Sunday, March 15, 2009

SemiconWorld -- social networking site for semicon professionals

Friends, I have recently started a small social networking site -- SemiconWorld -- on Ning. SemiconWorld will aim to connect semiconductor and electronics professionals, and facilitate discussions on key business and other industry issues.

Ever since I started this blog, I have made several friends from all over the world! Most of them have gone on to have long discussions with me on semiconductors and electronics. So, when I looked around on the Internet, I found that there weren't many social networking sites for semiconductor and electronics professionals. Hence, I thought of developing one.

Even as I have been developing this site, some good friends, such as Uma Mahesh Sir, Jo Kuo, Ms Poornima Shenoy of ISA, Sandip Dhawan, Alfred Cheng, Rahul Prabhakar, Ian Shelley, Priyanka Kalia, Kiran Kumar and Tiffany Yeh, have already joined the SemiconWorld network. A very warm thanks to all of you, folks!

It is always good to hear the perspectives and perceptions of others. That's how I have tried to learn about the various technologies we read about all the time! And, I am still learning! It is my sincere hope and wish that my friends join me and we can have great and very useful discussions on various topics and issues related to these high-tech industries.

Why did I choose Ning for such a site? Well, I happen to be a member of the TelecomYou network on Ning - a social networking site for telecom professionals. There, I found members participating in discussions and friendly chats, post blogs about various things, and even look for jobs! I don't know how to add jobs to this site, but if someone can lead me to a site, which can allow me to post a job widget, I'd be glad to do so.

For those interested in events, Future Horizon's International Electronics Forum (IEF) 2009, will be held from May 6 to May 8, 2009, in Geneva, Switzerland. I've added a link to event, in case you wish to look that up.

I have also provided several key industry links for those keen on looking up information related to semiconductors, electronics and technologies. I can add a whole lot of stuff on to this page. Maybe, all that will happen over a period of time. Till then, enjoy networking, dear friends! Hope you like SemiconWorld!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Time for Indian semicon to step up! Yes or No?

I was really happy to see a comment on my blog post: What India now offers to the global semicon industry, left by Tom Morrow, author of the SEMISpice blog, and Vice President of Global Expositions and Marketing, SEMI. Thanks for visiting and commenting, Tom.

You said: Your description of India's Special Incentives Package Schemes for setting up and operating semiconductor fabrication as a "debacle" is off the mark. Is it really wise for the country to join an already crowded semiconductor manufacturing ecosystem when it can apply its scarce resources to join 30-50 year boom in solar, something the country desperately needs for both domestic and export development?"

"The move to solar is the right one. India had nine manufacturers of solar cells and about twice as many module makers. Most of these proposals have been in response to the Government’s announcement of a Special Incentives Package Scheme under the 2007 Semiconductor Policy.

"About 70 percent of India’s solar cell and PV module production has been exported. This is likely to change in the near future as government policy provides the push for PV deployment and following the recent release of guidelines for grid connected solar generation. Several states in India, including Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Punjab, Rajasthan and West Bengal have also announced their own solar policies, plans and incentive packages in recent months.

"ISA and SEMI has recognized the great opportunities in solar and have taken supportive leadership positions. While both organizations would love to see a domestic semi fab industry emerge in India, given the overcapcity in the industry today, the transition to solar has been swift, thoughtful, and right on the mark."

First up, Tom, I did not formulate SIPS or the Indian semicon policy! I too thought India would soon build a wafer IC fab! Several delegations have visited India, in the past, with companies hoping to work with these so-called wafer IC fabs in India. I am merely a small time blogger, offering my opinions. And I love my country, no less than any other Indian!

Perhaps, you should see some of the press these 'so-called fabs' received! All the talk of a wafer IC fab only died down with SemIndia late last year!

If folks read my posts carefully, I've discussed how India has been doing fine before the semicon policy and post the policy, fab or no fab! Some knowledgeable experts have even said that fabless India shines brightly! It has shone before, and continues to do so!

Neither do I have anything against solar and the solar industry! It is a great way to trigger off manufacturing in India. Did I say otherwise?

I work closely with ISA, in fact, was present, when ISA was born, back in October 2004, and also know Sathya Prasad at SEMI India quite well. It's a great initiative that's going on in solar in this country. So, yes, the move to solar is a very correct one!

Still on wafer IC fabs, one expert even goes on to say that India could look at skipping the current node of technology and make an entry into the one that will be prevalent after few years.

However, my focus is essentially on semiconductor manufacturing! As many industry experts never fail to say at conferences, India needs to move up the semicon value chain! We need more semicon product start-ups!! And, that's not happening fast enough!

Perhaps, we can just discard all of these ideas and go on being a leading player in design services (which, we already are), a much easier option.

I would still go with what Malcolm Penn of Future Horizons' says, that India needs to re-think its semiconductor strategy! It cannot survive on chip design alone!

Even the recently held ISA Vision Summit had a session: Indian design influence: Ideas to volume! Speakers discussed how India should seize opportunities, especially in this downturn, and that, it is time for the Indian semiconductor industry to step up, put the right innovations in place and grow.

I am very interested in hosting an event in India on this topic -- Time for India to step up: Put right innovations in place and grow! However, as I said, I am merely a small time blogger, trying to make a living. I hope I can find some support to host such an event at least once in India.

I am simply delighted that my post has drawn the interest of such a senior person at SEMI. Thank you, sir!