1.6 lakh employed in chip industry in India – Survey

India, which cannot manufacture even a single electronic chip, has one of the world’s largest chip-related industry, according to the latest study by the Indian Semiconductor Association.

The chip-related industry is worth around $7.5 billion and will reach $10.2 billion in two years, said the Association in the first of its kind estimate of India’s semiconductor industry.

The Indian semiconductor design industry employed workforce strength of 160,000 in 2010. Of this the largest number of jobs, 82%, is in the embedded software — software that is used in appliances like TV, refrigerators, cars etc..

Unlike other countries, India does not have even a single facility to manufacture chips — such as those used in computers, pen-drives, phones etc.. In comparison, China has several facilities where chips are manufactured.

However, India is more advanced than China when it comes to designing the chips, the survey found. Most multinational chip makers, including Intel, AMD and TI have a large part of their chip design done by Indian engineers in India.

India’s semiconductor industry, therefore, comprises primarily of VLSI [small-scale chip] design, embedded software development and hardware and board design.

The survey also found that all top 10 global fabless [pure design] companies and the top 25 semiconductor companies have operations in India.

“India ranks in the top few countries in the world on the availability of relevant talent plus colleges and the ability for high end design companies to scale up. If we are able to fix the issues of sector specific skills and quality, India could become a world leader in this space,” said Poornima Shenoy, ISA President said.