Bangalore, Oct 29: Bangalore city, which has emerged as the Silicon Valley of the country with scores of major global software giants setting up offshore entities here, is now turning into a hub of chip design and Intellectual Property product development.
Though the city housed a number of world IT majors, it was the small and medium sized IT companies, both indigenous and multinational, that have emerged as the key players in developing semiconductor designs and IP products. Bangalore had over 1,500 small and medium IT enterprises, many of which were involved in chip design development. They have produced hundreds of IPs both in semiconductor design and a host of other IT products.
According to top officials of the city-based SMEs that have hundreds of IPs under their belt, as showcased in the IP Zone in the ongoing IT exposition 'Bangalore IT.in', the milieu in the high-tech city was conducive for developing exclusive technologies.
Mr Siva Doraiswamy, Analog Designer of the US-based Rambus Chip Technologies, told UNI that ''some sort of 'Eureka' has happened to India in general and Bangalore in particular. There is an onset of innovation in this country. This is because of the mind power that has decided not to go abroad and increasing cases of reverse brain drain that has seen thousands of Indians, who went to the US during the last two decades, coming back.''
He said ''Indians are dominating in semiconductor design development. India is producing a bigger share in IP products in semiconductors. Even in those IPs produced outside the country, it is the Indian engineers who are producing it.''
In view of the great strides the Indian companies have made in chip design development and IP products, the Karnataka Government, hosting Bangalore IT.in, was showcasing a representative set of companies developing IP in India, particularly in Bangalore. As part of the initiative, an exclusive area had been declared as 'IP Zone'. ''The IP Zone is an effort to highlight the fact that India is involved not only in delivering IT services, but also creating IP.
The theme of the IP Zone is 'Innovative India' and on display are products developed by these companies. Visitors to IP Zone can see how these products are used in daily life,'' Karnataka IT, BT and Science and Technology Secretary M N Vidyashankar said.
STPI Director (Bangalore and Hyderabad) B V Naidu said ''while a lot is written about the IT companies in India and Bangalore, there is another side to our IT story -- the IP creation. These companies, both Indian and multinational, are engaged in developing and commercialising IP in India. IP Zone is an initiative in line with our ongoing efforts to create a supportive ecosystem within India for the growth of high technology companies developing products and IP.'' Rambus Managing Director Prakash Bare said the IPs developed in India were increasingly gaining acceptance world over. Even countries like Japan, which always remained rigid in recognising high technology developed in third world, was accepting Indian chip designs. Rambus, which had set up its second base in the city, was a major in development of high performance memory interface products.
He said the biggest advantage the city could boast of was talent availability. The city was attracting the cream of highly educated IT talent. This had helped SMEs to achieve high level of chip design development. ''Chips sell because of sofware. The city being a hub of software development, chip designing firms will automatically come here to set up shop.''
Mr Ochintya Sharma, Vice-President (Engineering) of SiRF, which developed newer technologies in GPS, Wireless and Mobile TV, said the explosion in the number of small companies in Bangalore was due to entrepreneural zeal that was being seen in the country lately. ''Improving financial health among the young entrepreneurs is resulting in people taking risks by expoloring new businesses. We are also seeing global talent coming back to India and this knowledge is being put to good use with semiconductor industry being the beneficiary,'' he added.
GPS developer XORA Managing Director Promod Jajoo said Indian engineers developing complex technology were gaining invaluable experience due to the entry of world technology majors. ''The depth of technological knowledge was becoming deeper. This is one of the reasons why Indian companies are producing more IPs,'' he opined.
Mr Uday Birje, Country Manager and Vice-President (India and ASEAN), NetDevices Networks, said it was easy to put in a team of highly talented technical minds in Bangalore. ''We, being a US-based company, decided to open a subsidiary here and to the amazement of our bosses back in the US, we could put in a team of 50 engineers within a quarter. This team was responsible in producing best products at one third of the cost compared to what we are spending in the US. We must maintain this edge when it comes to development of chip-based technologies,'' he added.