Indian chip firm hits rare milestone

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An announcement last week by locally based Cosmic Circuits that it has shipped 12 million ICs so far didn’t garner a lot of attention internationally, but made waves here because it marks the first time an Indian chip company has attained such numbers.

Cosmic’s two main areas of focus are sensor ASIC (analogue companion chips for sensor applications) and PMASIC (custom power management solutions for portable electronics).

“I cannot think of any other Indian semiconductor product company that has shipped so many ICs,” said Ganesh Ramamoorthy, a research director at Gartner Inc. According to Ramamoorthy, Cosmic’s success is rare in India because it requires understanding what the market wants, developing a product that addresses a market need, and addressing a niche market need. Cosmic’s MEMS-based ICs, which are comparatively inexpensive to manufacture, help OEMs and chip vendors reduce system cost, he said.

Cosmic’s CEO Ganapathy Subramaniam, a former Texas Instruments engineer, expects the company to ship another 4 million ICs in the next four months.

“In our case, three out of five ICs we have in production are used in tablets, cell phones and MP4 players,” Subramaniam said. “Once the products get qualified, it is natural to expect volumes go high as the markets for these are big. Our solutions in all cases are differentiated and solves a specific problem and so, their adoption rate is high.”

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