At the recently concluded electronics industry event electronica India and Productronica India 2012, there was hardly any India based manufacturing company displaying any of its own in-house developed equipment to make either electronics/semiconductor components or electronics systems/assemblies.
India cannot relay on imported machines/equipments and process in making electronics devices and systems for a long term sustained growth. India has to develop new electronics manufacturing equipment for the latest gadgets. Examples of emerging techniques include automated system in device packaging and assembly, 3D packaging of semiconductor devices, and reusable electronics equipments, environment friendly green manufacturing, and devices out of new materials. There is a huge scope for innovation in electronics manufacturing. With the most of the functions getting into one IC chip, the board assembly is becoming simpler. Example, Freescale Semiconductor has developed a chip for instrument cluster in automotives which needs a just a single layer PCB. There are many such applications where the board complexity is reduced. So the trend is advancement in micro-assembly, i.e. to put everything in a chip or chip like module.
What we see today is importing entire manufacturing equipment and process and just managing the production. It’s very risky because manufacturing technology is getting obsolete faster.
Electronics manufacturing is less of electronics engineering and more of mechanical engineering, so there is a need of different discipline in academics for the students to excel in this industry. The material science and manufacturing science is as important as C programming for an under–graduate student in electronics engineering.
The immediate need for Indian manufacturing is innovative manufacturing IP along with the local production. Manufacturing companies with own IP can sustain growth in this highly competitive market.