Big boost for Kerala engineering students: Six institutions in C2S programme

Jobin said the college is also developing a prototype processor, where the chip in the AI camera would make processing faster.

Published: 10th June 2023 06:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th June 2023 07:29 AM   |  A+A-

Rajagiri School of Engineering and Technology

Rajagiri School of Engineering and Technology

Express News Service

KOCHI: In a big boost to Kerala’s prospects in the semiconductor industry, six institutions in the state, including the College of Engineering, Trivandrum, NIT-Calicut, Cochin University of Science and Technology, and Rajagiri School of Engineering and Technology, have been selected for the prestigious Chips to Startup (C2S) programme of the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY).

The C2S programme, which aims to train 85,000 students in the area of chip design and microprocessors across the country, is expected to see at least 5,000 students in BTech, MTech, and PhD levels from the selected Kerala institutions in the next five years, according to industry officials.

The other institutions selected from Kerala for the C2S programme are IIT-Palakkad and Digital University Kerala.

The biggest beneficiary, however, is Kochi startup Silizium Circuits, which has tied up with IIT-Kanpur for the C2S programme. The IIT-K-Silizium Circuits application has received a Rs 5 crore grant-in-aid under the C2S programme for its ground-breaking radio-frequency (RF) transceiver SoC (system on chip) project. 

S Krishnakumar Rao, deputy director of the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), Thiruvananthapuram, which hand-holds the institutions and the startups under the C2S programme, said the objective of the programme is multi-fold.

“The aim is to develop a large number of skilled people who are good at chip design. So that they are industry-ready when they come out of college. They will use industry-standard tools. We will have a pool of graduating students who are good at chip design and are hands-on in chip design,” he said.

As regards startups and industry collaboration, the aim is to generate indigenous IP. “Academic institutions working with startups can develop IP that can be leveraged into the product too. That is also another offshoot of this programme. One of the objectives is to collaborate with academic institutions and develop an IP that’s valuable to India,” said Rao.

The government will support these institutions in terms of tools and resources. “You need expensive tools, and the BDA (big data analytics) tools will be hosted by CDAC. The academic institutions and the startups will get access to these tools,” he said.

Tripti S Warrier, the principal investigator, Cusat, said the university has received a grant of Rs 2.48 crore in category 1, where it has applied along with Incore Semiconductors, a startup associated with IIT’s Shakti Processor and Bengaluru’s PES University. “We are involving our research scholars, four MTech students, and four BTech students in this programme,” she said.

Jobin K Antony, the principal investigator at Rajagiri School of Engineering and Technology, said the college applied for the programme on a standalone basis. The Kakkanad-based college received Rs 86 lakhs under the programme. “We hope that the project will benefit our 400–500 students in the next 4-5 years,” he said.

Jobin said the college is also developing a prototype processor, where the chip in the AI camera would make processing faster. “The semiconductor industry is undergoing changes on a daily basis,” he said, adding that the programme will immensely benefit the students. According to Rijin John, CEO, of Silizium Circuits, semiconductor IPs will be the brain of all hardware devices, and revenues from this sector is expected to touch around USD 1.4 trillion globally by 2030. “C2S is an attempt to make India self-reliant in electronics system design,” he said.


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