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Despite growth, Indian embedded industry faces threats

Posted: 02 Jan 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:embedded? software? India embedded industry? India Semiconductor Association? ISA?

India's $2.53 billion embedded software industry, while enjoying rapid growth, faces a number of challenges related to a shortage of relevant skills.

India has established itself as a low-cost base for embedded software development. The rising number of VLSI firms developing embedded software here and increased outsourcing by OEMs are seen as big drivers of the industry in India during the next three years.

Still, the limited exposure embedded programmers get into the complete system challenges them in integrating hardware and software, while creating a software development vehicle early in the flow with speed and cycle accuracy close to that of the real devices is also a serious challenge.

That firms have to prove themselves in upgrading their business from developing device-level software to system/application level software is another serious challenge this industry here faces over the next three years, according to a new report by the India Semiconductor Association (ISA).

India employs about 60,000 engineers, mostly in chip-level and OS-related programming, middleware/embedded applications, testing and protocol development. The largest share of work done by Indian firms in this area is in software for embedded product testing, device drivers, APIs, algorithms and firmware.

Lack of support for development tools, DSP tools and RTOS are limiting India from leveraging the growth opportunities in the embedded industry, with another gripe being the lack of support for boards especially for testing and support in terms of components and modules.

Work in India is nearly equally split between communications, consumer electronics and industrial electronics and automotive application segments. "India needs to build competency in developing embedded software for the domains of automotive and medical equipment," according to the ISA report.

- K.C. Krishnadas
EE Times

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