Gujarat Technological University (GTU) is coming up with a first-of-its-kind electronics laboratory in the country to facilitate technological research and build an indigenous high-technology industry.
To be built along the lines of Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), the Rs 38-crore lab will be set up on the new GTU campus in Chandkheda.
The labs will focus on two broad areas of tech research: Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) — the process of creating integrated circuits by combining thousands of transistors into a single chip — and mobile computing.
“Since adequate research facilities are not available for electronic companies in the country, their ideas never reach the execution stage. GTU usually have to outsource our ideas to countries like China. By setting up an interdisciplinary research laboratory, similar to ITRI, Taiwan,
“The aim is to hone the skills of GTU students, promote entrepreneurship and transform the domestic technology industry into a global bedrock for innovation. We already have the names of companies who would like to use our facility,”
FIRST PHASE COMPLETION: 2013
The research facility will be built in two phases with the first — on 18,000 sq ft space at a cost of Rs 12.5 crore— expected to be completed by 2013. In the first phase the varsity will build an advanced embedded multimedia lab, a printed circuit board (PCB) fabrication lab and a wafer fabrication lab to develop highly sophisticated electronic logic and control devices known as integrated circuits.
The second phase will have a lab for research on solar-photovoltaics, smart grid, mobile and wireless technologies and robotics.
WHY IMPORT GADGETS?
“Recently, Sam Pitroda, PM’s adviser, had remarked that by 2025, import of electronic products from East Asia will equal import of oil from West Asia. That’s a worrying situation. While our information technology and services have made us one of the fastest growing economies in the world, manufacturing accounts for only 16 per cent of the output. This is half of China’s share and much behind India’s targeted 25 per cent in the next 10 years,”
“It is time that technological universities teach their students circuit skills, device physics and characterisation skills and also provide facility to incubate ideas. Later on, with help from venture capitalists they can be on their own. GTU need to have more chip plants and research parks if we want to meet the demand for smartphones, laptops and other electronic products.”
GTU has already introduced masters programme in VLSI and Embedded Systems and Wireless and Mobile Computing. “By the time we are done with the first phase of the lab, 60 students would have completed their masters. We will also introduce a PhD programme for our students as well as others who are interested in research work. These researchers will be the workforce at our laboratories,”