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11 Indian Semiconductor Startups Backed by the DLI Scheme

These incentives can be up to 50% of the eligible expenditure for product design and 6% to 4% of net sales for product deployment over a period of five years .
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Introduction

The Indian semiconductor startup scene is booming, thanks to strong government support and dedicated founders. Led by Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Electronics & Information Technology, these startups are making waves with their cutting-edge technologies. Backed by initiatives like the Semiconductor Design Linked Incentive (DLI) scheme, they showcase a blend of hard work and innovation. In this article, we’ll explore 10 Indian Semiconductor Startups , backed the Semiconductor Design Linked Incentive (DLI) scheme.

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What is the DLI scheme?

The Semiconductor Design Linked Incentive (DLI) scheme is an Indian government initiative aimed at providing financial incentives to semiconductor design companies. Under this scheme, companies will receive a financial incentive of up to 50% of the total expenses incurred in setting up a semiconductor design facility in the country. The scheme is aimed at boosting the growth of the semiconductor industry in India and creating job opportunities in this sector.

The Design Linked Incentive (DLI) Scheme is a program launched by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) of the Government of India. It aims to boost the domestic semiconductor chip design ecosystem in the country .

Here are the key features of the DLI scheme:

  • Financial incentives: The scheme offers financial incentives to companies involved in the design and deployment of various types of semiconductors, including Integrated Circuits (ICs), chipsets, and System on Chips (SoCs) . These incentives can be up to 50% of the eligible expenditure for product design and 6% to 4% of net sales for product deployment over a period of five years .
  • Design infrastructure support: In addition to financial aid, the DLI scheme also provides design infrastructure support to participating companies. This could include access to design tools and software, as well as technical expertise.
  • Eligibility: The scheme is open to Indian companies involved in semiconductor design. There is a three-year application window starting from January 1, 2022, with the possibility of extension.

Overall, the DLI scheme is a significant initiative by the Indian government to promote self-reliance and technological leadership in the semiconductor design sector .

10 Indian Semiconductor Startups

1. Saankhya labs

Founding year: 2006

Headquarters: Bengaluru, India

Saankhya Labs is a premier wireless communication and semiconductor solutions company. These include products and solutions for broadband, satellite and broadcast applications including 5G NR, Direct To Mobile (D2M) Broadcast. Rural broadband connectivity, satellite communication modems for IoT applications and multi-standard DTV modulators and demodulators.

Established in 2006, they are India’s first fabless semiconductor solutions company. They have developed the world’s first production Software Defined Radios (SDR) chipsets.

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2. Aheesa

Founding year: 2021

Headquarters: Chennai, India

Aheesa is a DPIIT recognized fabless semiconductor company based in Chennai, India. It specializes in the Telecom, Networking, and Cyber Security domains.

It has experience in developing FDA approved healthcare solutions and technologies like Caching RAID storage, SoC for remote PC management, Storage Network Processor SoC, and GPS tracking systems. As an ASIC and embedded hardware design house, Aheesa™ is deeply committed to the Athamanirbhar Bharat initiative, focusing on self-sufficiency through the Make in India campaign.

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3. 3rdiTech

Headquarters: Delhi, India

3rdiTech is a semiconductor startup focused on CMOS image sensors. It excels in crafting custom chips, also known as application-specific integrated circuits, tailored for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) purposes. Their product is used for automotive, aerospace, defense, and homeland security, enabling users across EO, near-infrared spectroscopy, and short-wave infrared wavelengths.

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4. Vervesemi

Founding year: 2017

Headquaters: Greater Noida, India

Verve Semi delivers high-speed, high-accuracy data converters, RF solutions including 5G capabilities, and sensor front-end technologies. Their engagement model spans turnkey ASIC development, silicon validation, and ongoing support through mass production. The company also specializes in analog IPs such as PMU, thermal sensors, and clocking solutions, offering licensing options for easy integration. With a commitment to fast cycle times and first-time silicon success, Verve Semi aims to be a preferred IP supplier for major foundries and fabless product companies. 

5. Netra semi

Founding year: 2020

Headquarters: Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India

Specialties – AI/ML, Semiconductors, Smart vision, Edge computing, AIoT, and Ev

Netrasemi is a semiconductor company that specializes in designing and manufacturing System on Chips (SoCs) for various industries, with a particular focus on enabling real-time AI processing at the edge of devices.

Netrasemi offers the NetraSoC family of SoCs, which are specifically designed to meet the on-device AI computing. They employ a graph heterogeneous parallel processing fabric in its SoCs which helps in integrating diverse hardware acceleration cores to lessen the load on CPU.

6. Fermionic Design Pvt. Ltd

Founding year: 2018

Headquarters: Bengaluru, India

Another product of IITM research park, Incore semi specializes in processor design and semiconductor IP solutions. The company provides a comprehensive RISC-V Processor Portfolio, emphasizing a FlexiCore™ Methodology that prioritizes configurability and scalability across design and verification stages. InCore’s RISC-V cores are fully customizable, offering high-performance, low-power, and cost-effective solutions for diverse embedded applications.

In addition to RISC-V cores, InCore offers a wide range of products including Interconnect Fabrics and Accelerators.

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7. Morphing Machines

Headquarters: Bengaluru, India

They are a closely held fabless semiconductor IP products and solutions company that was launched through the Technology Entrepreneurship initiative of the Indian Institute of Science at Bangalore.

Their focus lies in innovations centered around REDEFINE™, a runtime reconfigurable many-core processor. They aim to enable customers and businesses globally to construct energy-efficient high-performance systems and solutions.

Their semiconductor IP, systems, and solutions are available for licensing to key customers worldwide.

8. WiSig Networks

Founding year: 2016

Headquarters: Hyderabad, India

WiSig Networks is a 5G product supplier that specializes in developing deployable solutions for 5G base stations, 5G integrated access backhaul, 5G UE stacks, NB-IoT, and Satcom SoC, including modules and applications. The seven-year young company has grown to over 100 members as well as revenue, cashflow positive through the IP licensing business of 5G IAB and 5G UE stacks.

They have successfully developed:

  • 5G Bharat RAN Platform
  • TinyML capable NB-IoT and Satcom SoC, both are now ready for mass production.

9. SenseSemi

Founding year: 2022

Headquarters : Bengaluru, India

SenseSemi Technologies Pvt Ltd is a forward-thinking semiconductor company with a focus on revolutionizing healthcare and IoT sectors through cutting-edge solutions. Their flagship product, SenseSoc, is a System on Chip (SoC) designed to bring about groundbreaking advancements in healthcare by facilitating interconnected medical devices.

SenseSemi also offers SenseH for IoT connectivity, AI Accelerators for Edge to enable efficient AI processing on edge devices, and Ultra Low Power solutions for extended battery life in energy-efficient applications.

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10. GreenPMUsemi

Founding year: 2021

Headquarters : Hyderabad, India

GreenPMU Semi is a fabless startup incubated at IIT Hyderabad which specialises at building power management ICs capable of harvesting energy from multiple sources to realize battery-free IoT solutions. Under the DLI scheme, Green PMU Semi proposes to design a multi-input Energy Harvesting Power Management IC for IoT applications.

11. Calligo Technologies Pvt Ltd

Headquarters : Hyderabad, India

Calligo Technologies is a Bangalore-INDIA based start-up focused on development of products and solutions serving HPC, Big Data and AI/ML segments to global marquee enterprises. Established in 2012, focused in HPC/AI & Big Data from 2014 onwards.

Conclusion

The journey of these 10 Indian Semiconductor Startups supported by the Semiconductor Design Linked Incentive (DLI) scheme exemplifies the power of innovation, perseverance, and government-industry collaboration. From Saankhya Labs pioneering wireless communication to SenseSemi’s groundbreaking advancements in healthcare and IoT, each company is leaving an indelible mark on government’s Make in India vision.

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