Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi’s vision of turning India into a thriving semiconductor hub has gotten another strong boost with multiple Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) signed between the Government, leading semiconductor industry players and industry associations.
Various design and co-development pacts were announced at SemiconIndia 2022. Recently India announced the Digital India RISC (DIR-V) Programme to develop siliconize and create design wins for the future around SHAKTI and VEGA RISC-V Processors.
The launch of the Digital India RISC-V (DIR-V) programme was announced on 27th April 2022 by the government of India with the aim of creating microprocessors for the country’s and the world’s future and to achieve industry-grade commercial silicon and design for the next generation of microprocessors by the month of December 2023.
DIR-V Programme with Prof. Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras as Chief Architect and Krishna Kumar Rao as Programme Manager has been initiated with a vision to make India not only a RISC-V Talent Hub for the World but also a supplier of DIR-V solutions for Servers, Mobile devices, Automotive, IoT & Microcontrollers across the globe.
DIR-V has announced five MoUs for the use of indigenously developed RISC-V Processors -SHAKTI and VEGA which include MoU between SONY India and DIR-V SHAKTI Processor (IIT Madras) for the Systems/Products developed by SONY, an MoU between ISRO Inertial Systems Unit (IISU), Thiruvananthapuram and DIR-V SHAKTI Processor (IIT Madras) for development of high-performance SoCs (System on Chip) and for Fault-Tolerant Computer Systems, MoU between Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR), Department of Atomic Energy and DIR-V SHAKTI Processor (IIT Madras) for the Systems/Products developed by IGCAR, MoU between Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and DIR-V VEGA Processor (C-DAC) for Rudra Server board, Cyber security, and Language Solutions and MoU between Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT) and DIR-V VEGA Processor (C-DAC) for the 4G/5G, Broadband, IoT/ M2M solutions
MoU for building core competence
Further, an intent of MoU was announced between IISc Bangalore and SEMI, USA for building core competence of quantum technologies – multi-qubit superconducting quantum processors, photonic processors, diamond-based magnetometers, lab-level quantum-secured communication networks etc.
SEMI, USA and India Electronics & Semiconductor Association (IESA) also announced an MoU for exploring the potential for growth of the Electronics and Semiconductor industry in India and thereby bring global major players in semiconductors to leverage the opportunities for catalyzing the semiconductor ecosystem in India. IESA also released an industry report – India Semiconductor Market Demand.
“There has been an exponential growth in electronics production in India. The sector has grown to fulfil domestic demand and export globally. This is fuelling the demand for microprocessors and chips. The time is ripe for India to rise and take up this challenge head-on,” said Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Electronics & Information Technology and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship.
Chandrasekhar further added, “Our startup ecosystem is replete with some of the best minds in technology and I am confident that our startups will drive the next wave of innovation, leading India’s digital economy. Our design and innovation ecosystem is robust and thriving and I am certain our next wave of unicorns will be from this sector.”
The second day of the conference also had invigorating sessions and discussions with global and Indian technocrats. Siva Sivaram, President – Western Digital addressed a rapt audience and spoke on India’s resilience to Semiconductor Supply Chain. Raja Koduri, Chief Architect and Senior Vice President, Intel’s IAGS division delivered a talk on “From Angstroms to Zetta-scale: Silicon, Systems and Software in India”.
The session covered the real potential in AI, System Design & middleware for Indian Startups. Akarsh Hebbar, MD, Avanstrate delivered a session on Indian Opportunities in Integrated Semiconductor and Display. He emphasised the role of semiconductor sector given the rise in demand and projected growth in the sector in the coming years. Upcoming technologies such as 5G will further boost demand and this sets up India perfectly to build an ecosystem that can cater to local demand and also reach Indian chips and microprocessors across the globe.