Chip Designing Prospectus
With the boom in the Knowledge Process Outsource ( KPO ) sector the prospects in Chip Designing are very high. A large number of multinational companies have set up two chip designing units around Delhi, and a third one in Hyderabad. All of these units including the software center are 100 percent export units meeting the company’s global requirements.
With the entry of such companies and other companies a qualified person has very good chance to be employed in such companies. Salaries and remuneration paid are also one of the highest in the industry. Mr. Lalit Narayan Chaturvedi of Cadence Design Systems Ltd., an MNC in this field, says that a person can expect a package of 3.5 lakh to 4.0 lakh per annum in the entry level. With an experience of 2 – 3 Years he can rise to a level of 6 – 8 lakh per annum.
It is this huge salary package, which attracts young candidates to Chip Designing. According to estimates given by the Indian Semiconductor Association ( ISA ), over the next two years, chip design services, which currently have around 12,000 engineers, will require an additional 20,000 enginee In addition about 2,000 technicians and about 1,500 support staff are needed each year to prop the manufacturing sector.
The specialization field of an IC Designer makes him know each and every step of chip design right from architecture, logic design, circuit design, physical design, to testing and verification. The benefit derived from this is that during the search for job he has wider options to choose from. The architecture team is at the top of the ladder as they design the chip. The logic design team then implements the defined design in a high – level language such as Verilog or VHDL ( VHSIC Hardware Description Language ).
The circuit design team synthesizes the logic description into a circuit, producing a document referred to as a “netlist”. The physical design team takes the netlist and performs a “layout” of the chip, which is used to produce “masks” for the final manufacture of the chop. Then comes testing and verification. Fresher are naturally given the grunt – work of testing, But as you gain experience, you move up the ladder to the ultimate goal – designing or architecting a chip.
Opportunities for IC Design Engineers are especially strong in the areas of Digital Signal Processing ( DSP ) and Design Automation. Managing VLSI projects is one of the most complex engineering jobs to handle and commands higher remuneration package as compared to other assignments. Even so, fresher start off with a compensation package that is higher than that of any average IT Professional. Typically, fresh graduates will find it easier to get job in bigger companies like Intel, Sun and Wipro than at smaller companies.
Start – ups however, are looking for people who can contribute right away and don’t require much training. They are also good training grounds for gaining hands – on experience or honing your skills.
Chip design and fabrication involves a fast and continuous changing technology, which envisages need for constant technological and innovational upgradation. For example, the 0.18 – micron technology ( 2 – 5 million gates per chip ) has recently paved way for 0.13 – micron technology ( which petites upto 10 million gates per chip ). Now companies which have changed their technology co – tremendously with this change will find better clients.