Post subject: if you are an analog designer, don't worry about
outsourcing Posted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 9:43 am
Lack of analog skills cramping Indian design services
(09/16/2005 9:06 AM EDT)
BANGALORE, India — India lacks experienced chip
designers to meet the needs of its growing design services business,
and the outlook is bleaker for analog chip design skills.
the estimated 10,000 to 12,000 design engineers in India, there are
only about 400 analog designers with a minimum of three years experience,
according to the India Semiconductor Association (ISA).
institutes and government-owned research centers are the current, though
limited, source of analog skills. The alternative is "to pay more and
poach experienced analog designers from other companies," said Sunil
Sherlekar, head of embedded systems with Tata Consultancy Services,
"Analog designers are just not there, and it is a
very serious problem. Six-month courses may help but analog design cannot
be taught the way digital design can be as it needs more practice. How
can we create integrated designs if there aren't enough analog designers
available?" Sherlekar asked.
ISA said more emphasis is needed
on opportunities for analog designers and the challenges of doing analog
"We need to give more visibility to analog skills, which
in turn make more good engineers take up analog design as their preferred
area of work," added ISA President Poornima Shenoy.
firms here now hire engineering students and train them in-house, a
costly but necessary process. "We hire from the Indian Institutes of
Technology, the National Institutes of Engineering and train them internally,"
said S. Karthik, managing director, India Product Development Center,
Analog Devices India Pvt. Ltd.
The shortage has become so acute
that that attracting experienced analog engineers back from the U.S.
is now an option. Like India, China and Taiwan also lack sufficent analog
talent, Shenoy said.
The heavy emphasis here on software development
also contibutes to the analog gap. "Even within hardware, digital design
is emphasized as it is more glamorous and has more job openings," said
Karthik. A short-term solution is certificate courses, but long-term
engagement with universities, improving faculty and a curriculum that
is more design-oriented are needed to overcome the deficiency, he added.