Bridging VLSI Design and Networking Technologies: Connecting Chips!
Can an Electronics Engineer Do Networking?
While opting for any course, we have numerous doubts and questions in our mind like, how will this course align with my long-term career goals, what are the potential challenges that a student may face while choosing the course, what are the career options, and many more. Similarly in this blog post, we will see, what fascinating opportunities await for an Electronics Engineer in the landscape of networking. Have you ever wondered if the skills of an Electronics Engineer extend beyond circuits and components? In a world driven by connectivity, the realm of networking holds immense significance. But can an Electronics Engineer seamlessly transition into the area of networking? How does the field of networking intersect with an Electronics Engineer’s expertise?
Well, in this post, we dig deeper into the intricacies of these two domains and uncover the potential for cross-disciplinary expertise. First of all, yes, an Electronics Engineer can work in the field of networking. The foundational knowledge of electronics equips engineers with a solid understanding of hardware, a crucial aspect of networking infrastructure. Moreover, their expertise in signal processing and communication protocols lays a strong groundwork for tackling the challenges posed by modern networking systems, making this interdisciplinary leap not only feasible but promising.
Interconnection between VLSI Specialization and Networking Master’s Degrees
Let’s understand how a VLSI-specialized electronics engineer plays a crucial role in networking and how this interconnection opens up exciting possibilities for pursuing specialized master’s degrees. Though both areas are entirely different, they have an interconnection. A VLSI-specialized electronics engineer has a significant role in networking as it involves designing ICS required in networking technology aiming towards superior performance, minimum power consumption, and higher integration. Modern networking systems require specialized hardware components, switches, and routers, including network processors; network interface cards (NICs), etc. These hardware components often incorporate VLSI design techniques to achieve higher performance, lower power consumption, and increased integration. To pursue such courses, a person needs to know the fundamentals of networking like network protocols, network architectures, network topologies, network security principles, network infrastructure, design and analysis, network security, etc. A VLSI Engineer has the advantage of knowing the details of the hardware-software interface. This knowledge has an added benefit in designing and optimizing networking systems involving specialized hardware accelerators or custom ASIC/FPGA solutions.
Does an Electrical Engineering student get a networking-related Master’s degree?
Finding a program that provides a firm grounding in network fundamentals and higher-level topics like network layout, network safety, wireless technologies, and network operations is essential for anyone interested in pursuing a Master’s in networking. Considering this interconnection, it becomes clear that electrical engineering students can indeed pursue networking-related Master’s degrees to broaden their horizons. For VLSI technicians, a networking Master’s program can lead to a variety of job prospects, such as a Network Administrator or designer, which entails creating and overseeing network components for organizations involving LANs, WANs, and information centers, as well as broadband network technology, network reliability technology, etc.
Bridging VLSI Design and Networking Technologies: Manav Rachna University’s ECE with VLSI Specialization Program
In this pursuit, one excellent option is the Electronics & Communication Engineering program with a specialization in VLSI offered by Manav Rachna University. This unique program equips students with a comprehensive understanding of both electronics engineering and networking principles, making it ideal for those aspiring to bridge the gap between VLSI design and networking technologies.
Moreover, the electronic semiconductor industry’s current range is also expanding. Semiconductor chips are the building blocks of all modern equipment used in electronics, information and technology and every technological application we employ daily. Whether it is aircraft, spacecraft, defence equipment, medical equipment etc., and semiconductor chips are essential to technology. Since Covid-19, online activities have increased multiple times globally. It has raised high computational capacities and highly efficient computing systems requirements. Thus, graduates of the ECE with VLSI specialization program at Manav Rachna University can play a pivotal role in shaping the future of networking and electronic devices, making them valuable assets in today’s tech-driven world.
Thus, developing properly embedded chips, such as controllers, and microprocessors, tailored to the application-embedded systems, data processing units, etc., has become increasingly necessary. As an outcome, the semiconductor sector is experiencing a considerable increase in requests for assembly.
The Microelectronics development division of India under MeiTy has also taken initiatives to bring up awareness and motivation about the need for VLSI design engineers in India. One can refer to
Therefore, Indian companies in the semiconductor chip design industry can avail vast amounts of incentives. The government of India has started a Scheme to Promote the Manufacturing of Electronic Components and Semiconductors (SPECS). MeiTy has launched the Design Linked Incentive (DLI) Scheme, to establish domestic companies involved in semiconductor design. As per estimates from scientists, the semiconductor consumption in India will be more than USD 80 billion in 2026 and USD 110 billion in 2030.
Opportunities and Growth in the VLSI Industry: A Path for Aspiring Engineers
Engineers produced by India are the best in design capabilities around the world. As a result, there is an increasing demand for engineers in the VLSI industry. The initial salary packages in the semiconductor industry range between 20K to 80K. VLSI Engineer packages’ shoot-up and growth are multiple times that of any other engineer. There is a need for around three lakh VLSI engineers at present.
Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) integrates large and complex circuits on a single chip. It began in the 1970s when complex semiconductor and communication technologies were being developed. The circuits are formed by fabricating many transistors in a suitable combination. It also involves designing FPGAs (field programmable gate arrays) and ASIC (application-specific integrated circuits). The growing market of Artificial intelligence-based systems, robots, etc., has put in demand the need to design and produce ASICs for various applications.
Automation in various industries like Healthcare, Hospitality, Manufacturing, Defence, Security, Communications, etc., is increasing the demand for jobs in the VLSI sector. Cognitive robots and humanoids all require high computational efficiency and great accuracy integrated circuits, which can also give real-time output.
An Engineering student can start by learning digital electronics followed by digital system design. After acquiring the basic fundamental knowledge, training in hardware modeling languages like Verilog and VHDL is required. These are the most common hardware modeling languages used in the industry. Major companies offering jobs in VLSI design are namely Microchip, Digicom, AMD, Truechip, IBM, NXP, Qualcomm, Xilinx, etc. Other companies include IBM, Texas Instruments, Wipro, GE, Motorola, Honeywell, HCL Technologies, Tata Elxsi, RBEI, TATA, and DELPHI. There is also scope for joining Several R & D organizations involving VLSI Systems Design and Development. A few of the job profiles in this industry are Soc Design Engineer, Analog Design Engineer, Component Design Engineer, VLSI Design Engineer, ASIC Verification Engineer, RTL Design and FPGA Design Engineer, Analog Layout Engineers, RTL Design Engineer – Verilog/FPGA, Physical Design Engineer, IC Design Engineer – Verilog/ DFT, ASIC RTL Design Engineer.
Several Universities are offering specialization courses in VLSI. For example, Manav Rachna University offers a True Chip program in B.Tech ECE sp. VLSI. The program offers various features to enhance the employability and entrepreneurship skills of the student.
Driving India’s Economic Growth through VLSI (Very Large Scale Integration) Engineering: Manav Rachna University’s Initiatives and Partnerships
Increasing demand for VLSI engineers and various government initiatives towards establishing the VLSI industry in India will help develop a better economy. Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) creates an integrated circuit by combining thousands of transistors into a single chip. VLSI began in the 1970s when complex semiconductor and communication technologies were developed.
At Manav Rachna University, the Department of ECE offers B.Tech in ECE along with a specialization in VLSI Design and Verification. The specialization course is offered in collaboration with TrueChip Solutions Pvt. Ltd. This is a confirmed employability programme, and each candidate admitted is provided with an offer letter at the time of admission which guarantees a package of 6-6.5LPA with specific terms and conditions applied to it.
In January 2020, the Department of Electronics and Communication (ECE) signed an MoU with True Chip, IP Verification Company Noida, which was further revised in July 2020. This collaboration aimed to introduce a specialized course in Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) ECE, focusing on VLSI (Very Large Scale Integration) design and verification. This strategic partnership addressed the evolving market trends and the increasing demand for skilled chip designers. Two old batch students have been recruited by True-Chip, namely Mayank Hans and Mohit Yadav, while a few others were placed at Mentor Graphics and Cadence etc. True-Chip also supports the M.Tech ECE program by offering industry internships at discounted fees with a placement guarantee.-
The market trends have shifted towards developing advanced semiconductor chips, and there is now a greater need for professionals with specialized knowledge in VLSI design and verification. True Chip, a renowned company in the field, offers valuable expertise and resources. The collaboration between the ECE department and True Chip has yielded several benefits, particularly in attracting students to the B.Tech ECE program. In addition, the enhanced curriculum and the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with VLSI design and verification have attracted many aspiring students in the Semiconductor industry.
‘True Chip’ has been supporting the Dept. and students in various ways to keep our students in pace with the market trends in the following methods.
- Placements- Support students in posts to the VLSI companies.
- Motivational Sessions with students: Support the college by giving them motivational sessions to empower them to achieve their goals and reach their full potential in the VLSI industry.
- Workshops – Support the college by giving workshops for students of the ECE/EEE branch to gain practical knowledge and hands-on experience in the VLSI field.
- Semester-wise course plan- Support the Dept. of ECE, MRU, in designing the semester-wise course plan for a B.Tech in VLSI program.
- Industry Visit- The students are given a tour of the company’s facilities, including the cleanroom, fabrication lab, and testing and verification labs.
- Hands-on Session- Support College by providing Hands-on sessions, an essential part of the B.Tech in VLSI program, as they allow students to apply the concepts learned in theory classes to practical situations.
- Proposal for the conference- Support the College in sharing the proposal from the college side to the semiconductor conferences.
- Research- Support the college in research of new technology.
- Summer Internship- Provides summer internship students. Summer internships in VLSI can provide students with valuable hands-on experience designing, testing, and analyzing integrated circuits and electronic systems.
At Manav Rachna University, we promise you a guaranteed placement in the Semiconductor industry. A student offering a course in a regular ECE program is also supported for internships, start-ups, competitions at national and international levels, etc. Each student is guided in the following ways:
- Credit transfer against Industry internships, Major projects, Start-ups, Patents, etc.
- Support for participating in national and international competitions.
- Regular feedback and attendance monitoring.
- Parents’ student monitoring portal.
- Placement Cell.
- Courses for preparation for competitive exams.
- of Foreign languages
Six months internship opportunities are available in coordination with companies in embedded systems, VLSI, IOT, etc., where the students can demonstrate their work and grab an equally good placement opportunity. The Department has various latest Lab facilities, which students utilize for innovations and research work. The Innovation and Incubation Center is a 24/7 facility open for students involved in rigorous, long-term projects. These projects may include students from multiple disciplines. Thus, Manav Rachna offers you a chance for holistic development, promising career opportunities, and support to keep growing constantly.
The journey from Electronics Engineering to Networking is not only possible but also brimming with opportunities. The seamless integration of hardware expertise, coupled with the understanding of communication protocols and signal processing, positions Electrical Engineers as valuable assets in the ever-evolving world of networking. As technology continues to advance and industries become more interconnected, the skills and knowledge of Electronics Engineers can bridge the gap between these two domains, leading to innovative solutions and pushing the boundaries of what’s achievable. So, whether you’re an electronics enthusiast eyeing a shift or a networking aspirant intrigued by hardware intricacies, remember that the synergy between these fields can spark a remarkable and fulfilling career path. FEW SEATS LEFT FOR THE CURRENT SESSION! ADMISSIONS OPEN FOR SESSION 2024-25
Author by: Dr. Charu Pathak, Professor & Head of Department, Department of Electronics & Communication Engineering, School of Engineering, MRU