India is pursuing an ambitious strategy and policy to become a global nucleus for semiconductor design, manufacturing, and technology development. For that India has plans to make the chipmaking sector a subject of national priority as part of a self-reliance India.
In the last week of July, the ‘SemiconIndia 2023’ is organised by India Semiconductor Mission with the aim to make India a global hub for Semiconductor Design, Manufacturing and Technology Development. The Indian government has plans to build a robust and a competitive presence in the global semiconductor ecosystem in the next ten years.
India aims to achieve it in ten years which China could not do in 30 years. The government aims to cap $300 billion in the electronics industry by 2025-26, of which $110 billion for semiconductors by 2029. It is soothing to see that India’s electronic manufacturing has exceeded $100 billion from $30 billion in 2014.
It would be interesting for the world to see India emerge as a trusted, resilient partner in the semiconductor space, and the same is being reciprocated by the world to grow its footprints in the semiconductor ecosystem.
India is a credible, viable and fast charging destination for semiconductor investments and innovation. Some striking developments mark the encouraging results in setting up the semiconductor fab in India. In the process, US Chipmaker Micron Technology announced a $2.75 billion semiconductor packaging, assembly and testing plant in Gujarat. The CDAC announced a partnership with Arm to help smaller startups access a broad portfolio of verified tools and training modules from Arm, including technical support. Five companies that specialise in compound fabs and memory makers have reached out to explore a packaging plant in India. SK Hynix is also considering India’s scheme to set up a packaging plant in the country.
India and Japan are collaborating in critical technologies, including semiconductors and resilient supply chains, as part of plans to reach a target of $35.9 billion Japanese investment in the country by 2027. India and the US have agreed to partner in developing critical technologies in the fields of artificial intelligence, semiconductors, quantum computing, high-performance computing and space.
MeitY has reopened the window for applying to its Rs 76,000 crore incentives and assistance provided to encourage local chip manufacturing plans after the first window failed to attract any major names. Financial incentives i.e. Design Linked Incentive (DLI) and design infrastructure support will be extended to domestic companies, Startups and MSMEs engaged in semiconductor design or semiconductor linked design to have more indigenously designed chips, especially in AI, in new cutting edge areas, data centres and so on. The government has kept aside Rs 1,000 crore for the chip design scheme.
The directional change from ‘Why invest in India’ to ‘Why not invest in India’ is the result of the industry leaders’ efforts and their belief in India’s potential.
We lost the first opportunity when Fairchild came to India in 1957 and wanted to set up a packaging unit, so we chased them away. In 2007, Intel’s then chairman Craig Barrett revealed how the government’s slow response caused India to lose an investment opportunity.
Now under the great leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his team, India is now at an inflection point. The fact that the US, the world’s pre-eminent tech leader, is partnering with India for the next decade for technologies and semiconductors, shows how far India’s tech capabilities have grown, especially in semiconductors, where we had little or no presence for decades.