2015 has seen an unprecedented wave of consolidation, globally and in India. From a business perspective, the primary motivation is to drive long-term growth, for which the merged companies will need to invest in R&D to drive innovation.
India has also seen mergers and acquisitions (M&A) of electronics and semiconductor design services companies in 2015. This point to the rising relevance of such services in the semiconductor ecosystem; the mergers have created large groups with much more financial strength, market reach and broader offerings and will create new and larger opportunities for the design services companies based out of India.
Globally, in addition to the Internet of Things (IOT), some trends that we are seeing and will continue to mature and flourish in 2016 and beyond are:
- Increasingly sophisticated designs coming directly from system companies serving many end-applications including consumer electronics, enterprise cloud/data centers, IoT, and automotive. This is a big challenge for both hardware and software development. Traditionally software is written and tested only once the silicon is taped out. Now, thanks to shorter time to market windows, optimization and testing of software needs to be done in parallel to hardware development, necessitating hardware/software co-verification.
- System Design Enablement. This term describes a focus on whole systems or end products including chips, packages, boards, embedded software, and mechanical components. A perfect example is a car, which is a “package” of independent systems – functional safety, security systems, ADAS, infotainment, and more.
- Vertical markets.EDA has until now been “horizontal,” providing the same solution for all market segments. Going forward, markets like consumer, automotive, and industrial will have differing needs and will need optimized tools and IP.
From the India perspective, we are still waiting for manufacturing and startup activity to really take off. As I have said, Indian electronics entrepreneurs now have a window of opportunity to develop products for the world. In addition, there is still no “killer app” for the IOT. These are all exciting opportunities for electronics system design and manufacturing (ESDM) startups. I hope that 2016 sees an uptick in the number of entrepreneurs who take advantage of the Government incentives in the ESDM space.