IESA

Call for fully autonomous National Electronics Commission: IESA Vision Summit 2020

The IESA Vision Summit 2020 commenced today. Welcoming the audience, Navin Bishnoi, Senior Director, Central Engineering ASIC Design Services, Marvell Semiconductor, and moderator, said that the Vision Summit was earlier slated for March 2020. “We had to defer it, due to Covid-19. We are now having it virtually. We are focusing on intelligent electronics. There are multiple topics that we will touch, such as 5G and beyond, edutech, medical electronics, agritech, etc.”

Karnataka important state
Delivering the opening address, Dr. C.N. Ashwath Narayan, Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka, said that by 2025, the electronics market is expected to grow to $400 billion. The Covid-19 pandemic led to drastic change at the way businesses are done. Digital India and Startup India have become more important. The major driver is the private sector.

The Indian government is playing the role of the enabler. Karnataka is a very important state for India, and is the undisputed leader in such sectors. Our state government has a target to reach $500 million by 2025. We contribute 60% to India’s ESDM exports. We need to scale up further. Karnataka is also the largest chip designer hub. All of the major players are present here.

Karnataka has adopted a multi-faceted approach for the adoption of ESDM. We have established the SFAL for the first time to encourage engineers. We have a VLSI Incubation Center in Hubli. We have industrial sectors in 13 districts. We have 7 SEZ areas for the ESDM sector. There are many opportunities for attracting investment in Karnataka. The Government of India has approved three schemes in April 2020 for the ESDM sector. The vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat is also flourishing. There are proposals for 20 champions in electronics components.

We have also given schemes for the establishment of the ESDM setups in Karnataka. There is capital investment subsidy of upto 25% on land. This is the first time that a government is providing land subsidy. We are also providing 100% exemption from electricity. Free operative clearance is also given for a minimum of three years. We are looking to meet all the challenges with the use of technology. We also need to promote the prevention of and cure from Covid-19. We have set up Karnataka Digital Economy Mission.

Karnataka Digital Economy Mission or new company will be incorporated under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013 with the Government of Karnataka holding 49% and the remaining 51% by the industries and other stakeholders.

Towards intelligent electronics
In the inaugural keynote, Vinod Dham, Founder and Executive Managing Partner, Indo-US Venture, spoke about how intelligent electronics will be making ‘New India’ self reliant.

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He asked: “Why is this the right time for India to have a domestic chip fab? Moore’s Law’s relentless march is slowing down. India can jump in the fray. Semicon chips are the heart of everything, including cell phones, PCs, cars, cloud computing, drones, etc. Twenty years of Moore’s Law is coming to a halt. Recent international events have precipitated a need for India to be a center for chip design and embedded software. India can develop IoT devices, as well.”

We need to jumpstart IoT chips and devices. Chip design is more capital intensive. The government needs to kick start the initiative by supplying critical seed capital. An amount of $500 million per year should be injected side by side. We need to complete the electronics manufacturing ecosystem. In recent years, the ATMP business has been re-invigorated by new needs for disparate chips such as RF, sensors and processors to be packaged together of variety IoTs and new packaging technologies like chiplets. The government should also provide soft incentives to fabless MNCs.

He added that it is time to make big, bold commitments. The SCL fab should be upgraded to a 65nm fab or higher, to meet the growing strategic defense needs. India needs a product that is highly reliable and robust. We also need to set up a new 14nm fab, jointly between the Government and India Inc., for fabricating the emerging IoT chips and smart processors.

There is a clear message for a self-reliant India. It is recommended that the Indian Government should launch an independent and fully autonomous National Electronics Commission, which should come under the Prime Minister.

Tech-led disruptions
In her keynote, Ms. Nivruti Rai, Head, Intel India, and VP, DCG, Intel Corp. said that we are looking at a $5 trillion economy, going towards transforming 1.3 billion lives. Today, there are technology-led disruptions. The 2000 began the connected era. There are 100 billion intelligent connected devices. We have moved from a compute era, to a connected era, on to an intelligent era. Every device will be connected and talking to each other. Each car or vehicle will actually talk to each other. That’s where the real value will come from.

The number of dependent people is getting fewer. The middle class is rising. India loves to consume digital data, about 12GB per month. There are digital native innovators and startups. India is no. 3 in the global startup ecosystem. Pushing for innovation is critical for an Atmanirbhar Bharat. India also has world-class academics and research.

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There are business models innovations for scale, such as XaaS models, affordability and accessibility. AI is simply scratching the surface of the opportunity before us. We can show many more business models. All of the technologies will be driven by cloudification, AI and data analytics, network and connectivity, and technology manufacturing is prime. Apple, Samsung, etc., are investing a lot in India. We should drive value creation towards transforming India.

Technology and business model innovation are driving the standard of living. Business model innovation is happening on demand, gig economy, mobile e-commerce and transport-as-a-service. Technology convergence is happening across the Internet, smartphone, mobile web, cloud computing, EV and AI, autonomous vehicles, etc. Moore’s Law has been challenging us. It has been brought to you to innovate. There needs to be convergence of technologies, in line with the business models.

We need to have technology for all, and the India model. There should be solutions for India, from startups, innovators, researchers and enterprises. There should be scalable, distributed architecture, open platform that evolves with the ecosystem, and India-specific IPs and technology choices.

Electronics is a catalyst for strategic growth. There should be manufacturing, innovation and leadership. Manufacturing is critical. The opportunity lies by scaling with India platforms. We also need to accelerate the core technology development with global collaboration, deploy and scale with some platform-centric approach. Manufacturing in India, should actually be manufacturing for the world.

Earlier, Dr. Satya Gupta, chairman, IESA, invited Dr. C.N. Ashwath Narayan, Vinod Dham, Ms. Nivruti Rai for the lighting of the lamp.

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