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DVCon India Is a Sign of the Times

By Thomas L. Anderson, Vice President of Marketing, Breker Verification Systems, Inc.

Last week’s article on DVCon India, http://eecatalog.com/chipdesign/2014/09/17/first-dvcon-india-just-a-week-away/, focused on the strong technical content for this first-time event, to be held this Thursday and Friday. The electronic system level (ESL) and design and verification (DV) tracks both feature talks by industry experts, in-depth tutorials, and papers from both users and EDA experts. With such a solid program, DVCon India should prove a valuable complement to the annual San Jose show.

The impressive sessions, and the decision by Accellera and the other sponsors to hold the show this year, are testaments to the status of the Indian electronics industry. Engineers in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Noida and elsewhere now design and verify chips as large and complex as those anywhere in the world. This was not the case 20 or 30 years ago and it’s interesting to look at how much India has changed in such a short time.

Or course, the quality of the Indian engineering education system and the talented engineers it produces have been known for decades. Anyone who ever worked for a large electronics company or lived in the melting pot of Silicon Valley probably met engineers from India on his or her first day. The list of American companies with Indian founders and leaders would be very long and very impressive.

Given the strong track record of Indian engineers, it was inevitable that multinational companies would set up locally to tap the talent at its source. Most industry accounts credit Texas Instruments’ 1985 R&D facility in Bangalore as the start of this movement. By the early 1990s, many American and European companies had significant design centers in India. In parallel, major domestic consulting firms such as Wipro and Tata expanded their technology offerings.

Until 2000 or so, the general industry consensus seemed to be that Indian-based teams were great at quality assurance (QA), design verification, development of design and verification IP, and perhaps some subsystem work. But it was generally the case that the most advanced chips and systems were developed elsewhere, which meant that ambitious Indian engineers still looked to North American and Western Europe for long-term employment.

To casual observers, this situation seemed to change overnight. As the new millennium dawned, a new era of investment and innovation swept the Indian electronics industry. Suddenly teams in India were developing complete SoCs and systems every bit as complex as those at other development sites. Some engineers still sought foreign positions, but it was no longer necessary to leave the country to be involved in leading-edge design and verification.

Given the large number of engineers who did leave India in the preceding decades, it was inevitable that some would choose to return for personal reasons, often to help care for aging parents. This brought a group of senior managers with overseas experience back to help advance the Indian industry even faster. Their combination of skills made then natural leaders for multinational design centers, although many have gone to found startups of their own.

So this is the context in which DVCon India is first being held. The Indian electronics industry is on a roll, with many reports showing 20% or greater growth over the last few years and predicting this to continue. The strength of the DVCon India program, with many contributions from local engineers, shows the level of work being performed in India today. To share in this excitement, visit http://dvcon-india.org/ and make plans to join this event.

About Thomas L. Anderson

Thomas L. Anderson is vice president of marketing at Breker Verification Systems, the SoC Verification Company. He has more than a dozen years of experience in EDA verification applications and marketing, having served in increasing responsible roles at Cadence, Synopsys and 0-In Design Automation. Before moving into the EDA industry, he was vice president of engineering at Virtual Chips. Anderson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Systems Engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

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