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Qualcomm and MeitY’s C-DAC announce collaboration towards Digital India futureLABS initiative and renews support towards Indian semiconductor design startups

 Qualcomm India Private Limited, part of the Qualcomm group of companies (NASDAQ: QCOM) collectively known as “Qualcomm”, and Center for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), an autonomous scientific society of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), intend to collaborate in the development of India’s semiconductor design ecosystem. Qualcomm will support C-DAC with expertise and best practices on state-of-the-art technology, intellectual property, tools, and skill development for promoting Design in India and Make in India. It is a mutual endeavour to stimulate the development of indigenous SoCs for high volume products such as surveillance IP cameras and Wi-Fi routers. 

C-DAC under the mentorship of MeitY envisions enabling the Digital India futureLABS. The objective is to fortify the domestic R&D ecosystem within identified technology verticals (Automotive, Compute, Communications, Strategic Electronics and Industrial Electronic/ IoT) by creating a collaborative Research & Innovation ecosystem and catalyzing effective collaboration between Indian industry, multinationals, startups and academia.

Major objectives of futureLABS are to –

  • Create an IECT Research & Innovation (R&I) framework for India to lead in Standards, IPs, Systems and Platforms for Electronics System Design
  • Strengthen the domestic Research & Innovation ecosystem in identified areas through collaborative initiatives, leading to sustainable growth and technological advancement.

Through this collaboration, C-DAC and Qualcomm will work towards the following broad objectives:

  • Nurture technical advancements and intellectual-property-driven innovation and product development required for semiconductor design in the Indian ecosystem
  • Help reduce risks in innovation; accelerate the pace of business development; and develop soft skills and knowledge base of Indian startups engaged in semiconductor design
  • Facilitate access for the selected startups to people and organizations who are working on similar societal challenges or common areas
  • Facilitate access for the selected startups with domain experts, VCs, accelerators, incubators, industry associations and large companies that could help them scale up their business
  • Create platforms and forums that provide opportunities to work with high-growth-potential small businesses and startups who have potentially disruptive technologies that could develop or reshape semiconductor supply chains in the future

In addition, Qualcomm and C-DAC intend to renew their collaboration to support Indian semiconductor design startups and encourage innovation in the semiconductor space through the Qualcomm Semiconductor Mentorship Program. Each shortlisted startup is paired with a Qualcomm leader for mentorship on product planning, development, and masterclasses on IPR generation, and scaling up. This collaboration has previously supported 4 startups in their development journey under the Qualcomm Semiconductor Mentorship Program 2022-23.

Savi Soin, President of Qualcomm India said, “India’s semiconductor ecosystem is working to create a new supply chain for both domestic and international markets, and Qualcomm is committed to supporting its growth. There is, and will continue to be, a large and growing demand for semiconductors as industries increasingly adopt intelligent, connected technologies and devices. We are excited about the opportunity this presents for Indian semiconductor startups to create domestic solutions, using the design and engineering talent in the country. Qualcomm will help them with the technology and the expertise needed to enable their success.”

Magesh, Director General C-DAC said,“With increased digitization across sectors, the semiconductor industry has become crucial for the growth of many other industries. Theprevailing global and domestic environments also present new opportunities for both established companies and startups. The mentorship program by Qualcomm will enable us to identify, interact with, and support the scale-up of the most promising Indian semiconductor startups. In addition, Qualcomm, with its understanding and expertise in SoC development across, mobile, compute, connectivity, IoT and Automotive and enablement efforts towards the Indian technology startup ecosystem will be a valuable addition to our futureLABS initiative.”

With over 25 years of R&D in India, Qualcomm has been enabling the Indian technology startup ecosystem since 2016. Qualcomm Design in India Challenge is the Qualcomm’s flagship incubation program for hardware startups having dedicated engineering personnel and a laboratory with state-of-the-art equipment and prototype platforms in Bengaluru to support the startups. In 2020, Qualcomm launched yet another startup initiative – Qualcomm Women Entrepreneur India Network, a mentorship program for women-founded startups. Recently Qualcomm announced the expansion of its Chennai Design Centre in Tamil Nadu which specializes in development of wireless connectivity solutions, reinforcing the Qualcomm’s commitment to staying at the forefront of the wireless communications industry.

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