In the National Policy on Electronics, it is proposed to achieve turnover of US$ 400 billion by 2020. It follows that there is a need to develop manpower that has expertise not only in VLSI design but also in System on Chip/ System Development. Thus, there is a need to initiate an integrated program entitled 'Special Manpower Development for Chips to System' which not only aims at developing specialized manpower in VLSI but also emphasizes on development of working prototypes of System on Chip/ System using mostly ASICs/ ICs designed in the program. This will, therefore, be a step towards bringing a 'SoC/System' development culture in academic institutions in the country.
The workforce in semiconductor design industry in India in 2009 was around 1,35,000. It grew at a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 20% and was more than 2,30,000 in 2012. The Semiconductor Design Industry was around US$ 10.6 Billion by 2012. However, if it is proposed to achieve turnover of US$ 55 Billion by 2020 in the area of VLSI, Chip Design and other Frontier Technical Areas, it will require a sizable skilled manpower to meet these targets. The Government is also promoting Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) in the country.
The main objectives of the Special Manpower Development Program for Chips to System Development are:
-Bring in a culture of System on Chip/ System designing by developing working prototypes with societal applications.
-Capacity building in the area of VLSI/ Microelectronics and Chips to System Development.
-Broaden the base of ASIC/ IC designing in the country.
-Broaden the R&D base of Microelectronics/ Chips to System Design through networked PhD program.
-Promote 'Knowledge Exchange Program'.
-Protection of Intellectual Property generated.
During the 9th Plan, MeitY (erstwhile DeitY) had initiated the Special Manpower Development Programme in VLSI Design and Related Software (SMDP-I) with a view to increase India's share of the Global VLSI Design market from 0.5% to 5% by the end of 9th Plan period by making available specialized manpower required by the Design Centers/ Industry. The project was initiated at nineteen institutions in 1998 with total outlay of Rs. 14.99 Crores and was completed in March 2005.
Seeing the impact of SMDP-I, MeitY (erstwhile DeitY) in the 10th Plan initiated SMDP-II with an aim to increase the global VLSI Design market share to around 15% by 2010. It also aimed to increase the availability of specialized manpower in the area of VLSI design so that the annual turnover from design houses could reach a figure of about Rs. 5000 Crores by the year 2010. SMDP-II was initiated with a total outlay of Rs. 49.98 Crores (over a period of 5 years) at 32 institutions. 7 Resource Centers (mainly IITs, IISc and CEERI) mentored 25 Participating Institutions (NITs and few others) for implementation of SMDP-II. SMDP-II concluded in the year 2013.
In year 2015, SMDP-C2SD was started with approximated budget outlay of Rs. 100 crores (for 5 years) with the aim of developing systems on chip. There are 60 participating institutes (28 more than SMDP-II) involved in this project, divided in 10 clusters with 5 to 6 participating institutes (PIs) under each cluster. Each cluster has a Resource Center (RC) leading the activities of that cluster. IIT Jodhpur is part of CSIR-CEERI Pilani cluster, developing chips to systems. Though, the primary objective is to build on the knowledge gained during SMDP-I and SMDP-II, the skilled manpower development is still in core.