Having Own Semiconductor Plants Helps India! Need to Scale up Though!

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Semiconductor Plantsv
  • The global community is amid such a humongous information technology-driven revolution that it no longer surprises us when some cutting-edge technology makes its presence felt consistently. As it is, the IT field is dynamic, and the perennial introduction of new technologies has simply made the unquenchable quest of humanity to not only embrace the same with gay abandon but also look forward to even more beneficial solutions using emerging applications. Of course, semiconductors are the nerve center of everything associated with the ubiquitous digital world without which nothing moves ahead. The semiconductor chips drive the modern world on several fronts and the non-availability only restricts envisaged growth prospects for all stakeholders.

Semiconductor Plants

PC: Network World

  • Where does India stand on this crucial front? Yes, we produce a huge number of trained IT professionals who have been disbursed around the world using their acquired skills. But are we self-sufficient in ensuring a steady supply/availability of semiconductor chips for the growth narrative we love to forecast and proclaim as an aspirational country? Not really. Welcomingly, PM Narendra Modi’s laying of the foundation stone for three semiconductor plants this week gives India’s chip-making dreams a shot in the arm. Crucially, one of the three units will be India’s first commercial chip fab in Gujarat’s Dholera. That’s a great move indeed. As reported, the Dholera fab is expected to churn out 28nm chips by the end of 2026. That’s not earth-shattering though.
  • The most advanced chips in the market today are 3nm. Both Taiwan’s TSMC and South Korea’s Samsung also plan to move to 2nm production. But what’s vital for India right now is to get the basics right and create a semicon ecosystem. Chip plants need a stable power supply, energy-grade silicon, millions of gallons of water per day, and hi-tech talent. These can’t be conjured overnight. So semicon testing, assembly, and packaging plants, like the ones being set up in Gujarat’s Sanand and Assam’s Morigaon, will help in creating the required supply chains. All of this partly being driven by a desire among Western democracies to diversify away tech supply chains from China – a China+1 strategy. We know by now how the global community views China’s transgressions.

Semiconductor Plants

PC: Tribune India

  • However, this field is crowded with Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, etc. also in play. So, it will ultimately boil down to tech resources. India doesn’t have a dearth of talent here with around 20% top global talent in chip design. But they work for foreign companies. Harnessing this talent for Indian companies making Indian chips is the business trick. Semicon tech is constantly evolving. TSMC holds a 90% market share in advanced chips. Taiwanese collab (like at Dholera) for chip-making in India is welcome but don’t expect hi-tech transfers – Taiwan’s semicon industry is a shield against potential Chinese attack. Thus, India needs to put in the legwork and build its capabilities if it’s to emerge as a key global chip hub. Not insurmountable, for sure!