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  IESA WINWire July 16 - July 22, 2016 for Subscription click here  
11th Anniversary

India gets in to the IOT bus
Source: EE Herald; July 17, 2016

After missing electronics manufacturing opportunity bus in 90s, India trying hard now to enter the second electronics system design and Manufacturing (ESDM) opportunity, which is now possible. The modern electronics manufacturing is highly related to the IOT technology. In the fast emerging IOT space, India do not want to miss the opportunity. India gets inside the IOT bus by taking some good initiatives so that both the start-ups and well-established companies can leverage to cater to the needs of domestic market as well as export. Though fragmented and highly related to every sector of industry including agriculture, IOT is an opportunity for Indian IT as well as electronics entrepreneurs. The IOT market demands a lot of embedded software and hardware knowledge, where Indian industry has some strength. One of the significant indicator of India's entry into IoT market opportunity is, The initiative by the industry body NASSCOM with the support of Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEITY), Education and Research Network (ERNET) in starting a India’s first Centre of Excellence - Internet of Things (CoE- IoT) at the NASSCOM Startups Warehouse in Bengaluru. The Centre of excellence is also supported by state government of Karnataka. The CoE intent to leverage IT strengths and creating a new age industry with the support of IoT based ideas.

Mobile norm counters Make in India
Source: The Telegraph; July 17, 2016

Mobile handset vendors have urged the finance ministry to review the new telecom equipment import norms that have increased the cost of manufacturing cell phones in the country, defeating the Narendra Modi-government's "Make in India" mission. In letters to revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia and secretary in the department of electronics & information technology Aruna Sharma, the Indian Cellular Association (ICA) has sought a rollback of the import norms that make it mandatory for companies to provide surety-backed bank guarantees to get duty concessions.

"These issues are suffocating the potential of the manufacturers to optimise their manufacturing capacity,"

ICA national president Pankaj Mohindroo said.

"Given the limited number of producers, each with substantial capital assets, additional check of surety serves little purpose.Handset makers have also said that the change in customs rule has led to an increase in transaction and compliance costs. The surety condition for the import of parts covers around 27 per cent of the input value, which means around Rs 10,000 crore of working capital gets locked up with an interest cost of Rs 1,000 crore per month, besides administrative costs of compliance.

“The amendment to replace bank guarantee with surety is also not working as the industry has to fall back on guarantees owing to lack of resources for surety, especially in case of FDI companies,” Mohindroo said.

“The result is that the transaction and compliance cost has actually increased instead of coming down.”

Infineon to acquire Cree’s Wolfspeed for 850 Million
Source: EE Herald; July 17, 2016

Infineon further strengthens it's capability in widebandgap/compound power and RF semiconductor market by agreeing to acquire Wolfspeed, the power and RF division of Cree by paying around US$ 850 million. The deal also includes the related SiC wafer substrate business for power and RF power. Infineon had acquired discrete power semiconductor company International Rectifier in 2014.

Dr. Reinhard Ploss, CEO of Infineon Technologies AG, says

"With Wolfspeed we will become number one in SiC-based power semiconductors. We also want to become number one in RF power”

Chuck Swoboda, Cree Chairman and CEO, says “we believe that Wolfspeed will now be able to more aggressively commercialize its unique silicon carbide and gallium nitride technology as part of Infineon.”

North Carolina, US based Wolfspeed offers SiC-based power and GaN-on-SiC-based RF power solutions. This also includes the related core competencies in wafer substrate manufacturing for SiC, and for SiC with a monocrystalline GaN layer for RF power applications. Wolfspeed with 550 skilled staff owns approximately 2K patents and patent applications.

MAIT joins hands with NIELIT on e-waste management
Source: VoicenData; July 17, 2016

Manufacturers’ Association for Information Technology (MAIT), the apex body representing ICT industry today signed an MoU with National Institute of Electronics & Information Technology (NIELIT) for capacity building of government offices in managing their e-waste. The MoU was signed by Dr. Ashwini Kumar Sharma, Director General, NIELIT and Mr. Anwar Shirpurwala, Executive Director, MAIT in the presence of Dr. Debashis Dutta, Scientist ‘G’ and Group Coordinator, Deity. As per industry estimates, an estimated 1.8 million tonnes of e-waste is generated in the country every year, and is likely to grow to 5.2 million tonnes by 2020 at the predicted annual compounded growth of 30 percent. Government is one of the bulk consumers of electrical, electronics and IT equipment so it is one of the major stakeholders responsible for generation of e-waste.

The MAIT-NIELIT ‘Train-the-Trainer’ e-Waste Management Program aims to create awareness and ensure proper disposal of e- waste by the government.

In his keynote address Dr. Ashwini Kumar Sharma, Director General, NIELIT said,

“Training of government officials is important for us to become aware of the right way to dispose of e-waste.”

VLSI design automation software loop faster and faster for any last bug
Source: EE Herald; July 17, 2016

The major cause of road accidents is human error, that's the main reason for the growth of advanced driver assistance systems(ADAS) and self driving vehicle technology. Whether it is driver assistance systems or self driving vehicle, it's the VLSI semiconductor chips, sensors and the loaded embedded software which takes over the tasks from human driver. In VLSI chip design process flow there is lesser chance of human error because of level of design automation software employment, and its automation, automation and automation and ever continuing automation… to design the chip and also to test the chip to make compliant with standards such as ISO 26262. At this year's 17th annual Synopsys User’s Group (SNUG) conference held in India the focus is further and further on automation, so that you can design very complex but yet robust and reliable semiconductor VLSI chips to automate car/vehicle driving.

If you look at the semiconductor market, most of the market analysts have forecasted same or lesser global semiconductor revenue growth in year 2016 compared to 2015. This is due to negative growth in PC market and very little growth in wireless/smart phone market. It's the automotive electronics market which has potential to provide double-digit growth to semiconductor companies.

Government of India Invites Tesla to Make in India
Source: NDTV; July 17, 2016

The Government of India has invited Tesla Motors to make India its manufacturing hub for Asian markets. Now Tesla, which is well known for making brilliant electric cars, has always had its eye on entering the Indian market, however, the automobile market here has not yet matured and hence electric cars do not get a lot of attention. Mind you, with the FAME incentive from the government, the price of Hybrid and electric cars has come down but still there remains the problem of infrastructure. The folks at Tesla Motors had already told us that the next generation low-cost sustainable electric car - the Model-3 will come to India but the timeline hasn't been decided upon yet. But after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit and now Union Road and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari heading to its plant, there seems to be a silver lining to this story. In fact, Gadkari has gone one step ahead and asked the company to outline its proposals for entry into the Indian market. Gadkari offered to promote joint ventures between the global leaders in electric car manufacturing and the Indian automobile companies with a view to introducing pollution-free road transport in India, especially commercial and public motor vehicles. In fact Tesla senior executives were requested to make India its Asia manufacturing hub and offered land near major Indian ports to facilitate export of their vehicles to South and South East Asian countries.

Govt considering venture capital fund to invest in small defence firms
Source: Mint; July 18, 2016

India is evaluating an innovative model to allow foreign arms manufacturers to meet complex local sourcing obligations when striking a major deal with the world’s sixth biggest military spender.

The defence ministry’s idea is to float a venture capital (VC) fund that will infuse foreign funds into small defence firms in India.

Offsets are a provision in India’s defence procurement procedure that requires any foreign arms manufacturer securing an order worth more than Rs.2,000 crore to source components worth 30% of the value of the order from Indian makers.

The defence ministry’s idea is that original equipment manufacturers or OEMs, such as Dassault Aviation SA of France and Lockheed Martin Corp. of the US, will have more channels available for the discharging of their offset obligations.

“With the intent of expanding the avenues for offset discharge, there is a thought process that OEMs could be allowed to discharge part of their offset obligations through investments in the ministry of defence approved VC funds which in turn would invest in micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in defence equipment manufacturing or research and development (R&D),”

the defence ministry said in a note reviewed by Mint.

Russia ready to “Make in India”
Source: Russia & India report; July 18, 2016

Yekaterinburg hosted INNOPROM, an international exhibition of industry and innovations, between July 10 and 14, the seventh such exhibition and the first one with such large-scale Indian participation.

A total of 638 companies from 17 countries attended the exhibition. The Indian representation was the largest, because it was the INNOPROM partner country this year. India’s delegation included members of the government, the Engineering Exports Promotion Council (EEPC India), the Association of Machine Tool India (AMTI), the Indian Embassy in Russia, and representatives of five leading industrial states (Maharashtra, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh). Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, headed the Indian delegation.

As part of their international exposure 112 companies showcased their products. The largest stands belonged to the SUN Group, SRB-International, Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd, Heavy Engineering Corporation Ltd, Power Grid Corporation of India and National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC). 70% of the exhibitors were small and medium-sized enterprises.

BATL poised for Rs 50 crore turnover, expects Rs 300 crore production orders
Source: The Times of India; July 18, 2016

Close on the heels of BrahMos Aerospace Thiruvananthapuram Limited (BATL)'s plan to increase its annual turnover by Rs 50 crore, Union defence secretary G Mohan Kumar has assured BATL of all support towards increased participation in defence-related manufacturing with foreign vendors.

With Isro's plan to increase its number of space launches from 12 to 18 this year, BATL being the Tier 1 supplier expects production orders worth Rs 300 crore.

In his latest visit to BATL here on Saturday, Union defence secretary G Mohan Kumar, IAS, has examined the contract orders received by BATL and assured of all possible central support to increase its participation in defence related manufacturing with foreign tie-ups. Now, foreign vendors are looking for reliable Indian manufacturers and BATL has the potential, he said.

BATL managing director Vice Admiral Raman Prabhath AVSM, VSM (retired, told TOI that the Union defence secretary G Mohan Kumar had made a normal visit to examine BATL's contracts and to assess its potential to increase its defence manufacturing.

Courses soon to train 8 lakh youths
Source: Orissa Post; July 19, 2016

With a view to achieving its target to create eight lakh skilled youths in three years, the state government Monday directed all the departments concerned to workout medium and long-term courses in line with National Skill Quality Framework (NSQF). Chairing a high-level meeting at the Secretariat here, Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi asked the departments implementing Skill Development Programmes (SDP) in the state to prepare the courses in line with NSQF. The departments concerned are: skill development and technical education, agriculture, panchayati raj, SC&ST development, housing and urban development, textiles, commerce and transport, fisheries & animal resources development, MSME and electronics and information technology. Padhi directed the departments to come up with their updated skill development action plans within 10 days keeping in view the state’s target of skilling eight lakh youths in coming three years. He advised the officials to indicate the required budget outlay and strategy to ensure quality in their action plans. The main objective of implementation of NSQF is to provide competency-based skill training to the youths so that they can easily get jobs. Besides, the Centre has also said that it would not provide funds if the NSQF is not implemented, sources said.

‘Incubator hubs soon to spur Start-up India’
Source: The Hindu; July 19, 2016

With its Start-up Policy having drawn only lukewarm response so far, the government is planning a twin-pronged approach to spur the initiative. Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told The Hindu that in places having no leading centres such as the IITs, the IIMs, or other renowned institutes, colleges would be clubbed to form an incubator hub.

“Though the existing, big centres like IITs and major science and technology centres have all been given ‘incubator’ status, there is demand for more,” she said.

The second aspect was to ensure that incubators did not reject applications from entrepreneurs, and instead provided them all the hand-holding they needed. Incubators plagued by staff-shortage that impacted their ability to handle numerous applications would be asked to co-opt outside experts quickly so that no applicant was denied the expertise required to develop and commercialise their ventures, the Minister said.

To avail of benefits under the start-up policy, entities have to apply to the government to be recognised as a start-up. One of the accepted supporting documents for this is a recommendation letter from a government-recognised incubator.

Farming to go hi-tech: Drones will monitor crop and soil health in India soon
Source: India Today; July 19, 2016

This capability could be used for the benefit of farming sector at regional or local scale for assessing land and crop health; extent, type and severity of damage besides issuing forewarning, post-event management and settlement of compensation under crop insurance schemes. The day is not far when drones would be seen over agricultural fields, not for security, but to monitor crop and soil health. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) through the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) under a collaborative research project is developing indigenous prototype for drone based crop and soil health monitoring system using Hyperspectral Remote Sensing (HRS) sensors. This technology could also be integrated with satellite-based technologies for large scale applications.

The project entitled "SENSAGRI: Sensor based Smart Agriculture" is involving six partner institutes (Agriculture & IT) to be funded by Information Technology Research Academy (ITRA), Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEITY), Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) and ICAR.

"Drone technology based Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) has ability for smooth scouting over farm fields, gathering precise information and transmitting the data on real time basis," Sudarshan Bhagat, Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare told Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

West Bengal IT Department starts construction of Electronics Manufacturing Clusters
Source: KNN India; July 19, 2016

The West Bengal Information Technology (IT) Department is constructing Electronics Manufacturing Clusters (EMC) in Falta and Naihati, at a cost of Rs 12,000 crore. These would lead to the generation of around 37,000 jobs, and also give a boost to the electronics sector of the State, said All India Trinamool Congress. According to an official of the IT Department, Bengal has some of the best talents for manufacturing electronic goods and ancillary parts. State-made electronic goods will hit the market in the future. The permission for the Falta EMC, on 58 acres, has already arrived from the Department of Electronics and Information Technology, a division of the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, and the one for the Naihati EMC, to be built on 70 acres, is expected soon. Both the EMCs are strategically located – the Falta EMC is on the shore of the river Hooghly and approximately 27 km from Haldia Port, and the Naihati EMC is located off Kalyani Expressway. The State Government’s well-laid out IT and electronics policy has reaped rich dividends, said AITC. Among the prominent achievements have been the construction of eight software parks (with seven more planned for the future), convincing NASSCOM to set up a start-up warehouse in Rajarhat, which is an incubation centre for IT-based companies, and setting up a seed fund for IT start-ups, it added.

The backstory of how ARM reached a milestone of 86 billion chips in 25 years
Source: Yourstory; July 19, 2016

Cells are considered to be the basic building blocks of life, and in a similar vein, chip microprocessors constitute the building blocks of modern day computers and related ecosystems, which now include smartphones and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Investing in research and development (R&D), laying out blueprints and finally fabricating and manufacturing microprocessors based on custom needs is not an easy task. Only a handful of companies globally have been successful in cracking parts of this value chain. Headquartered in Cambridge, England, ARM Holdings, then short for Acorn RISC Machines, is one of the earliest pioneers in the semiconductor and design space.(ARM no longer stands for Advanced RISC Machines but the company’s ethos remains the same). Established in 1990, ARM Holdings has an amazing history, spanning over 25 years. SoftBank Group (SBG) and ARM Holdings created history on Monday as the former officially announced its intent to acquire ARM for $31.4 billion.

Going forward, ARM will continue to function independently as a subsidiary under the SoftBank Group. Industry experts and laymen alike have been taken by surprise by this acquisition and the fact that SBG paid a 43 percent premium for ARM. But digging into ARM’s history and potential future applications puts things in perspective.

JBM Solaris to invest Rs 300 for making electric buses in India
Source: Business Standard; July 20, 2016

JBM Solaris, a joint venture between JBM Auto and Polish automotive major Solaris Bus & Coach SA, will invest Rs 300 crore for making India's first 100 percent electric buses Ecolife in the country. The JV will make the investment towards engineering, design and development, manufacturing, supply chain development among other focus areas in this electric mobility project completely made in India. Ecolife was unveiled at Auto Expo in February this year by Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping. The key focus will be towards locally developing indigenous sources for all key aggregates, systems and components catering to domestic and global requirements. Solaris will bring in its domain strength in electric buses, while JBM Auto will provide it in-house engineering and design expertise, market know-how along with the manufacturing facilities and infrastructure. Production of Ecolife will start by Q4 of FY 16-17 at Kosi, Uttar Pradesh. Incorporating variants of 9 and 12 meters, JBM Solaris will further work towards indigenously bringing in the complete range of buses in further phases.

Compiled by IESA Research

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