Bangalore: Increasing design activity in areas such as industrial and medical electronics and energy has led to a rise in demand for products made by the Indian arm of Dallas, Texas-based semiconductor chip maker Texas Instruments Inc., or TI, from customers such as GE Medical Systems Ltd and Conzerv Systems Pvt Ltd.
The semiconductor chips that TI designs go into electronic appliances such as cellphones, energy meters and digital X-ray and ultrasound machines. Until recently, the Indian arm was more focused on supporting the global research and development (R&D) projects of the company.
Local thrust: Biswadip Mitra of Texas Instruments. Hemant Mishra / Mint.
TI, the first multinational technology firm to set up R&D operations in India (in 1985), has increased its presence in the past eight months by opening offices in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Delhi, Pune, and Chandigarh to provide sales and application support to its growing local customer base.
“The focus on the Indian market is gaining increasing intensity,” said Biswadip Mitra, managing director of Texas Instruments (India) Pvt. Ltd, adding that the company retains its focus on R&D operations in the country.
Market research firm Frost and Sullivan, in collaboration with industry body India Semiconductor Association, has forecast that the semiconductor market in India will touch $36 billion (Rs1.53 trillion) by sales in 2015, growing 29.9% every year as design, development and consumption of electronic devices grows. In 2009, the Indian semiconductor market is expected to be $5.5 billion, up from $2.7 billion in 2007.
Niju V., deputy director for industrial automation at Frost and Sullivan, said the growth in semiconductor consumption is directly linked to the increase in the manufacturing of consumer and industrial electronic products. Companies, such as TI, which are strong in areas such as digital signal processors, analog products, micro-controllers and digital converters, are in a strong position to take advantage of the growing market in India.
TI, Mitra said, was seeing strong growth in sectors such as renewable energy , automotive electronics, and industrial electronics. The company is also seeing demand from medical electronics sector.
TI is banking on its wide portfolio of about 40,000 chips including some 17,000 analog chips, to strengthen its presence in the Indian market. “We are seeing strong growth in the analog semiconductor market, which is driven by the fact that every electronic system manufactured has at least one analog component,” Mitra said.
The analog market is forecast to be $437 million in 2009, according to Frost and Sullivan. TI does not disclose its revenues and growth rates for the India market separately.
Some of TI’s large global customers such as Nokia Corp. and Motorola Inc. dominate the Indian mobile handset market after having introduced low-cost devices powered by TI’s single-chip solution LoCosto. The India development centre has contributed significantly to the development of LoCosto and also OMAP processors that allow handset makers to scale their product offerings from premium multimedia to feature-rich smart phones, Mitra said.
India is among the fastest growing mobile markets in the world with at least 250 million subscribers. Mitra also said that the current slowdown in the US, the largest IT market in the world, will not hurt the company’s India R&D operations which have some 1,400 engineers and has filed for around 500 US patents (70 in 2007 alone).