Nesargi a small village in Bailahongal taluk, 40 kms from Belgaum is no different from any other village in the vicinity. Fields, farmers working, cows, buffaloes grazing around and in the middle of all this you will find a group of 40 odd students who normally work when the village sleeps as power is available in the night designing CHIPS.
Yes CHIPS, not the potato ones but Integrated Chips used in mobile phones and other electronic gadgets. Amazed at this fact. The chips are being designed at the Karmic Training Centre (KTC) started by Dr.Shivaling S. Mahant-Shetti who has experience of 27 years in chip designing in Texas instruments USA.
All the students at the KTC are SSLC passed and who could not take up further education even though they were good at studies securing above 70% in academics. A majority of them are rural disadvantaged families of coolies etc.
The person behind setting up this Karmic Training Centre is Dr S S Mahant-Shetti. He holds 67 patents to his name and an experience of over 25 years in chip design.
He founded Karnataka Microelectronic Design Centre Pvt Ltd (KARMIC) in Manipal which has 250 engineers designing chips. He has emerged as a team with in-depth acumen in Memory, High Performance Digital, Analog, RF and Mixed Signal domains. A unique feature of the Design Centre is that its members are drawn exclusively from KarMic Training Centre Pvt. Ltd., after a year of postgraduate training emphasizing strong team spirit as well as practical aspects of IC design.
Dr. Mahant-Shetti received the B. Tech (Hons) in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay, in 1972. He earned Sc.M and Ph.D. degrees from Electrical Sciences from Brown University in 1975 and 1977 respectively. He worked in Astro-Med Division of Atlan Tol Industries, Warwick, RI. For five years. He joined the research laboratories at Texas Instruments, Dallas and worked for 16 years. He started the LinAsic design centre in Texas Instruments India, Bangalore in 1988-89, the first commercial chip design activity in India. Chip designing was not done those days. He learnt it the hard way. He did his schooling from Belgaum Military school.
Some of Mahant-Shetty’s Key Technical Contributions:
Long Range Opportunity -Silicon Transform Cameras, SPICE Model Verification for digital circuits, Definition of 0.6µm and 0.5µm technologies, Automatic testchip design, Several significant chip designs. As part of TestChip Technologies/Covalar, he started Karnataka Microelectronic (KarMic) Training / Design Centres in Manipal, Karnataka, India in 1999. KarMic is involved in Analog, mixed signal designs and boasts 98.2% retention.
Dr. Mahant-Shetty returned to Belgaum in 1999 and had to fulfill his social obligation. After following a lot of reconnaissance around, he set up a company in Manipal, where engineering graduates work on IT, KARMIC.
Shetty moved back to Nesargi two years back and started KTC.
The trainees at KTC Nesargi are taught same fundamentals taught to MTech students. Professionals teach them both in the classroom and computer labs. Special classes for English are the first so that they can easily read books and understand. In Nesargi the power availability in the night is more hence one can see these trainees working for a longer time in the night than in the day.
This is a great example of an out of a box thinking and also love for social obligation and repaying back to the society. Big books & people mention about corporate social responsibility but people like Dr. Mahant-Shetty need to be encouraged to carry their work ahead.