The Sirius Handheld Computer (Prototype shown) was designed and built from scratch... in Lahore, Pakistan

The Sirius Handheld Computer (Prototype shown) was designed and built from scratch... in Lahore, Pakistan

I often get emails from readers that I try to respond to as quickly as possible. A couple of weeks ago, my Inbox binged with an interesting question from an un-named Pakistani hardware engineer (aka Batman). Batman is originally from Lahore but is presently working in Austin, Texas. I thanked Batman for his email and told him that since I had received several similar queries, I would respond via a blog post rather than via email. But that was two weeks ago. With so much else happening, I wasn’t able to get to it as quickly as I’d thought… so, apologies for the delay, Batman!

Without further ado, here’s  Batman’s question, followed by my answer:

Assalamo Alaikum:

My name is [[Batman]] and I am originally from Lahore. Currently, I am working as a Hardware Verification Engineer at a chip-design company in Austin, Texas. I came across your blog in my search for tech job opportunities in Pakistan. I was wondering if you could give me an idea of what sort of opportunities exist in Pakistan. Is it mostly software jobs? Are you aware of companies that have sites in both Pakistan and America ?

Thanks for your time,
[[Batman]]


Well, Batman, there are actually a significant number of companies engaged in hardware design in Pakistan. There are also excellent teams at universities, working on some pretty cutting edge stuff. I’ll try to summarize some of these for you below.

1. Mentor Graphics is a multi-billion dollar US based company with locations in both Pakistan and the US. They have an R&D center in the Cavalry Grounds commercial area in Lahore. The work they do includes various system level board design activities, FPGA and ASIC design and verification tools.

2. Palm Chip is a US based company with multiple locations in the US and R&D facilities in both Islamabad and Lahore. They do embedded systems work, DVD SoC design, WiMAX chip design and more.

3. FiveRivers is a local Pakistani outfit working on handheld computers and related operating system development. They have designed a handheld computer called Sirius.

4. Enmac is a Hong Kong based company. They have almost their entire R&D done in Pakistan. They have a contract manufacturing business, embedded software development and systems design (board level) capabilities. They have produced various mobile telephones, digital Qurans and other products.

5. MicroElectronics International is a Lahore based designer and manufacturer or digital wireless equipment, electronics warfare devices and anti jamming technology.

6. Pak Elektron Ltd. is a Saigol Group company manufacturing electrical appliances, switchgear and providing electrical engineering consulting services.

7. DWP Group has a consumer electronics division that is manufacturing LCDs and more at a factory they have setup in Lahore as a joint venture with Samsung. They also contract with the military and develop custom solutions such as video walls and similar systems. They have pick and place and full manufacturing capabilities in their impressive Lahore factory and maintain an R&D/design group.

These are just a few of the companies with opportunities for electrical engineers and hardware design professionals. I haven’t expanded the scope to Islamabad and Karachi, but there are many opportunities in those cities too. Pakistan’s emerging UAV industry encompasses close to a half dozen private and government organizations. Take a look at our piece on UAVs built in Pakistan to find out more. Each of these companies employs several electrical engineers. It might be a good idea to start asking around with the companies above and you’ll soon get pointers to many other opportunities in the market. If you are open to opportunities in Academia/Research, then the University of Engineering and Technology has a very large Huawei funded research lab, LUMS has a great computer engineering research team focused on FPGAs, hardware based compression technology and more. In the Government sector, you’ve got Telephone Industries of Pakistan (TIP), NUST (National University of Science and Technology) and its associated mechatronics/robotics groups, NDC (National Defence Complex), PAC Kamra and many more.

From the days of Lahore-based Micro’s fully locally manufactured (Motherboard included!) Mango PC, the hardware industry in Pakistan has come a long way!

If you know of additional opportunities Batman and friends can benefit from, please do share!

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