Google, Facebook, Amazon, Alibaba, Apple, Samsung and Microsoft are all speeding up chip development attempts.
Most poach talent from traditional chip developers like Intel, Qualcomm, Nvidia, and from each other.
Google is setting up a team for chip designing in Bengaluru, and for this function is the bulk of its 66 job openings in the town.
Qualcomm is now in India with 263 job openings (130 in Bengaluru, 107 in Hyderabad), second only to California at 458. Only China is another nation with a 3-digit figure.
Bengaluru is at the top with 403 at Intel’s city-wise job openings, followed by Hillsboro (Oregon, US) at 244.
Put it all together, and what we have is an image of something dramatically new happening in chip design, and India is at its center alongside the US. This is an attempt to integrate with silicon new digital technologies like AI, machine learning, and internet-of-things (IoT). The more tightly integrated software and hardware features, the better apps are running.
Apple has done it for iPhones and is doing it for other products increasingly now. Google does this for its pixel phones and gadgets that are controlled by AI. Amazon has developed an AI-focused chip and for its cloud infrastructure is working on one. The traditional chip giants are on the same route, at the danger of losing company from some of their largest clients.
Both the US and China have great talent for chip design. But US talent is just not enough for US firms, and it is for India that they typically seek the talent they need. Bipin Pendyala, member of the Hyderabad Software Enterprises Association (HYSEA), suggests that new innovations in chip design have prompted enormous demand for analog design, physical design, digital design, ASIC (application-specific embedded circuit) design and ASIC verification skills sets. “With these skillsets, electronics engineers command a premium of 20-30 percent over their IT sector software counterparts,” he claims.
DasaradhaGude, whose Hyderabad-based chip design company Ineda was purchased previously this year by Intel, claims that because of problems such as the trade war, China is falling out of favor worldwide. India is thus becoming a favorite location for chip design. “Every significant player in semiconductors looks at India, which is why the amount of employment in this room, presently around 40,000, is likely to double over the next five years,” he claims.