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India should play more active role, SIA says

Posted: 25 Jan 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:SIA? India IC community? semiconductor? design services? Semiconductor Industry Association?

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) is trying to talk India's IC community into joining global industry bodies like the World Semiconductor Council, in order to speed its development and increase its influence on key industry initiatives, such as the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors.

"India's robustly growing economy, its treasure in the form of the Indian Institute of Technology, its growth as a design services destination are all very good," said George Scalise, president of the SIA. "To play a larger role, India needs to have a feel for where semiconductor technology is headed and ready itself for the commercial aspects of this."

Scalise said the India Semiconductor Association should define its role and help the Indian government define its specific role in spurring growth in the local semiconductor industry. For instance, he suggested the government needs to improve enforcement of laws regarding semiconductor IP in order to ensure growth in its design services sector.

At the same time, he encouraged India to augment design services with a move into manufacturing. Here, the government could also play a role by funding basic research and being willing to provide a "favorable investment climate."

Although India is often noted for its design services, chip manufacturing has been practically nonexistent. Critics blame this weakness on the lack of a competitive incentives package, such as the substantial subsidies, low-interest financing and tax breaks offered in neighboring China.

Scalise also touched upon the outlook for the global semiconductor industry. The SIA will announce 2006 sales figures for semiconductors early next month, and indicators are that the industry grew by about 9.4 percent to reach about $250 billion. Scalise expects about 10 percent growth this year and 9 percent compound annual growth through 2010.

- K.C. Krishnadas
EE Times

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