The Chips are up...

May the peace and blessings of the Almighty be upon us...

Few years back, Mr. Jhinuk Chowdhury of TIMES GROUP wrote a very insightful article named “THE CHIPS ARE UP”. This piece analyses the future opportunities in the field of Semiconductor/VLSI and the challenges faced by Electronics/Electrical engineers. I give the entire article below and hope this will be of immense use. 

The semiconductor industry is set to add around 3.5 million heads by 2015 to its existing count of 20,000. Jhinuk Chowdhury learns more about the opportunities that this industry offers

    Just being an electronic engineer doesn’t qualify you to get a job in the semiconductor industry. You need to have a hunger to learn. A burning desire to know how things work and a background of dismantling electronic toys to understand how they function, would also go a long way. If the above mentioned is an extension of your profile, then the semiconductor industry is looking for you. Companies like Freescale, Texas Instruments, KPIT Cummins, Cadence, STMicroelectronics and many more are recruiting electronic engineers with excellent analytical aptitude and quick learning abilities at salary packages higher than those offered by the IT industry. One small deterrent here is that academia provides for only 20 per cent of the required manpower. To give you an industry example, while KPIT Cummins needs 150-200 people every year, it only manages to find 80 relevant candidates. So, while the talent crunch is evident, the industry looks more promising than ever. Let’s find out why one should should opt for this industry and who gets in. 


Job creation in this sector would be in the areas of Integrated Circuit (IC) Design, VLSI, EDA (electronic design automation), manufacturing operations related to testing, packaging, logistics etc. 

    The industry is hiring Electronics/Electrical engineering professionals with knowledge of digital design, simulation, synthesis tools, computer architecture, and mixed signal design, and strong mathematical aptitude. Also, a fair knowledge of different sectors, like consumer electronics, mobile devices, home security systems, auto components etc. are absolutely essential. This however does not undermine the need for behavioural skills. As for Philips Electronics India Ltd, while technical competencies are a must, behavioural aspects are just as important. Says Rajeev Mehtani, VP & Site Innovation Manager, Philips Semiconductors, “We look for a mindset committed to quality, and a ‘not giving up’ attitude with global perspective.” The Philips Innovation Campus at Bangalore, has, as of now, been awarded 16 patents. 


    As mentioned above, one of the factors that would draw most candidates towards this industry is the generous compensation offered. Poonam Shenoy, ISA agrees that the salaries offered in this industry are much higher than any other technology industry, “It starts from Rs 4.5 lakhs which is significantly higher to what is offered by the software industry.” Veena Kumar, HR Manager, Open Silicon, even feels that it might go upto Rs 6.5 lakh for a fresh graduate who displays the right aptitude and is a logical fit. 

    In terms of vertical growth, one can start as a research and design engineer and move up to a project leader, a senior design engineer, or systems architect. 


Says B S Murphy, CEO, Human Capital, “We have always underplayed our Math strength, whereas the industry needs super math and algorithm skills.” Another key issue is the lack of training facilities. Praveen Acharya, VP-ATS, Semiconductor Group KPIT, feels that academia has, so far, given almost a ‘stepmotherly’ treatment to the semiconductor industry. Girish Wardadkar, President & ED, KPIT, feels India is no match to the semiconductor manufacturing activities happening in China, “China is definitely more appealing to chip manufacturing firms in the US and UK, which explains why India, today, may have an edge in design services but not manufacturing.” 

    An ecosystem needs to be created where the industry and academia join hands to identify the global needs of the industry and churn out relevant engineers. Exclusive design schools validated by the industry and sponsorship of laboratories could definitely accelerate the process of further developing this industry"

Please Note:
The above picture is not from the Times of India article.

Let us meet in a another blog post (God Willing).

Your brother,
Aashiq Ahamed A


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