IT INDUSTRY : The government of India is trying it's best to create indigenous chip-makers.

Information Technology can make a good claim to being India's biggest and most successful industry. Tech hubs such as Bengaluru and Hyderabad contribute more than 13% of GDP.

The country's computer-science graduates are lauded world-wide, the bosses of two of America's biggest tech firms, Satya Nadella of Microsoft and Sundar Pachai of Google, were born and educated in India.

It is also home to the fast, cheap Jio phone network which has made Indians the biggest consumers of mobile data.

Yet although many Indians work with computers, very few are employed in building them. All the components used to create Jio's network were imported. Bengaluru and Hyderabad live off dull business-process outsourcing back - office management.

Last year India imported $55 billion of electronic goods. It exported just $8 billion.

The fact that India's most celebrated industry depends entirely on imports in an era in which many countries are increasingly capricious about what goods they will allow to be exported makes some officials nervous.

So India is attempting to build its own chips.

It is starting from close to ZERO. The only factory in India that makes semiconductors - the processors at the heart of all electronic gadgets - is a government-run outfit in the city of Chandigarh.

It was built in 1983 in partnership with an American chip company that no longer exists.

The FAB, as chip-making factories are called [it is short for fabrication plant], is manged by the   Department of Space, that makes specialized chips for military use.

The Center of Advanced Computing [CDAC], another government body, has designed some chips of its own, but got foreigners to make them.

In 2017 the Indian government approved $45 million of funding for CDAC to design a new collection of chips that would be built on top of a set of open-source technology called RISC-V.

Unlike the chip designs of Intel or Arm, which are proprietary, RISC-V designs are available to anyone with an internet connection to download free charge, and to incorporate into their chip designs without a license.

This means any resulting chips will be be cheaper CDAC to produce, as they don't have to pay royalties to Western companies. Their production will also be harder for governments to disrupt.

CDAC has finished the design of its first RISC-V chip, and will soon start manufacturing it.

The honor and serving of the latest 'global operational research' on Chip Manufacturing and State-of-the-World, continues. The World Students Society thanks, 'The Economist'.


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