries to tap the local design market. Mahesh Mehendale of Texas Instruments India (Bangalore), said the unit is trying to drive EDA tool capabilities so it can come up with applications like "killer SoCs" for the local market.

The TI unit has already designed a single-chip ADSL router as part of a drive to move beyond component and chip manufacturing to designing products for the Indian market.

A key question raised during a DAC panel discussion was whether China and India would also seek closer technology ties as they boost their design skills. Robert Yung on Intel China said that cooperation has already begun at the university research level in areas like VLSI engineering.

"The shortest road between India and China is not through Silicon Valley," added Chi-Foon Chan, president and COO of Synopsys Corp.

- George Leopold

EE Times

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