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Tuesday, 30 May 2006 12:49

Synopsys has made India its home away from home

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ImageFor Synopsys Inc., the $1 billion world leader in semiconductor design software, India has become the largest development centre outside of the US with its R&D team contributing to more than 15% of the total product development, says its CEO, Aart J de Geus.

“I have been coming here to Bangalore for the past 10 years and the change that I am seeing now is tremendous. Five years ago, we would not have thought that our development centre here would contribute as much as it is doing now.”

Out of the total 500 headcount in Synopsys spread over two centres in India – Hyderabad and Bangalore in central India -- 350 engineers now working on verification and IP codes are seamlessly involved with the US team in creating products for the global market.

Local competition and consumption are key drivers for innovation and creativity. “In the electronic design space, there has to be a lot of creativity and that can come by only when there is local competition and the need to create something different and innovative,” Geus explains.

When queried asked about why there are not any path breaking technologies coming out of India he said that the world over there has been one model that has been consistently instrumental for coming out with innovation and disruptive technologies.

“Take for instance, the Silicon Valley, and later Korea and China too – all have had strong incubation units centering round universities. These were helped either by venture capitalists or the government and products were commercialized. Once this model takes off in India, I am sure you would see more hardware products as well as next generation software coming out of India,” he added.

Speaking on the latest trend in the electronic design automation world, Geus (who had founded Synopsys in 1986 with a team of engineers from General Electric’s MicroElectronics Center in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina and later developed and marketed the synthesis technology developed by the team at GE), is quietly excited about the T-CAD (technology – computer aided design) wave that is going to take over the EDA space in the next three to five years.

The next generation T-CAD is all about going to the atomic level of a product design which means putting in more features and functionalities on a silicon wafer using 3D. “This is a challenge for all EDA players but we are working on it  and I believe this is the route chip design automation would take in future,” he pointed out.

Today, higher computing power, rich multimedia, lifelike graphics and superior communications features are all converging in consumer products – pressurizing engineers to create designs, that are especially sensitive to cost, power consumption and size. “When every single consumer product manufacturer is racing against time to come out with products faster than its competitor, you have to devise ways to take this on.”

Currently, the global EDA market is pegged at $4-5 billion while Indian market is around $200 million.

“But the most interesting aspect about India is this -- even if the global EDA market is not likely to show a quantum growth leap, the way the Indian semiconductor activity is picking up here in India – both in terms of MNC semiconductor companies (like Texas Instruments or Intel) or pure play design and services companies, we foresee a much higher growth rate in India,” says Pradip Dutta, president and managing director, Synopsys India.

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