Following the success of India in application software services, there is an ambition to climb higher on the value chain. Studies from DOE and ISA have projected IC Design related services as the next challenge, not only for Indian IT industry, but also for India’s aspiration to position itself in global knowledge economy. However, compared to the demand, the supply of industry ready IC design and verification engineers is awfully low, and it seems that it can derail all projections and policy decisions aimed at making India a dominating destination for IC deign and verification.
It is projected that by 2015, India would need more than 85,000 new IC design related engineers. This demand is expected to accelerate significantly with the about to be released New Semiconductor Policy of the government. Despite various initiatives taken by universities, research institutions and government bodies to start training programs in VLSI design, the current growth rate of creating industry ready resources, would only cater to around 50% of the demand.
The industry ready engineering talent, in VLSI is far scarce than talent required for normal software development (read application development and maintenance). One of the key reasons apart from the required level of skills, is the complexity of tools involved (EDA tools) in design and verification process. VLSI fraternity has been shouting from roof top, bemoaning the EDA tool suppliers of making their tools half baked and inadequate, that only stunts productivity of Design companies. But it has not helped. Because of the way the tools are today, Design companies are forced to develop their own tools before they start using these EDA tools. And it takes around 12-18 months before a new talent can be brought up to managing, maintaining and using a ‘tool box’. The learning curve for a new talent is as inordinately long as learning a fighter plane. All these factors make things worse, when educational institutions fall back on traditional learning methodology and delivery system. And worst, hundred of VLSI labs across India, are not able to extend capabilities of their tools and offer industry interfaced projects to students enrolled into specialized courses.
It looks like unjustified complexity of tools and workflow, is elongating the learning curve of aspirants of VLSI engineers to an extent that even talented students give up learning design too early.
Realizing the inherent difficulties in learning VLSI design and the yawning gap between demand and supply; three industry experts decided to take a plunge into solving the core problem. And they have taken an entrepreneurial route by launching DSipher Design Solutions. DSipher is based out of Bangalore (the city that holds largest number of IC design houses after Silicon Valley), is on a mission to ‘accelerate learning ‘ in VLSI design and verification by handholding institutions in increasing the level of industry readiness amongst graduates. They use their significant domain experience to awfully simplify the VLSI design tool interfaces, workflow and pedagogical delivery mechanism. With such focused intervention, they offer ‘dramatic’ improvement in faculty engagement time and student learning cycle time.
For those linked to VLSI design and verification, DSipher is a place to get engaged. College Program Managers, Faculty Members, Students, Researchers… have a lot to gain.
EDA tool suppliers and training providers in VLSI space…. are you listening ! Just to inform you, DSipher built a remarkably solid and smart platform IPintentio™, that provides ready to hook interfaces to transform productivity of your tools by an order of magnitude. And so, it may be the right time to collaborate with DSipher and add value to your offerings.
31 March 2014