The Indian EV sector is growing rapidly, with several companies rushing for a share of the market. At the same time, there is a robust renewed interest in developing a semiconductor sector, with government and private players coming together. An interesting point to note is that both these sectors are closely connected.
Among the leading companies striving to strengthen their presence in this area is eInfochips, an Indian product engineering and semiconductor design services provider with over two decades of experience. Speaking to Digitimes Asia recently, Nilesh Ranpura, Director of ASIC (Engineering) at the company, explained that their competence in EV applications makes them ideal for the market.
"The semiconductor industry is critical in India's electric vehicle (EV) market growth," Ranpura explained. "Within the automotive sector, EVs account for a significant portion of semiconductor demand in India. At eInfochips, we understand the importance of semiconductors in this space. We are already working with several semiconductor companies in the automotive and EV sectors and are well-positioned to design and develop semiconductor chips for various EV applications. Our focus is on delivering high-quality and scalable solutions to meet the increasing demand for EVs in India and beyond."
The company's expertise includes ADAS/ autonomous vehicles, HEMS/ EV charging, V2X, telematics, infotainment, and multimedia designed to meet the requirements of global OEMs. Its offerings range from core automotive product engineering, AUTOSAR-compliant ECU software development, and HMI design & testing to next-gen technology like edge computing, cloud, AI/ML, and data analytics.
Encouraged by India's semiconductor push
The Indian government's ambition to become a global leader in the semiconductor manufacturing sector has fueled optimism across the board. In December last year, the government declared a bold production-linked incentive (PLI) plan valued at Rs 76,000 crore (approximately $10 billion) to set up a semiconductor ecosystem in the country. The recent budget saw more announcements in this regard.
"eInfochips has been a part of the semiconductor industry for 20+ years and has built deep experience and expertise in this field," Ranpura said. "We provide front-end and back-end design up to GDSII (pre-manufacturing stage.) We believe that the push for local semiconductor manufacturing in India will positively impact the overall business ecosystem and provide numerous opportunities for growth."
As a result, the company is well-positioned to take up turn-key projects for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), original design manufacturers (ODMs), and fabless companies while supporting the overall manufacturing ecosystem. Ranpura added that they aim to play a supportive role in developing the semiconductor manufacturing sector and help drive growth in this vital industry.
Overcoming challenges and driving fabless growth
Ranpura said that they are excited about the renewed interest in chip manufacturing in India. But it is not without challenges.
"Certain challenges need to be addressed, such as ensuring the availability of clean rooms, a steady supply of raw materials, and nurturing a talented workforce," he said. "While India is not yet at the level of the east Asian countries in terms of chip manufacturing, it is important to remember that those countries were once in a similar position and went on to achieve remarkable success. The key is approaching the challenges with a positive outlook and finding innovative solutions to overcome them."
On the fabless side, India has seen considerable growth over the years, with most companies being MNCs from other countries. However, India's own fabless companies remain low, with only a few players like Saankhya Labs.
"One of the biggest challenges facing the Indian fabless industry today is creating a supportive ecosystem for startups in this space," Ranpura said. "Cultivating a culture of innovation and support for early-stage semiconductor startups and helping them to secure customers and grow their businesses are some of the steps needed to overcome this challenge."
Additionally, access to funding, talent, and technology are crucial factors that need to be addressed to realize the potential of the Indian fabless industry fully.
Market penetration strategies
eInfochip's biggest customers are Tier-2 semiconductor companies across multiple sectors, such as computing, communication, networking, data center, cloud, ai, mobility, healthcare, and transportation.
"The growing demand for our solutions is driven by the digital transformation happening in various industries, including education, transportation, healthcare, energy, environment, finance, supply chain, and industry 4.0," Ranpura said. "The digitization of these industries creates a need for advanced semiconductors and systems, and our solutions are designed to meet this demand."
The company's growth strategy for expanding business in India and abroad is centered around leveraging the rapidly growing ESDM (Electronics Semiconductor Design & Manufacturing) market. eInfochips plans to scale up its operations by amplifying delivery centers to key locations in India, such as Chennai, Hyderabad, NCR, and Indore. These are also locations where they expanded significantly in 2022.
"In terms of market penetration, we plan to tap into the growing demand for digitalization solutions across various industries," Ranpura said. "With our established market presence, robust delivery centers, and an exceptional engineering team, we are well-positioned to grow rapidly."