MosChip's strategic initiatives in India's rising semiconductor market: acquisitions, collaborations, and innovations

Prasanth Aby Thomas, DIGITIMES, Bangalore 0

Srinivasa Kakumanu, Executive VP, Semiconductor Business, MosChip. Credit: MosChip

India's push for increased domestic production of semiconductors has caught the attention of numerous prominent design service companies, who anticipate a potential boost in demand. MosChip, a leading player in the sector, is among those prepared to respond to this opportunity. In a recent dialogue with Digitimes Asia, Srinivasa Kakumanu, the Executive Vice President of the Semiconductor Business Unit at MosChip, shared the company's plans to focus on specific domains, such as embedded software and AI/ML.

"MosChip is currently in the process of acquiring Softnautics, a successful California-based company specializing in Embedded Software and AI/ML," Kakumanu said. "These are precisely the areas where MosChip aims to strengthen its presence and expertise. The acquisition is currently underway and is expected to be completed by the end of this year, although the exact timeline may vary."

Given the intricate ecosystem and substantial investments involved in the semiconductor industry, establishing partnerships and fostering collaborations are indeed indispensable. MosChip already boasts a robust portfolio of such alliances.

"MosChip has established partnerships with various companies, including CEVA and Secure-IC, to leverage their unique expertise and enhance the value of our products and services," Kakumanu said. "These strategic collaborations not only contribute to the growth of MosChip but also enable our partners to expand their market presence worldwide, gaining increased traction in their respective domains."

Efforts to meet the demand

MosChip has also taken several other steps that complement its strengths and help forge ahead in the competitive environment.

Surge in design support requirements: MosChip has found a surge in the design services and support to Indian semiconductor manufacturers, helping them develop and optimize their semiconductor designs. This also includes areas such as system-on-chip (SoC) design, ASIC design, PCB layout, and verification services.

IP development: The company is focused on developing custom intellectual property (IP) cores that are essential building blocks for semiconductor designs. By creating and licensing their IP, they can enable Indian semiconductor manufacturers to accelerate their product development cycles and reduce time-to-market.

Training and skill development: With the surge in semiconductor manufacturing, there may be a need for skilled professionals in India. MosChip Institute of Silicon Systems (M-ISS: A Wholly owned Subsidiary of MosChip) for more than a decade has been contributing to the ecosystem by offering training programs and skill development initiatives, ensuring a pool of competent engineers who are supporting the industry's growth.

About India's semiconductor plans

Kakumanu believes that the Indian government's push for local semiconductor manufacturing is a significant step towards enhancing the nation's technological capabilities and reducing dependence on imports. This initiative aligns with the company's long-term vision of contributing to India's self-reliance in the semiconductor industry.

"Firstly, it enables us to cater to the increasing demand for semiconductor chips in the domestic market," Kakumanu said. "By manufacturing locally, we can offer more customized solutions, quicker turnaround times, and greater support to customers not just in India but for the world."

Additionally, this initiative encourages investment in research and development, which can lead to technological advancements within the Indian semiconductor ecosystem. MosChip aims to leverage this environment by focusing on innovation and developing cutting-edge technologies that address the unique needs of the Indian market.

MosChip recently participated in the government's DLI Scheme for its upcoming RISC-V processor for Smart Energy Meter, which no other company in the market has.

Competitive in a competing market

Maintaining an edge in technology and innovation is a top priority for a company like MosChip. The semiconductor industry is highly competitive, and the government's push for local manufacturing will further intensify the competition. To address this, MosChip has formulated strategic initiatives focused on research and development and technology advancements.

"MosChip always emphasizes the products that should come with a USP," Kakumanu said. "For example, providing customers with the customization IP is one of the USPs that very few companies can do & also the existing Smart Meter is now being upgraded with the latest RISC-V based processors for better performance."

Attracting and retaining talent

Talent acquisition, development, and retention are critical aspects of MosChip's success, particularly in a more competitive environment with an increased focus on the semiconductor industry. In this regard, the company has a multi-pronged approach to address the challenges.

"Firstly, we focus on building a strong company culture that fosters innovation, collaboration, and professional growth," Kakumanu said. "Additionally, MosChip places a strong emphasis on continuous learning and development programs for our employees. We provide opportunities for training, upskilling, and knowledge sharing, both internally and through external resources. By investing in the professional growth of our team, we ensure that they remain at the forefront of technological advancements and can contribute effectively to our innovation-driven culture."

Overall, MosChip is committed to creating a stimulating and rewarding environment for talent to thrive, ensuring that they have the skilled workforce needed to meet the demands of the semiconductor industry.