[News] Global Semiconductor Giants Eyeing India, Anticipating Three New Fabs Valued at USD 8-12 Billion

2023-12-01 Semiconductors editor

India could see at least three more semiconductor fabrication units coming up in the next few months with cumulative investments to the tune of USD 8-12 billion, Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw said on Tuesday.

India is working hard to get big semiconductor companies to build chip plants in the country with its $10 billion semiconductor program. Global semiconductor giants are considering making factories in India driven by the need to diversify supply chains beyond China and the big demand for tech talents in India.

According to Deccan Herald’s report. At the unveiling of AMD’s global design center in Bengaluru on November 28th, Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Cabinet Minister for Railways, Telecommunications, Electronics and Information Technology of India, briefed journalists on ongoing negotiations with several local governments to determine precise locations in the following months.

AMD’s global design center plans to host around 3,000 AMD engineers in the coming years, focused on the design and development of semiconductor technology including 3D stacking, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and more. Vaishnaw pointed out that AMD setting up its biggest design center is strong evidence of how much global companies trust India. Besides, Vaishnaw highlighted the achievement of Micron’s semiconductor plant project, which was revealed in June and started construction in September. He said the success of Micron’s initial facility in India has boosted confidence globally.

Apart from global giants’ investment in India, the minister also told about the Semiconductor Lab (SCL) progress in Mohali, mentioned significant headway in the Expression of Interest (EoI) process. He anticipates finalizing matters within the next 5-6 months. The lab is planned to serve as both a research and semi-commercial facility.

Empowering India’s Semiconductor Dominance

The Indian government asserts that a comprehensive microprocessor chip manufacturing initiative is on the horizon in the country. Anil Agarwal, Chairman of Vedanta, anticipates the launch of “Vedanta chips made in India” by 2025, reported by icbank on weixin.

The government envisions establishing a “semiconductor city” in Dholera, Gujarat, covering an area equivalent to Singapore, with Prime Minister Modi expressing confidence in attracting both domestic and international giants to set up manufacturing plants despite the remote location.

The tech hub in Bangalore has played a pivotal role in India’s ascent as a global participant in the semiconductor network, primarily through chip design. Over the past two years, substantial government subsidies have transformed India into a hub for electronic product manufacturing.

India’s Challenges abound in the Actual Chips Manufacture

Despite initiatives like the “production-linked incentive measures” encouraging mobile assembly in India since 2020, chip manufacturing remains a formidable task.

Presently, nearly all cutting-edge chips are produced in Taiwan, with China’s chip investments surpassing those of India. Vedanta Group’s Agarwal plans to kickstart chip manufacturing within two and a half years, extending invitations to global chip manufacturing experts.

While today’s cutting-edge chips are predominantly manufactured in Taiwan, TSMC has even established a fab in Arizona with the assistance of the U.S. “Chip Act.”

India lacks a historical presence in chip manufacturing and faces a shortage of highly skilled engineers and equipment. Nevertheless, the government aims to achieve what companies like TSMC took decades to accomplish through substantial spending and capital investment promotion. However, China’s significant investments in domestic chip manufacturers, following the U.S. ban tightening China’s semiconductor development last October, far exceed India’s investments in local companies.

With the goal of establishing India’s inaugural semiconductor foundry, Mr. Agarwal of Vedanta Group aims to commence chip manufacturing within two and a half years, extending invitations to international talents like David Reed and Texas Instruments.

Agarwal aspires to attract around 300 foreign experts from East Asia and Europe to Gujarat. The manufacturing of microchips also necessitates a significant amount of customized infrastructure, with Vrishno, the responsible official, indicating that India’s largest chemical plant near Dholera can produce the specialized gases and liquids required for any chip factory’s operation.
(Image: AMD India)